A few years after I became a Christian, I was driving home from work, and the
Lord said to me, "John, do you know I esteem you better than Myself!" I could
not believe what I had heard Him say. How could He esteem me better than
Himself? He was the One who created the heavens and earth. He is God! So I said
to Him, "Lord, I cannot accept this unless You give me three scriptures out of
the New Testament to confirm what You are saying to me." He did not rebuke me,
because out of the mouth of two or three witnesses every word is established. So
He said, "What does Philippians chapter 2 say?" I opened the Bible and read as
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself (Philippians 2:3).
The Lord said, "There is your first scripture." I responded, "Lord, You're speaking of Your relationship to me. Paul was writing the Philippian Christians and telling them to esteem each other better than themselves." He responded, "John, I don't ever tell My children to do anything I do not do Myself." That is why there are so many problems in Christian homes. The parents tell their children not to behave a certain way and yet do it themselves. We tell our children not to fight and then we fight ourselves. Then our actions speak louder than our words, and children grow up imitating what they see rather than what is taught. I still wasn't too sure about this so I said, "That is only one scripture. You still need to give me two more!"
He then said, "John, who hung on the cross, Me or you?" I melted when He said that. He said, "I hung on the cross bearing your sins, your sicknesses and diseases, your poverty, your judgment, because I esteemed you better than myself!" He never committed any sin. As a matter of fact, He did not even have to come to earth. He could have let us all go to the everlasting lake of fire with the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41) . He came not for Himself but for us! The following were the second and third scriptures:
Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness-by whose stripes you were healed (1 Peter 2:24).
Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another (Romans 12:10).
He said, "John, I am `the first born of many brothers"' (Romans 8:29). I did not realize the depth of His love until then. I knew then, if only one person had been lost, He would have willingly come and done the same thing. This kind of love is the foundation of the kingdom of God. It is what we are to be rooted in and how we are to treat each other!
Bevere, John. The Voice of one Crying. Apopka: Messenger Press, 1993, p. 122-123.
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