I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, does not acknowledge our authority. So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church. 3 John 9-10
Dear Lord Jesus, how humbling—being chronicled in the Bible, by name, as someone “who loves to be first.” Yikes… I don’t know the circumstances, but Diotrephes’ story certainly invites me to look at mine. Jesus, please convict me and free me from the ways I too love and seek to be first.
In my church family—when I take more than I give; am more likely to complain about the music than serve the members; criticize the sermons more than I pray for my pastor.
In the general population—when I rush through the day, “to-do-list-driven,” with little eye contact, and no obvious effort to extend your welcome to others.
In my vocation—when fellow workers experience me as more preoccupied with my success, than dedicated to caring and serving as a member of a team.
In my marriage—when I’m more aware of the things that annoy and disappoint me than I’m committed to encouraging and serving, listening and loving my spouse.
In my friendships—when my “need” to be remembered and appreciated, is more pronounced than my commitment to stay in touch with, pray for, and serve my friends.
Lord Jesus, have mercy on me. You didn’t consider your equality with God something to be held onto for personal gain. You’ve never loved to be first. Rather, you emptied yourself as the quintessential Servant—serving us by your life, death, and resurrection (Phil. 2:1-11). Now, you ever live to serve us as our Advocate, Intercessor, and Bridegroom.
Your unimaginable humility, unparalleled servanthood, and immeasurable love convict me to the core. Restore my first love for you, Jesus that my “me-first-ness” will decrease until the Day it dies. So very Amen I pray, in your merciful and matchless name.