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The Most Costly Seating
by Pastor Timothy Burdick

Please compare these two passages of scripture: "even when we were dead in trespasses, (He) made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus"(Ephesians 2:5-7).
Then Luke 14:8-11 quotes Jesus as saying, "When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; and he who invited you and him come and say to you, 'Give place to this man,' and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, 'Friend, go up higher.' Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

When you go to any kind of event, many times what you are able to see depends on the amount you can pay. Fortunately, this is not the case when it comes to our lives in Christ, for the believers status is based upon Christ's riches, and His alone. He has paid for our seating in full. As we abide in Christ, we can know His mind, and obtain His viewpoint.

Why then you ask, don't more people realize this abundant life of joy and exaltation in Christ? It is because in God's economy, before He can give you a higher seat, you must be willing to take the lowest.

Sadly though, even in many so called Christian circles, this concept is not popular. And in the church at large, many times the idea of humility is shunned. Often we talk about being children of the King to the exclusion of suffering for and with Christ. But the Bible teaches that we are pilgrims in this world, and therefore cannot put our hope in it.

True, there is that final exaltation that all believers look forward to, when we will see Christ face-to-face. The Bible calls this the “blessed hope” and it is what gives us strength to go on to face both life's highs and lows.

It is my contention therefore, because of this hope, that joy and exaltation can be experienced in this life each day. Many times joy comes through suffering. If we are true followers of His, we can know this joy that will lift us over circumstances. To experience true joy, however, we cannot spurn the road less traveled. Instead of looking for ways to exalt ourselves, we must be willing to walk in lowliness of mind exalting God, and through prayer leave the outcome of difficult situations to Him. If we exalt ourselves, Jesus tells us that further humility will follow.  Conversely however, if we practice Christ's rules for living, we will experience a new freedom to be secure in Christ; freedom from being obsessed by status; and freedom to be conformed into His image rather than being controlled by the world.

So I would like to challenge you today, whatever your situation may be, to take the lowly seat that Christ paid for, for it is the most costly one in the house, and remember that the purpose of your life is to point others to Christ. Let His view become yours as you meditate upon His Word. By doing this your problems may not become smaller, but your concept of God will grow larger, and a new peace will fill your heart.

Thank you for reading this, and May God bless you.

Visit Pastor Timothy at New Vision Ministries website www.mynvm.org

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