On Top of the World Looking Down on Creation!
Judas Belonged To The “Look Out For Number I Club.”
The God’s Word Translation puts it this way,
“They were more concerned about what people thought of them than about what God thought of them.”
Pastor Rick Warren in his book, “The Purpose Driven Life,” which sold some 23 million copies began it by saying “It’s not all about you.” That’s like getting hit with a Taser-gun for most people. For millions of people life is –about ‘me and you and our dog blue.’
Alice Roosevelt Longworth was the oldest daughter of President Teddy.
A person of note in her own right, Longworth had the ability to accurately judge people, including her father. Later in life she said, “Father always had to be the center of attention. When he went to a wedding, he wanted to be the bride. When he went to a funeral, he was sorry that he couldn’t be the corpse.”
Truth be told, most people, like Teddy, want to be number one.
I recently read the story of a boy who, at a party, was offered his choice between two pieces of cake. One of those pieces was large, the other small. When the boy was asked to make his selection, he replied, “My sister likes cake too. Would it be okay if I let her go first?”
The adults at the table were deeply moved by the boy’s graciousness and commented on how polite he was. But the lad’s father knew better. What he had just heard was not like his son. The little boy that he knew so well was not usually that considerate.
Quietly, dad took his son to another room and asked, “My boy you’re not usually so thoughtful when it comes to your sister. What’s going on?”
To his credit the boy’s answer gave an honest explanation into his thinking. He said: “Well, I figured it out this way. If I took the first piece, you taught me I had to take the little one, but if I let my sister make the first choice, then she had to take the small one, and I would get the bigger – the one I really wanted.”
Most of us want the big piece of cake; we want to be number one.
In contrast to how we are, stands the Savior.
Read through the Gospels. Take a careful look and you will see there is never a time when Jesus thought first of Himself. If He was tired and people needed helping, He helped. If He was in a hurry to go somewhere and someone came to Him, He stopped to listen. If it meant sacrificing His innocent life or letting the guilty of this world burn in hell … He chose the cross.
In short, Jesus didn’t do what we would have done. He gave Himself to save not His friends, but His enemies. And for that act of love we who are saved will be eternally in His debt.
I have always been amazed at Jesus’s words in Luke 20:45 where he said, “Beware of the scribes, who desire to walk in long robes, and love salutations in the marketplaces, and chief seats in the synagogues, and chief places at feasts…” You cannot help but wonder if God asked them like he asked Solomon in I Kings 3:5, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you,” what they would have asked for.
One of the stories in the book One Thousand and One Nights is “Aladdin and the Magic Lamp.” In this story, Aladdin finds a lamp which, when rubbed, unleashes a genie who will grant the lamp’s master three wishes.
My question is would you be satisfied with only three wishes? And if you did have just one wish, what would that wish be?
Wealth? Fame? Health? Winning the lottery?
In Psalm 27, the Bible poet says there is only one thing he wants from God. Looking at verse four, he states, “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple.”
To live in God’s house!
He was surrounded by enemies and could ask for protection. He could ask for a better family. He could ask for a life without trouble or trial. But he asked to dwell in the Lord’s house.
Because he wants to feel the goodness of God, to wonder at the Lord’s love, to receive His guidance. To be in God’s house, in His presence, is to live under His promises and grace day after day, recalling His care and support.
To be with God gives us freedom, even when the enemy attacks, even if the family forsakes us (see Psalm 27:10). When He came to the world, Jesus didn’t deliver us from earthly sufferings and afflictions. Instead, He offered eternal life, his company through the Holy Spirit in our hearts. Along with that He gives us love, every second of our existence. That love and forgiveness means that one day, we will live with Him at His house.
Now I am sure you won’t find a lamp like Aladdin’s. On the other hand, you have already been found by the Lord of life. And He wants you to live with Him: “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14).
We all came into this world empty handed and were all leaving it the same way. ‘
Only what’s done for Christ will last!