The Last Shall Be First

(Matthew 20:16).

The other day, I relived a memory: I was five years old. My family was at a festival where they invited all five-year old children to enter a race. My daddy registered me to run in this race.

When the whistle blew I hardly knew in which direction to run, but the little boys and girls to the right and left of me shot forward like bullets aimed at a target and ran with all their might. I came in last.

The other day, this same memory was triggered when I looked around me at all the people who were running the race of success, acclaim, and accolades. I could not keep up with them. Time after time I came in last. Feeling forsaken and forgotten, I submitted my defeat to God: “Save me, Lord Jesus. I am tired of running the race of success. I am always last.”

Suddenly, I was five years old again, running the race at the festival, trying in vain to keep up with my fast and furious competitors. Then, with the eyes of my heart, I spotted Him—the Lord Jesus. He was sitting next to the race track, beckoning me to quit the race and come to Him, instead. When I reached Him, He placed me on His knee. Then He whispered lovingly, “Beloved Child, I love you so much. I am so proud of you for WHO YOU ARE. You do not have to prove yourself to Me by WHAT YOU DO. I already know you. Only do the things I tell you to do. That is all I want from you. In the world’s eyes, you might not be important, but in My eyes, those who are last will be first.”

Then, for the first time, I saw that the Lord Jesus was sitting with His back to the finish line. He was not at all interested in the winners that were competing for accolades and acclaim. In fact, He did not even know who was first, because He was not even looking. He was only interested in a relationship with me.

How have you fared in the race for accolades and acclaim, so far? Are you first, or have you been coming in last, most of the time?

I urge you to bring your needy heart to the Lord Jesus—the needy heart that causes you to want to be first all the time. Find the oppressing beliefs from the father-of-lies that are causing you to look for accolades and acclaim. Then, ask Jesus to exchange these beliefs for His Love.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I am tired of trying to prove myself to You and to the world, over and over again. Help me to quit the race for accolades and acclaim, to come and sit by You, instead. Meet me on the race track, so I may know that You love me just the way I am.

Maintain an Awareness

We run…and run…and run. We run towards bad distractions and destructions like alcohol, drugs, or even crime, or we run towards good distractions like entertainment, or our husbands, wives, friends, or counselors.

The Two Counsels

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