A few weeks ago, I heard one of the best messages in my life given by John Snelgrove, one of the founding pastors of The Vine in Hong Kong. When he opened with the statement, “One of the greatest dangers today in the Kingdom of God is jealousy”, I knew it’s gonna be a great message 🙂
He shared briefly a recent experience he had with a local church leader who was throwing shades to another church by saying, “Yeah, their church is growing, but _____________…”
“Get off your ‘buts’!” said Pastor John (directed to us obviosuly, not to that leader).
That’s right. I am also tired of the many “but”s in which complaints and mockery always follow. As someone who likes to follow ministry leaders on social media, I have been shocked by the lack of grace many times. Is not honouring and speaking well of one another a teaching of the Lord?
Drawing from Matthew 20 and Phillip Yancey’s well-known book What’s So Amazing About Grace, John left us with two incredible lessons:
1) When we are jealous about others, we are actually jealous about God’s generosity;
2) Develop this mindset when you are still young: don’t get caught up in the world’s ranking, for the way the world ranks men is not how God’s Kingdom works.
After the message, some visitors decided to put their faith in Christ. What followed was a beautiful communion. John said, “Many church services often let the pastors, deacons, and elders take the bread and wine first, but today, we will do something different: we will serve these new ones first.” The new believers were then served bread and wine. Meanwhile, he also asked the Philippino sisters, who laboured six days a week as maids, to partake of the bread and wine before the rest of us did. This “reversed” kind of serving expresses the beauty of Matthew 20:16, “So the last will be first, and the first last.”
May we learn to honour one another!