Others Devotional, volume 8
The “Ultimate” for Others by Dennis Rietema
Scripture: “He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.’” Mark 16:15
“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” 1 Peter 3:15
I had two grandmas. With one I had a close relationship; with the other, merely cordial, out of respect/obedience to my mom. The former was a saint of saints, and a biased argument can be made that she wasn’t affected by “The Fall.” The other was, well, normal. Grandma # 1 felt comfortable. She was the type of person that everyone admired; she was ALWAYS doing something for others – she was so nice that everyone bawled like a baby at her funeral and I still miss her to this day. The close grandma was the Ultimate “for others” grandma.
But here’s the thing. Both of my grandmas were blessed by God’s grace and had a genuine Christian faith. They both understood the Great Commission and tried to do their part in their little communities and churches. You can guess which one would call us when a Billy Graham crusade was on TV and tell us to turn the channel to thus-andsuch, (we only had three back then). Or which one was most hospitable and had missionaries stay over when they were on furlough. Both grandmas knew the gospel; one lived it more than the other.
How about you? I know that you have heard the gospel many times. But when was the last time you shared it? (When was the FIRST time you shared it?) TO PONDER: Of all the commitments you make in life it comes down to the “Big Three” questions: 1.) IF you haven’t already, will you commit yourself to be a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ? 2.) Should you decide to get married, who will you spend your life with? 3.) What vocation will you pursue in life? Everything else is secondary; even #s 2 & 3 are distant from # 1, which are in rank order.
Let’s be honest, for your parents and for you, this institution with the name Central Valley Christian School is not just a place to get an education from a Christian perspective; it exists to prepare you for “the good life” of taking over the family business, or going on to higher education to get that degree to have that wonderful life with a lot of material blessings, right? (For some the latter may be more important than the biblical mandate.)
You need to understand that when called to be a Christian, you are expected to be a disciple. It actually means to be a rescuer and discipler like Christ did for the Twelve. If you intend to remain a disciple for life then you are called to be a discipler for life. So then, praying for others, (remember the devotional by Mr. Wojczynski), building bridges of love and concern for others, and sharing the gospel with others is a lifetime commitment. (Remember the challenge at chapel with Pastor Caruthers when he said we are called to point people to the cross.) I challenge you to bump # 2 above # 3 and in second place, go out and make disciples for His Kingdom and for His glory, no matter who you may marry or what your occupation might be. “What? Me? I’m only in MS/HS!” You can be absolutely sure that God plans for you to do so. Why? God commands it, and you will always have people around you who need to hear how to be rescued and discipled. Don’t sell yourself short and fall back on your youthfulness, or assume this calling is limited to missionaries/evangelists. YOU CAN DO THIS! The apostle Paul told Timothy not to let anyone look down on him because he was young. This is applicable to you as well. Should you ditch your dreams then and forget about a career? Of course not! Your career really isn’t the big picture. The real task is to do God’s will and be an ”Ultimate Others” kind of person. Commit to it in this stage of your life as you continue forward. God WILL bless that effort, more than you can realize; it’s promised in the WORD and mandated by him (see above verses). Whose words are these? (These are the very words of………?)
Prayer: Lord, help us to live our lives for others. Empower us to disciple others with your truth by how we live our lives. Give us strength to live “Ultimately for others.” In your name, Amen.
About the Author: Dennis Rietema has been teaching and and working in administration for many years, at many schools, and has had myriad experiences. He has been blessed with a wonderful wife, children and grandchildren. He strives to serve God in the Kingdom, and when he fails, he is assured by God’s faithfulness and grace to keep striving to the end.