Although we as Christians would give assent to the words of Jesus, there is something about His Kingdom which is entirely beyond us, even contrary to us. Contrary to our vision of a kingdom, contrary to our desires, contrary to everything we value and strive for, contrary to our self absorbed and self obsessed Facebooking and tweeting, contrary to the very core of our livelihood and existence. Jesus Christ dared us to look in the mirror and to despise all that we love and admire. He dares us yet to abhor the attention we crave, and to resist the “likes” and “comments” and self aggrandizement of our faux persona that we so carefully put forward as an object of worship. Jesus said if someone wishes to be first, desires a position of admiration, and seeks to be in a place of preeminence, they must debase their pride, they must lower themselves, they must humbly bow before others in service. Serving others in service to their King; for in the Kingdom of Christ, the one who would take the lowest place will receive the highest place, a place near the King Himself. And this is just the problem we face. We do not love the King (He said, “If anyone loves Me, He will keep My word.”), we do not seek His Kingdom (He said to make it our first priority.), and we have yet to consider bowing the knee before Him. Today too many of those who would so easily profess their faith in Christ, do not so easily follow Him, let alone obey Him. While many wear their faith on their sleeve as a badge of honor on social media, they would not naturally consider humility and service as a way of life, proven usually by their last post.
And yet, there are some people who live their lives for others in such a complete and sacrificial way that it gives great testimony to the words of Christ when He said, “The last shall be first” in the kingdom. Jesus Himself washed the feet of His own disciples, and in doing so said that His disciples should take note, and do this for one another. In other words, Jesus expects that His disciples would be those who humbly serve.
My Aunt Janet was one whose life testified clearly of her love for the Savior. She was a faithful Christian in the purest sense of the word. She loved her family and cared for them with every breath. She was faithful to every church she was ever a part of. She read her Bible to hear His voice. She prayed to find His will. She played her church's piano for Him. She cooked and cleaned for Him. She worked herself to exhaustion for Him. She helped her children and was ever there for them, for Him. She took care of her grandchildren for Him. She was the first to give, the first to serve, the first work, the first to love; she was indeed the servant of all. Her life was not the easiest, and sometimes it was very hard. She was often pulled away from those she loved. Pulled away from her parents and sisters and brother. Pulled away from churches. Pulled away from her kids. As much as she loved her kids and grandkids it seemed she was ever removed from them. Finally, she found a place where she had a church to minister in, and most of her kids and grandkids close. Family is not always easy, as everyone knows, but Aunt Janet gave herself to the end to those she loved. Regardless of what trial she was face with, or what hardship she was forced to endure, she radiated the joy of the Lord, and did all to the glory of God. She was the one Jesus spoke of, she was the one who served all, and who was promised the highest place in the Savior’s Kingdom.
Two years ago her life suddenly ended. Her loss left us gasping for air, wondering how she could be gone so soon. We weren’t ready to say goodbye; but such is often the case with those we love most. We are never ready to say goodbye to the dearest and most precious people in our lives. Yet, we must go back to the words of Jesus, and think of her place with Him. As the servant of all she knew and who knew her, is she not the first in His Kingdom? Is she not a crowned princess at the Her Savior’s side? I can see her now, and she is not alone. As she breathed her last in this dark and sinful world, her eyes blinked in bright lights of glory, her eyes straining to see the glory of the Kingdom. The King Himself welcomed her home and held her in His arms. Can you see her kiss the scars in His hands? I’m sure she jumped up and down and screamed when behind Him she caught a glimpse of her mom and dad. So much time lost on earth only to be made up in eternity! She ran to them, and I bet grandpa picked her up and twirled her around like she was a little girl. And grandma, still getting used to Heaven herself, probably said, “Dolly, what are you doing here? I’m so glad to see you!” And then came others. Gummie and Gumpy, her grandparents. And even a pair of twins greeted their mother for the first time! What a reunion if there ever was one! After spending so much time apart, now they will always be together. And all to the glory of the King she served and loved! Her place in His Kingdom is a high position where people like Jerry and Wanda Osborne sit and reign with their beloved Lord. Her position is of the highest in the Kingdom, reserved for those who took the lowest place down here on earth. Her poverty is replaced by riches; her sorrow overshadowed by her joy; her service has given way to her reign with Christ. She will now be served by angels, and ministered by spirits of flame. She will now sit with the King, while others who were masters on earth will take their place beneath her. Oh, let us learn from Janet Ruth and serve the King while it is day, for the night is coming when no one can work.
Yes, Heaven is the great equalizer, and Jesus makes all things new and puts everything right. Aunt Janet is right where she belongs, in the company of those to whom she is most dear, with those that love her, and with the King who gave Himself for her. And all I can say to that is Maranatha! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
In : Meditations
Tags: aunt janet heaven
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