This whole thing called Christianity is about laying down our lives for one another, not who’s coming out ahead, who builds the biggest buildings, who owns the most land, or who has the biggest ministry. Believe me, my friends; all of that stuff is going to burn. Everything that can be shaken will be shaken so that only that which can remain will remain. Jesus said, "If you want to be great in My kingdom, then you must learn to be a servant to all."
It’s more about washing feet than shining armor. We’re to put on the servant’s apron and wash the feet of others. That’s a sign of leadership. Jesus also said, “This you have, you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.” As you may know, “Nico” is where “Nike” is derived from, which means, “to conquer or control,” and that was directed towards the laity.
I’m not saying that we don’t need strong leadership; we do! We need courageous leadership, but we don’t need manipulation or ungodly control. That’s not how the Kingdom of God functions. Oh yes, you can do many things in the name of the Lord operating under the guise of leadership . . . there’s all kinds of manipulations and control that go on, but it’s not of the right spirit. It doesn’t come from the heart of the servant. At that point, it’s not about washing feet, it’s about making me look good. We need to get to the place of “me looking good in the eyes of others” is not the most important thing to us.
I want to be right with God, and if I’m right with God, I don’t have to care what other people think about me. It really doesn’t matter. I don’t say that in a cocky, arrogant manner. It’s just that I’ve been delivered from man’s opinion of me. I simply want to be right with God! If I’m right with God, there will be some folks who like that, some will be turned off by it, and others could care less.
When I stand before my Lord and Savior, I want to hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” I’m not here for the accolades of men. Oh, I can receive them; I had to learn how to receive compliments. You know, some people in ministry can’t even receive a compliment. “Oh, that was a good sermon, Sister.” “It was all Jesus; it was all Jesus.” I finally got to where I could say, “Thank you. I appreciate hearing that from you.” Some of us get so spiritual that we can’t even handle getting a compliment from somebody! We don’t know how to handle situations in life, so we get all woo woo.
Jesus says, “You’ve hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans.” In other words, “You don’t like control freaks, and I don’t either.” That’s the basic summation of what Jesus said regarding those who were trying to conquer, manipulate, and control others. Jesus said, “I hate them, too.” Hey, I didn’t say it, Jesus did. It’s even in red print in one of my Bibles.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” He’s talking to the churches, the people of God, the bride of Christ, the saints, to you and me! “To him who overcomes, I will give to him to eat from the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” Therefore, the question that we ought to routinely ask ourselves is, “Have I fallen from my first love?” May we first establish who our first love is. I could ask some of you about your first love, and you’d think I was asking about your junior high school sweetheart.
For the Christian, I’m talking about Jesus. It would serve us well to do a little self-examination from time-to-time. We don’t have to get all giddy and be like, “Ooooh, I’ve been with Jesus; I can’t wait, I can’t wait.” It’s okay to get emotional, but that’s not necessarily evidence of a love for Jesus. The question is: Have I left my first love?
Grace and peace,