Molding a lump of clay

Molding a lump of clay
I am a work in progress, molded by my Maker, refined by His fire, shaped with His love. Walk the journey with me.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A lion or a lamb? A robe or a towel?

"I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know:
the only ones among you who will be really happy

are those who have sought and found
how to serve."
Albert Schweitzer

I'm not very good at serving.
I want to be, but I tend to have my own agendas, my own timetable, and being task-oriented, I like to get things things. I'm quite happy to help other people, but it's better if it fits in with my plans for the day or the week.

And yet, as followers of Christ, we're supposed to serve others. And as a leader, I'm supposed to be servant-hearted. But to be honest, it's much easier said than done. I'm still trying to figure out how it all works practically.

I've been reading another Darrell W. Johnson book called "Discipleship on the Edge: an expository journey through the book of Revelation." It's fantastic...I highly recommend it. In simple yet profound words, Mr. Johnson unpacks to me what has always been a difficult book to understand, and extracts the beauty of this revelation that John was so honored to receive.

In the discussion of Revelation chapters 4 and 5, Mr. Johnson points out that when John is looking at the throne, he sees One sitting on it holding a scroll which is sealed. An angel asks who is worthy to open the scroll, but there was no one found worthy.

Devastated, John begins to weep, and then one of the elders surrounding the throne tells John to stop weeping, for the Lion has overcome. And he is able to open the scroll.

Yet when John looks back at the throne to see the Lion, what he sees is actually a Lamb, as if slain. Not a powerful victor, but a little slain lamb.

But the lamb has 7 horns and 7 eyes. Horns are the symbol of strength; 7 is the number of completeness. The little Lamb is completely strong.

Eyes are the symbol of wisdom. The little Lamb is completely wise.

The message?

The power that overcomes is the 'weakness' of sacrificial love.

The wisdom that overcomes is the 'foolish
ness' of sacrificial love.

The Lion gets to the throne by being a Lamb.

Jump with me to another book I'm reading called "Cross-cultural Servanthood" (Duane Elmer). He's talking about the Last Supper and the humility Jesus showed when he washed His disciples' feet. The disciples had been arguing about who was the greatest among them, and Jesus showed them it was Him by kneeling before them.

Mr. Elmer contrasts the significance of 'The Robe' or 'The Towel', and reminds us that Jesus, who is worthy to wear the Royal Robe as Lord of Lords, took the towel to highlight His self-chosen role of servant.

The message?

In the world, greatess is judged by the power a person exercises over others.

In the Kingdom of God, greatness is judged by service to people.

As children of the King, we follow Kingdom values.

The Lion gets to the throne by being a Lamb.

We follow Christ by serving others.

What does that look like practically in my daily world? Not sure yet...I'm only on Chapter 3. But I'll post my insights as I get deeper into the book, and highly welcome any feedback from you on the subject.

Servanthood. Sacrificial love. Lofty goals not possible to achieve without His Spirit working in us.

Thank you, Father, that you are with me, and that with you all things are possible.


godsown said...

Good Sunday to you...your devotion came 1st things first accross to me this morning....i was contemplating already some days math 22: 37-39 and your toughts gave me more directions and insights...
I mention your blog in my SupersSunday (a meme at )post of today....
Without the HolySpirit we can't achieve the goals of Servanthood and sacrificial love so true.....

I need to fuel daily myself with focussing on the Lord.....It's not easy bc life can distract me easily....
Conciousely i need to do " a heart check " while serving......if i serve to bring Him honour or that i serve out of obligation/duty

For me prayer and making time for the Lord is the key to give the HolySpirit way and more room in my heart......

Thanks Vicky and blessings to you and your family and on your ministry in Uganda!


Michelle said...

thank you for this post, I was copletely encouraged today!

Shannon said...

This post made me think about a memorable story you shared around our close of service about Ashanti giving matter-of-fact advice-maybe you will remember too. She said you will now have to move to the front seat (literally) to be taken seriously and I remember what a sad, weird dilemma that presented. I don’t think I had any pearls of wisdom for this myself, other than to share the same uneasiness about that model that is not the mind of Christ. The Lord has been faithful to hear our prayers and give wisdom for service that makes much of Him (not me). Have you ever heard or read John Piper’s teaching on the phrase “holy ambition”?