Sunday, April 17, 2016

Greatest One of Us

Greatest One of Us
April 18, 2016
Matthew 23:11  "The greatest among you will be your servant."

There is no doubt we always want to be bigger and better, to be the best at something.  In order to be the best at something there must be someway to measure that, which is often a comparison against someone else.  If you are better than someone then someone else is not quite as good.  To be the greatest means everyone else is lesser.  I have no delusions of ever being the greatest at something, but I do always want to improve my standing among God and men.  Improving my standing both with God and men come with a completely different set of rules.  God's measurements of being the greatest can often be the antithesis of man's measurements.

Among mankind, you can be perceived as the greatest at something by truly being the best, better than everyone else, proving your skills and talent.  This works well in the sports world, in the corporate world, and in the entertainment world.  A great deal of value is placed on being the best in the world, which often generates the largest paychecks, too.  This is quite impressive to us, as we are fascinated with the lives of those who are considered the greatest.  Impressive it is not, however, in the Lord's eyes.  The Lord doesn't care how great you are among mankind; He cares about how greatly you serve mankind.  Being the best at something doesn't usually serve someone else; it serves yourself.  While we all envy the person who is the greatest, desiring his position, it doesn't actually benefit anyone but that single person.  This is often why being the greatest is so desired, because it serves that one individual very well.  But again, the Lord doesn't care how well that one individual is served, the Lord cares about how well that individual serves others.

Jesus said in order to be the greatest, in a world that truly matters, you must be the greatest at serving others.  In an attempt to be the greatest in the earthly world, it seldom ends up in an act of service.  This becomes opposed to the Lord's desires, and makes you quite possibly the least in His eyes.  If you were to stand with all the people you've ever actually known and the Lord decided to single out the person He would deem the greatest, would He pick you?  Imagine you are in a room with the 100 people you know the most, which one of you would be closest to be the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven?  In your church, among all those in attendance, including the pastor, which person would be considered the greatest in the Lord's eyes?  This person might not actually be the pastor.  This person would be the one whom the Lord recognizes as serving others more than himself.  In all honesty, my guess is we will be shocked at how many pastors will not be among the greatest in Heaven.  But who will that person be, what will that person look like?  I'm not asking because it matters; I'm asking because it is a way to evaluate yourself and myself.  Are either of us even on the list of the top 10?  Top 100?  Top 1000?

If I am of great value at my place of employment it is probably because I'm more skilled at my job than someone else, but this does not translate into being the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven.  I spend a great deal of time working at this, to better myself at my place of employment, because it provides for my family, though this does little to make me the greatest in Heaven.  My end goal, is it to be the great in the eyes of man or great in the eyes of God?  We all should spend far more time trying to be great in the eyes of the Lord, trying to serve the ones the Lord placed in our lives.  This is the only thing that elevates us in a manner worthy of measuring.  I doubt either of us will be the absolute greatest in the kingdom of Heaven, but we should at least give it our best shot.  Are you even trying at this?

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Matt 18:1, Luke 9:46-48, Luke 22:24-27 

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