Standard Bearer #11. “What do you have that you did not receive?”

Standard Bearer #11. “What do you have that you did not receive?”

Gaining the whole world is something that none of us will achieve, but many will die trying.

Bargaining your soul for the things of this world is casting the only thing you have of value to the wind.

Since time immemorial one man has looked to the wealth of another and believed himself to be inferior without it. You would think that a wander through a cemetery would bring him to his senses. For it is there, in a strange sense of irony, that all men are valued exactly alike by the servants of nature that consume them.

Christians sitting in padded pews believing that their social advantages give them greater standing before God do well to check themselves before it is too late. There is no room for pride in the Christian and the church. Instead, Jesus demonstrates the true spirit of humility and sacrifice:

“He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8NLT).

Human beings are very good at finding ways to inflate their own sense of importance. In fact, there is a whole industry dedicated to self-improvement. Not that there is anything wrong with improvements that make the individual more useful for Jesus, but when self-improvement is all about the self, it ends in spiritual impoverishment.

God knows what he is doing. He put the Holy Spirit into you at baptism and has commanded you to walk and pray in that self-same Spirit. Thus, your whole life is lived out in the presence of God. Therefore, it is ridiculous to claim that we have anything of value to God and His church that we haven’t received from Him.

“For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” (1 Corinthians 4:7).

John Staiger


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