First Things First

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
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God in the flesh lived personal sacrifice to the point of death on a cross. He lived personal service to the point of washing the disciples’ feet at the Lord’s Supper. That act of humility was followed by these words: “If I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet . . . I have set you an example that you ought also do as I have done to you.”

Christ’s example teaches Christians that life has more “us” than “me.” God creates community, teams, and entrusts His mission to the whole group. Within that team or community, God provides each person with gifts that, when combined with others’ gifts, bring glory to God and accomplish the mission. Each person’s giftedness, skill, talent, is first, foremost and always for the common good, for building up the body of Christ, empowering it to accomplish God’s purpose. (Rom.12:3–8, 1 Cor. 12:4–7, Eph. 4:11–13, 1 Pet. 4:10)

Always the team comes first. Individual privilege, prestige, position, personal prerogative, and power are set aside for the team. There it is, direct, straightforward, in Paul’s word to the Philippians, (Phil. 2:5–8): Paul identifies the attitude of personal sacrifice for God’s will, for the well being of the mission. Addressed to the whole Philippian church, the directive is to all of Christ’s people in all places and at all times.

Note that with the directive comes a promise: “Seek first the Kingdom of God, (First things first!) and all these things will be yours as well.” As I exercise my gifts freely, humbly, skillfully, to achieve the larger purpose—the Kingdom of God—he promises to take care of all my personal needs.

Dick Halverson, the late chaplain of the U. S. Senate, said, “There is no limit to what you can do for God if you don’t care who gets the credit.” Along with Stephen Covey, we must say “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” So, wash one another’s feet. Let your attitude in life be that of Christ Jesus. He did not cling to his privilege but emptied himself. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for friends.”