Reward for Obedience

  • Leviticus 25:47-27:13
  • Mark 10: 32:52
  • Psalm 45:1-17
  • Proverbs 10:22

Not so with you. Instead whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Mark 10:43-44

This servant verse isn’t what I originally thought about journaling about. At first, I thought about writing about the Leviticus verses. I like those better….they were more along the lines of how my empty nest womanhood understands this Christian life should be. Lets look at Leviticus 26:1-13

Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves….I am the Lord your God. Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary, I am the Lord.

Lev 26: 1-2

Check! Got that part! I don’t have any golden calfs or totem poles at my place. I go to church every Sunday, and many Sunday’s I’ll take a nap. This one I got, Lord! Now what?

If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you rain….the ground will yield its crops…the trees their fruit… will eat all the food you want and live in a safety in your land. I will grant peace and make you lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove wild beasts,….You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall…..I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers,….I will walk among you and be your God….I enabled you to walk with heads held high.

Lev 26: 3-13 (abbreviated)

So, lemme make sure I got this right. If I go to church every week, do my Bible studies, do my work, then God, you’ll provide for all my needs and everyone is going to look at me and see how much you blessed me? No enemies, all the food and drink I can handle, lots of honor. I can do that! I like this part! Bring on the blessings especially the part about walking with my head held high! Pride! I’m good at that one!

Then Jesus came….and in Mark we learn its not EXACTLY as clear cut as it seems here.

Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him, “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

Mark 10:35

It may as well have said, “Theresa” in that verse, because so many times, I go to the Lord saying that I want God to do whatever I want, when I want it, how I want it. Ugh.

What do you want me to do for you?” He asked.

vs 36

Jesus had told them for the 3rd time that they were on their way up to Jerusalem so that he could be handed over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law who would condemn him to death. Then Jesus predicted that the elders would hand him over to the Gentiles, who would mock him, spit on him, flog him and kill him.

So what was this brilliant request that the sons of Zebedee had for Jesus?

They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”

You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?

“We can,” they answered.

vs 37-39

Apparently my friends James & John didn’t hear what Jesus said. Spit on? Flogging? Mocking? They must be living in some kind of denial or something. Who would have signed up for that?

Or maybe they just didn’t understand the gravity of what following Christ is.

There are real persecutions being done against people who accept Christ as their savior. Like REAL persecutions happening, and like RIGHT NOW.…in today’s time. I hear about people being imprisoned and persecuted in foreign lands, and I just can’t wrap my mind around that. I knew a priest one time many years ago, that had to escape from Vietnam because of his decision to Christianity. It took him 3 times to escape….the first two times they hung him upside down and flogged the bottoms of his feet so he wouldn’t be able to run. But he kept going, and finally made it to the U.S. where his reward was that he didn’t see his family for a couple of decades. Must have been worth it though, right?

In the U.S. we have it fairly easy and available to follow Christ. Sometimes though its not comfortable because of the ridicule or censorship we experience on social media or amongst the “crowd”. Family members sometimes reject our beliefs, possibly even the family members we give birth to or those who gave birth to us. Even those who are raised in a Christian home sometimes grow up to think their parents are off their rocker. Sadly, this includes those of us who celebrate the Sabbath and those of us who don’t have golden calves and set the example of living life following God. Sometimes the free will God offers doesn’t feel so great to those who get rejected.

When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave to all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Mark 10:41-45

Dear Lord, it is so easy for me to get all wrapped up in my pride, thinking I deserve to be respected, appreciated, valued, looked up to, etc, for all that I do and have done for people. I act just as “entitled” as others forgetting that the only reason I am sitting here in this chair surrounded by these blessings of people, places and things is because YOU Lord, paid the ultimate sacrifice for my sinfulness. Long before I was even born, you paid full ransom for my soul. Often times, I feel rejected and unvalued for all that I have “done” and will do, but really, they are nothing. I’m sorry for my prideful demands of what “you can do for me“. I pray that you take this heart of stone within me and turn it to a heart of flesh in order for me to be the servant you need to draw people closer to you. Thank you for healing my heart and mind this morning and using the Word to draw me closer to You.

I pray for the person reading these words this morning, that they would be convicted of all that you have done for them. Help each person wrap their mind around the sacrifice you made for us.

What can I pray for you today?

Jesus does hear our prayers, and he wants to answer them. What requests do you have of Him today?

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