Matthew 24:42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” I had a soccer coach growing up named Jack Lis. His constant screaming left him short a few vocal chords and the permanent wad of tobacco in his cheek made for dark projectiles when he released his expletives. I had never experienced that sort of intensity when I came under his coaching care at the age of 8. One of Coach Lis’ favorite sayings (or shoutings) was “CRUSH YOUR OPPONENT WITH ANTICIPATION!!!” He taught us to keep our feet moving, our eyes scouring, and our minds projecting on where the ball could be headed next. His attitude of anticipation led to many championships. Jesus told us thousands of years ago to be ready for his return. His point was not that he’d come back tomorrow and in fact he stated many times that no one could know the day. His point was that an attitude of anticipation leads to victory on the battlefield. Lord, I love you. I pray that I have an attitude of anticipation today. I pray that I keep my feet moving, my eyes scouring and my mind projecting on where the ball is headed. For the enemy prowls like a roaring lion. Thank you that there is already victory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Mark 5:22 “Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. He pleaded earnestly with him, “my little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” Since my father was diagnosed with cancer last year, I’ve been scouring scriptures for any clues on how I can help my dad. I feel today’s passage provides a very clear blueprint on how to heal your family. The first thing Jairus did was to come into Jesus’ presence. Then he fell at Jesus’ feet to humble himself and lift up his Lord. Then he begged Jesus to come and heal his daughter, and of course, Jesus obliged.
Come… Fall… Beg… It’s that simple. So many times we get that order wrong and just beg first. I remember in quarantine our youngest boy Nate Nate just started throwing a fit from the other room (“I WANT TO TAKE A BATH WITH MAMA!!!!!”) Of course I was concerned, and of course I wanted to sort him out, but because he hadn’t approached his request properly, I knew it was actually bad for him if I granted his wish. It would make him spoiled, teach him bad manners, and ultimately bring him further away from loved ones. If he had just come into the same room, humbled himself and then asked (“apa, can I please have take a bath with mama?”) then of course I’d grant him his request. I want Nate Nate to be happy more than he wants himself to be happy. I want him to have that bath more than he wants to have it. In the same way I know my father in heaven wants to grant me the desires of my heart even more than I want them to be granted. Yet so many times I just beg for outcomes, without taking the time to really come into his presence and humble myself. Lord I align my heart with yours today. I come into your presence and fall at your feet. I worship you God. I know that you’re a loving father who only has the best in store for me. I know the battle has been won, the war has been won, because of what you’ve already done on the cross. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Matthew 20:27 “Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant.” When I had my first orientation session with the Young President’s Organization, I was surprised to hear the chapter chair espousing servant leadership as a core value of YPO globally. “Isn’t servant leadership a Christian value?” I thought to myself. I had never heard of it outside of a church context. In “Who is This Man?” John Ortberg says it this way. “Humility, which was scorned in the ancient world, became enshrined in a cross and was eventually championed as a virtue.” The playbook for power had everything to do with force and dominance before Jesus’ time, but came and showed a different way. Now even in what is widely known as the premier leadership organization in the world… an organization that is very much a secular organization, we can still see the fingerprints of this man. Lord I love you and I thank you for showing the way. Power does not come from flaunting authority, but from demonstrating humility. I humble myself as I lift you up today. Help me to be more kind and loving to those around me. In your son’s name, Amen.