Friday, May 16, 2014

I Am Third

Read: Philippians 2:1-11

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.                                           Philippians 2:3

     Gale Sayers, who played seven seasons for the Chicago Bears, became the youngest person to ever be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977. In 1970, he had won the Most Courageous Player of the Year award for his return to football from a very nasty injury the previous season. He famously accepted this award on behalf of his inspirational roommate Brian Piccolo, who was dying from cancer. Soon after he received the reward, Gale Sayers  wrote a book entitled I Am Third. In his book, he outlined his priorities for life: God, friends, then self, in that order.
    Gale Sayers may not be a Christian, but he certainly had his priorities in the order that made it possible for God to bless him. Jesus must take the first place in every area of our lives. Colossians 1:8 says, “…that in all things he might have the preeminence.” No endeavor, no success, and no life can long endure when Jesus Christ is not at the forefront. Many are willing to admit that fact in theory, but few will actually prove they believe it by the way they live.
     After Jesus has been given first place in our lives, then others should be given the second position. Friends, family, co-workers, strangers – if we could humble ourselves enough to put others before ourselves, we would receive a lot of blessings that may otherwise never be realized. Dale Carnegie said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people that you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.” The problem is that most people are so wrapped up in themselves that they cannot see the others who need a friend to care about their needs. They are so absorbed in their own issues that they cannot look around them at those who are more needy than themselves. That is one of the reasons why many Christians do not share the gospel with those around them who are dying and going to hell. Our focus should not be on ourselves, but on others.
     Incidentally, the acronym for Jesus, Others, You spells JOY. When everything in your life is prioritized in the proper order, it works out so much better for the one who keeps those things in their proper order. When Jesus has the preeminence, and when we esteem others above ourselves, our lives become so fulfilled that we are left to enjoy the blessings that come as a result of our joy.

Quote of the day: “People may forget what you said and what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

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