for what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. [2 corinthians 4:5]
it is amazing how mixed messages can ruin the main message you really want others to hear.
two small examples:
- you want your spouse to know that you love him/her so you tell them often – but your harsh words when you don’t get your way send a mixed message which ruins the main message you want them to hear.
- you want your fellow workers to know you are there for them – but your slow and no response to texts and phone calls send a mixed message which ruins the main message you want them to hear.
the point, we can say one thing and do another thing and ruin the main message we truly want others to hear.
“for what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord”
the person and work of Jesus Christ, was the main message paul wanted others to hear from his life. if he declared Jesus as a self-less, servant king, who gave up his life – only for others to see in him a leader who lorded his authority and power – this would send a mixed message.
“with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.”
so paul, lived the life of a servant leader just like Jesus commanded his followers. (matt 20:25-28) paul, served those he led with his time, his work, and his love. he was a strong leader, but he was also a great servant. these two are not mutually exclusive. matter of truth, Jesus said, if you lived like this, the main message of the gospel, the main message of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection would be heard.
today, read this passage and then take these two questions to the Lord in prayer. may he continue to shape the message of our life to be one clear and resounding message – Jesus!
but Jesus called them to him and said, “you know that the rulers of the gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. it shall not be so among you. but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” [matt 20:25-28]
- Lord, to those i love, lead, and do life with – is my life more defined as a “lord” or a “servant”? (what would they say?)
- Lord, to those i love, lead, and do life with – do i have one clear message – Jesus? (what would they say?)
LORD, make my life one clear message – Jesus! continue to shape my life into your servant who declares you in all i do and say. in Jesus’ name and for Jesus’ sake – amen!
~ john ryan