“Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org/
The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie
“Homily Grits Devotional” http://www.homilygrits.com/
“The Greatest Christian I Know” by Unshakable Hope (Bill Sweeney)
Who is the greatest Christian you know?
I will give my answer to that question at the end of this post.
I realize that questions such as this could be classified by some as judging others. But the Bible does tell us to “test ourselves” (2 Corinthians 13:5) and to test spiritual claims and people (1 John 4:1 & Revelation 2:2). The Bible also gives us attributes to look for when conducting these examinations of ourselves and others.
Here are some of the attributes (of great Christians) that I’ve found in the Bible:
- Compassionate, Kind, Humble, Gentle, Patient, Bearing the burdens of others and Forgiving (Colossians 3:12-13)
- Encouraging and Building-up others (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
- A reader and a “doer” of God’s word (James 1:22).
- Hospitable, Sensible, Just, Devout and Self-controlled (Titus 1:8).
- Loving, Joyful, Peaceful, Faithful (Galatians 5:22)
- Prayerful, Thankful (to God and others) and Hopeful (Colossians 1:3-5).
If you tested yourself by the above criteria and concluded that you deserve an A+ on every one these virtues, you’re either delusional or off-the-charts self-righteous. Everyone, even the person I chose as “The Greatest Christian I Know,” struggle with some of these.
But, according to Jesus, a truly great Christian possesses one quality that sets them apart; “But the greatest among you shall be your servant.” (Matthew 23:11)
When I read passages like the following, I think of caregivers; “For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me…to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least [most helpless] of them, you did it to Me.” (Matthew 25:35-40)
I think of people like my sister and her husband who care for their 18 year-old severely Autistic son. People like my mother-in-law who took care of her ill husband until he recently passed away. And even paid caregivers, like the woman that helps Mary take care of me, qualify as “Great” in my book.
But the Greatest all-around Christian I know is Mary, my wife and best friend of 28 years. Since being diagnosed with ALS years-ago, she’s also been my full-time caregiver. She is the best example I know of a truly selfless servant.
And, no, I didn’t just choose her as the greatest Christian out of fear that she’d stop feeding and clothing me.
“…whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…” (Matthew 20:26-28)
P.S. Bill Sweeney is the most courageous Christian I know… Diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) back in 1996…Bill now only has the use of his eyes, which he uses to still glorify God through his writing, by typing one letter at a time with an “eye gaze computer”… Here is the link to read more about this special friend of mine… http://unshakablehope.wordpress.com/about/
Blessings in Christ, bruce r mills