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Matthew 10:24-25

Posted 01/19/22, by Dan Vis

Jesus clearly taught and modeled a life of service. We are called individually to choose selflessness over selfishness. We must live so Spirit-filled that the very atmosphere of heaven subjugates our sin nature.

But it's not an easy lesson to learn, nor is it easy to implement. I still remember one life-changing experience that helped me along these lines. It happened while first memorizing this short passage:

Matthew 10:24-2524 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. 25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master and the servant as his lord.

To set the context, I was a brand new Christian, having been baptized only a few months before. I was just barely into my twenties, and pretty dirt poor. I was renting a small room near campus all the way across town from my church. And because of some poor decisions from my pre-Christian days, my only transportation was a bike. And not the motorized kind!

It was a good 5 or 10 miles from my house to church, so I would typically use that time on my bike to memorize a verse. On this particular morning I was memorizing the verse above, with one half of my brain. With the other half I was grumbling to myself about my situation. No money. No car. Having to pedal so far. And all the other adversities I thought I was enduring. And then it started to rain.

I continued switching back and forth mentally between memorizing my verse and grumbling now about the rain. And the fact God allowed that rain. And that He didn't seem interested in stopping it--even though I was doing something as virtuous as making an effort to go to church. I was a pretty miserable young man!

It took a while for me to connect my situation with the verse I was learning, but when I did it hit like a ton of bricks. Jesus had lived his life, in poverty. Often without shelter, not even a place to lay His head. His was a life of toil and difficulty. And there's no question He got rained on at times. He didn't even have a bike to get around on!

It's enough for the disciple to be as His Master.

What right have I to expect special conditions in my life for simply doing the right thing? To demand I be treated better than Jesus? By the time I arrived at church, I was drenched, to be sure, but I was beaming with joy. I had just tasted a tiny little bit of what it means to suffer with Christ.

This truth is the key to unlocking a life of service. The reason we are reluctant to give, to share, to serve--is that it requires sacrifice. And many times we are comfortable with out lives. We are unwilling to jeopardize that comfort. It's realizing that we really don't have any right to demand a life better than our professed Master, that enables us to loosed our iron-clad grip on those various comforts. And enter into a different kind of joy.

Maybe heaven is just not real enough to us. We're not quite certain enough that any sacrifices we make will be rewarded amply. I don't know. But the reality is, the Christian life can only be lived when we accept the fact God may call us to sacrifice our comforts. And that sacrifice is often what brings us closer to God.

Yes, God has been gracious to me in the years since. Better than I deserve. I do have a cozy little home, and I do have reliable transportation. And I haven't been caught in the rain, for years. But the question is--how tightly do I hold on to these blessings? How willing am I to let them go?

Am I servant who insists on living a life better than my Lord's?

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Posted by Dan Vis on 01/21/22
Yes Ann I think the love of "ease" and the love of "comfort" are probably two of the enemies greatest temptations. Or at least two of the more common ones. Much prayer needed to guard against these two things. Nice post!
Posted by Ann Lavenburg on 01/21/22
It is interesting that you wrote about comfort. I have thought for quite a while that it could be an idol. I don’t like to be too cold or too hot, etc. Not much else bothers me so probably it could be an avenue where Satan could attack.   Think of persecution of Christians. I doubt many of them were “comfortable.”   Something to pray and think about.   
Posted by Dan Vis on 01/19/22
We can be sure God will give us the grace we need Kelly, at the time it is needed. And I encourage you to put your confidence there. I'm also quite sure that God already has plans in place one way or another to shelter those among us who He knows need that most. Try not to let tomorrow's worries cloud today's joys! :)

Your welcome Wayne! This is a challenging subject, for sure.
Posted by Wayne E Smith on 01/19/22
Thank you for the thought! Lord help us!
Posted by Kelly Howlett on 01/19/22
The question of suffering has always been in the back of my mind, to the point of overshadowing the blessings I do have. I worry about the upcoming suffering I know I must endure since that’s just how we come closer to God. I don’t think it’s a matter of thinking I deserve a better life than my Master; I just feel I may not be able to endure what’s ahead. I fear it may hurt too much. I fear it may hurt others around me too. I find it difficult some days to enjoy today’s blessings when I know suffering must be around the corner. May God help me when the storm comes


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