Of all the “one another” commands given in the Bible, the command to submit is for many of us the most challenging. We live in a “me first” world. Have you ever considered that when you are first, someone else is last? Have you considered that when you get your way, someone else is probably not getting theirs? Have you considered that every time you put your selfish nature ahead of the needs and desires of others, you are discounting them and even sending the message that you are more important. Submitting doesn’t mean you are less important than other people. However, submitting means that you treat others as though they are more important. What if your favorite celebrity, actor, musician or sports hero came to church. Would you not do everything in your power to make them feel welcome? Would you offer them your seat, get them some coffee, buy them a donut, even park their car? Why? Because when we hold someone is high regard, we are willing to defer to their needs and wishes. This is the attitude that Jesus wants us to have toward one another.
Scriptures – John 10:10; Ephesians 5:21; Philippians 2: 3-11
Verses – Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross. (Ph 2:3-8)
Thought – Jesus was God; yet he set his personal comfort aside to fulfill God’s calling. Think about it. At any point Jesus could have said, “Ok, enough is enough. I created this world and you know what? I’m God and I’m out!” But he didn’t call it off. He laid his rank, his position, his authority aside for the sake of something greater. He came to serve. He wanted a relationship with you and me. If this understanding ever truly sinks into our hearts, it will transform the way we live! Since Jesus became a servant and gave up his right to the glory, honor and respect that was due him, where do we get off demanding OUR way, OUR rights, OUR recognition at the expense of someone else. When we submit to one another, we show reverence for our Savior. Christ followers are to forgive one another, accept one another, care for one another, encourage one another, submit to one another, and love one another. We can do it, if we remember what God has done for us!
Questions – How are you are waiting for your turn? Do you often defer to others: allow another person to go ahead of you, offer someone your seat, or yield the lane? How do you treat your waiter or waitress? How do you act when someone sits in your usual seat at church? Do you think of some people as better than yourself and others as not as good? When you are asked to serve, do you ever think the job is beneath you? Do you enjoy serving? Explain how and why? Do you enjoy being served? Explain how and why?
Response – Be aware of others around you and look for ways to serve them. Defer to the needs and wishes of others. Consider a serve that you consider menial. It may help get your priorities in line.
Prayer – Dear Lord, help me to serve others as you served, to see others as you see them, and to put the needs of those around me before my own selfish desires. Thank you for serving, loving and dying for my sins. In Jesus Name I pray, amen.