We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Joe Mummert.
“20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. 21 And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” 22 Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” 23 He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” 24 And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.””
In the passage here in Matthew, we see the mother of the two sons wanted her children to be considered among the greatest. Understandable, what parent wouldn’t want that for their child? Jesus’ response though is one that we should all be familiar with – you have to put in the work!
I am an avid sports fan, and one of the greatest feelings in the world is when one of my teams wins a championship (although in football it’s been many…many years!). What has always made me chuckle about this aspect of sports is the amount of pride that people walk around with just to be associated with that team. We buy jerseys, hats, jackets, t-shirts and so much more to commemorate “our” championship. The truth of the matter is, however, that we can only experience so much joy through association, we haven’t done any of the work.
These athletes have put in the work, they have sacrificed and given the blood, sweat, and tears that it takes to earn that championship. The reason we see so many athletes flooded with emotion after winning is likely because it is the culmination of years and years of hard work and dedication. Some of them had to walk-on to their college teams with no scholarship, they weren’t drafted high, or at all, and still managed to work their way to the top.
Even in the years past of watching the Crossfit Games, we all find our favorite athletes and root for them. There seems to be a sense of pride and belonging when “our” athlete wins. I think God’s kingdom is set up similarly. We want to sit at his right hand and raise that trophy and in these verses. He’s telling us, “Not yet, go put in the work.”
I think that our time here on earth is our time to put in the work, be a walk-on without a scholarship, be an undrafted free-agent, be the underdog, feel-good story that everyone is after. Keep our head down and work hard, serve others and do what the “coach” asks us to do. And on THAT day, when He comes back in all of his glory – we will be in that Championship parade with all of our teammates!
Lord, help to me identify areas of my life where I am asking to be elevated to the front of the line without putting in the work! Show me where I can rely on you more as my coach to instruct me how to put in the work to get where I need to go! In Jesus’ name, amen!
The word “coach” is derived from stagecoach and essentially means something that takes you from where you are to where you want to be. So, this week…let’s establish those two things, where are you? Where do you want to go?
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