The Greedy Goat

Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "God Of Grace And God Of Glory"1 (Lyrics)

Marshall, our goat, is a greedy goat. Whenever I throw scraps or take treats into the corral, he rushes ahead of everyone else and gobbles down as much as he can as quickly as he can. When Frank, the horse, and Lily and Agnes, our other two goats, arrive, he pushes and shoves them away, while still frantically gobbling tidbits. If I am not careful, he will not hesitate to bowl me over in his pursuit of what I may have in my pocket or hand. He never stops to consider the interests of the others in the corral. He thinks only of himself. But then again, he is a goat.

We, however, are not goats, and thus should not act like goats, greedy and concerned only about ourselves. Here is what God calls us to do:

Philippians 2:3-4 – Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. (NIV)

Mmmm, now that is really a truth worth thinking about, isn't it! For such a truth challenges us to take time each and every day to think of someone other than ourselves and to consider all that we may be doing and whom it is benefitting: ourselves and only ourselves? Or ourselves as well as others?

It even challenges us to consider others better than ourselves. Wow! Now there's a summons to stop us in our tracks. After all, who of us automatically considers that the views or ways of others might be better than our own views and ways of doing things?

Yet, this is what God calls us to do, every day. And the only way that we can possibly do this is, as today's verse says, "but in humility …".

Humility stands back. Humility doesn't rush forward and assert itself to get the best for itself. Humility has enough faith to know that God will provide all our needs as we consider the needs of others first, just as Christ did, when He chose to humble Himself, leave the glories of heaven, and become obedient to death — even death on a cross — in service to fallen mankind: including you and me.

In the end, humility lifts us up. It lifts us up out of our sin when we trust Christ as our Saviour and Lord. It keeps lifting us up as we obey Him, for by doing so we become more like Him, which in turn transforms us to be able to consider not only our own interests but the interests of others, each day. Humility turns us from greedy goats into the sheep of God's pasture. As children of the King, we feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, invite the stranger in, clothe the naked, care for the sick, and visit those in prison.

In the very end, when the Son of Man comes in His glory and all His angels with Him, it leads us into the gates of eternity and the reward that awaits the humble of heart.

Prayer: Lord, continue to motivate each of us toward humility by spurring us on to obedience in You. Help us to offer our hearts and minds and wills afresh to You each and every morning, knowing that Your ways and thoughts are far superior to ours and are worthy of our humble obedience, which in turn transforms us to consider not only our own interests but the interests of others as well. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <lynnephippsatlin@gmail.com>
Tawatinaw, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Learning! Thanks for reminder.


    This is a beautiful message and I give thanks.


    I enjoyed your meditation today. Thanks for it.


    Good one Lynne.
    (New Hampshire, USA)


    Good afternoon, Lynne,
    Thank you for those good words.
    Thank you.


    Thank you for giving an excellent example of how ugly the lack of humility looks and reminding me again of all the ways our Lord Jesus demonstrated THE WAY for us to follow.


    Hi Lynne,
    Once more you hit the mark with this devotional. Thank you….and are the goats going with you when you move?


    Thanks, Lynne.
    Always good to hear about Marshall, Frank and the others!! There are some very good lessons that they teach!


    Hi Lynne,
    Your devotional today really spoke to me. It challenged me to examine my thoughts and actions. Thank you.


    I just love your stories, Lynn. It’s such a delight to read to be able to read them with morning coffee. I usually print them off and post on our bulletin board at Church. Thank you and God Bless!


    Dear Lynne:
    I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your writings for the Daily Readings.
    I always know it is you before I see your name as you refer to your animals and gracefully lead into scripture.
    Thank you for your encouragements and long may you continue to write.
    Blessings.


    Dear Lynne, the moment I read the title of today’s devotional, I knew it was one from you. I always enjoy the way you interweave actions of your pets with human activity. Humility is certainly a much-needed action today in the present world. Our Lord certainly is the one who showed the greatest humility to mankind. Blessings for these very thoughtful writings you do.


    Good morning, Lynne,
    A great message and a very descriptive passage of Marshall’s natural instinct. If we want to be God’s sheep, we need to remember as you remind us to put others before ourselves and serve God.
    The hymn echoes your message well. I need God’s grace everyday and am grateful that it is available to us. I am happy that I live in a country where I can freely worship God in all His Glory.
    I loved the title and I am not sure why it brought a smile to my face as I read it. Funny how our minds work. Blessings and I hope you enjoy your day as you put others before yourself. Blessings.


    Lynne, I want to thank you for today’s meditation and all the meditations you write. They are truly thought-provoking. More than that, they move the hearts of those who read them to draw near to the might God we worship in reverence and humility.
    I am impressed with your meditations. I am also impressed with you and the stand you have taken in regard to that denomination and the road of apostasy it has chosen. You have put your life and ministry on the line by stepping away from the sure provision that was yours there. While so many Evangelicals in that denomination waffle, you have chosen to follow the Lord in the only true path forward. I only wish that more ministers and congregations would have the courage of their convictions that you have shown. You have taken the difficult step of putting your faith in the One Francis Schaeffer called “The God Who Is There”. Yours has been a true step of faith. May God bless you abundantly and supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
    (ON)


    Hi Lynne,
    WOW! what a fantastic devotional! So glad we did not miss it.
    Many thanks!


    Dear Lynne,
    What an active lead into humility. Well put all the way. Thank you for bringing that concept forward for us to think about and act on. Your animals give such great examples for what not to do.


    Thanks, Lynne. I love the glimpses into your life within your devotionals.
    This is an interesting view of humility in the paragraph that begins: In the end, humility lifts us up. It lifts us up out of our sin when we trust Christ as our Saviour and Lord. Definitely something to think about.


    Lynne, thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. Blessings.

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