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::Devotional:: ‘I am Second – Pete Briscoe’

August 5, 2009

Picture 1Pete Briscoe was motivated by the desire to succeed.  When people would ask him as child, “What do you want to be when you grow up”, his answer was always the same, “I want to be the best”.  Pride became first in his life.  Even as a pastor, his desire to succeed and be recognized consumed him to the point of exhaustion.  Could he always be the best?  Was he a failure when he wasn’t the best?  Pride had imprisoned him and what he thought would fulfill him actually emptied him.  Take a few minutes, watch the video, and come back to join me for some time in the Word.

After The Video

Pete’s struggle is common to many Christians.  There’s a push to be stronger, better, to move faster, to think quicker, to produce more, to lead, to forge your own path, to be original, to be significant, to make a difference, and to matter.  All those things promote self and they are powered by pride, yet they are not possible for one individual.  Nobody can be the best in all things.  Pete said, “I think the emptiness happens when you get to the place that you thought would make you happy and you discover it doesn’t.  Or, when you continually strive to get to that place but never reach it.”

As Christians, it is our savior, the Lord Jesus that is the best.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For by him all things were created:  things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  And he is the head of the body, the church’ he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.  For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.  Colossians 1:15-20

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  he was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of men.  the light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.  John 1:5

We serve a God who desires to bring glory to himself.  I heard someone say that when you are the God of the universe there is nothing to promote but yourself and you have that right as the supreme creator of all things.  If that is true, and I believe it is, then God looks to our lives as opportunities to bring glory to himself.  In fact, he examines our lives to look for areas where we are weak, so that his strength might be recognized.

My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.  2 Corinthians 12:9

If there is one person in my life who knows the true extent of my weaknesses it is going to be God.  He knows me because He is the creator and I am the creation.  I am often quick to bring my struggles before the Lord but I am even quicker to try to endure them by my own strength.  Therein lies the issue.

When we attempt to live independent we deceive ourselves into thinking we have everything under control.  If we can achieve “success” in teaching a Sunday school class when all we do is read the call and responses from a curriculum book we just looked over Sunday morning before leaving for church; what motivation do we have to spend time studying and preparing our heart and mind to teach the next Sunday morning?  I believe the answer is that we don’t have any motivation to study.  Our success (the end) justifies how we study (the means).  But according to God’s Word, this attitude is detestable to him.  One of my favorite radio pastors, Dr. J. Vernon McGee once said,  “a prideful heart is a heart that declares it can live a life on its own without God.”

So where does that leave us?  Are we motivated by a prideful heart or a humble one?  Are we striving to achieve out of our own efforts or are we attempting to become involved in things we know only God could help us do?  Wherever you are today, be purposeful and put Christ first in your life.  Set out this day to say, “I am Second.”

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7-

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