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COME DOWN OFF THE CHAIR

There is a pastor who was once a professor--a very creative professor--at RTS in Jackson, Mississippi. One day he had the responsibility of leading the chapel service. Most of us prepare for chapel messages by Bible study and prayer. This professor prepared by not only those essential undertakings, but he went further. He built a chair to be used as a word picture.

This chair was an oversized chair. Not just a big chair to watch football in, but a big chair that was a caricature of a big chair! If any of you remember Lily Tomlin's "Edith Ann" character, where she dressed in a rag doll outfit and sat in this massive rocking chair, well that is close.

The professor climbed into the chair, and then turned around and situated himself. His feet dangled off of the chair and he kicked them back and forth. Then he said, "Soon many of you will be pastors. You will get to sit in the big chair. You will begin to feel like the king." He went on to show that a pastor who does that looks as foolish as he does.

For Christ gave us another model, the model of a servant, no matter what furniture the church uses. We are just servants. And to walk the Christian life, we need to come down off of the chair:

* The chair of pride, in ourselves, our theology, our place, that keeps us sitting up there, dangling our feet, but failing to get down and reach out to others and walk together in Christ;

* The chair of a self-centered, proud and pompous doctrine that becomes an excuse for holy living, and allows lust to grow where we are crushed by the big chair, and then go and walk away from the old life of sin through the new life of Christ;

* The chair of isolation, that keeps us from applying the love of Jesus we have received to others, in our private lives, our marriages, our families, and our relationship with the world.

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