Today’s Bible readings are Exodus 10:1-12:13, Matthew 20:1-28, Psalm 25:1-15, & Proverbs 6:6-11
24 When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked, they were indignant. 25 But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 26 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. 28 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
What does it take to make you important in the kingdom of God? We often desire to be noticed. In us all is the yearning to know that we have accomplished something important & of value. It was no different for the disciples.
Here we see 2 of the disciples who had sacrificed & left all to follow Jesus. Their mother wanted to see her sons succeed. They wanted to be honored. Their mother asked Jesus to put them in a place of honor in His kingdom. This, of course, caused the rest of the team to be angry that they would even consider asking for such special favoritism. The reality is that they wanted the same for themselves.
Power is a very intoxicating thing. It can bring out the very worse in people. As we grow in power we also tend to grow in pride. Pride is such devastating sin. It causes us to be separated from God’s grace.
6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford to live apart from God’s grace. There is no hope for me without His grace. I need His grace to empower me. I need His grace to enable me. It is at the throne of His grace that I find mercy. It is at the throne of His grace that I find strength in my time of weakness.
It is not wrong to have aspirations to be used of God in great measures. I can remember a day when I greatly desired to preach. It was all that I thought about. I can even remember the time when I started to desire to be a pastor. God put that in my heart. It was His will. It was good to desire this. It is not that we shouldn’t dream big in the Spirit, but we must stay small in our own eyes.
1 Timothy 3:1-6
This is a trustworthy saying: “If someone aspires to be an elder, he desires an honorable position.” 2 So an elder must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. 3 He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. 4 He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. 5 For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?
6 An elder must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall.
We see again that Paul speaks directly to the idea that pride is a place where the enemy WILL destroy us. Listen to this verse:
Proverbs 3:34 (GNT)
34 He has no use for conceited people, but shows favor to those who are humble.
We know that we must stay in a place of humility in order to be used of God. The moment we become big in our own eyes we will fall just like King Saul. There was a day when he was small in his own eyes. He turned to God for guidance. He leaned on Him for direction. After a little success his heart changed. He became prideful & it led to his demise.
Jesus shares some very important truths that will keep us in a place of humility. It is why He taught this principal to the disciple this particular day. Let’s look at it again.
26 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. 28 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
One of the best ways to stay humble is to serve people. Having the heart of servant is what makes you great in the kingdom. This is what catches the eye of Jesus. Are you willing to be a servant? The moment we start to think that we are too qualified or above certain things we find ourselves in pride. When we stay open to serve at the lowliest levels we stay humble.
Think about it, Jesus was telling others to do exactly what He did; give your life as a ransom for many. Jesus was walking humility. He was the greatest of the great & HE SERVED!
Where are you serving the people that God created? How are you using your gifts to minister to others? At what level are you willing to surrender your life & time to God to build His kingdom? If you want to go up you must go down. If you want to be great, you have to become less. Die so you can live. This is how we stay humble. Humility is how we stay in grace.