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Wednesday: Who is the Greatest? — 12 Comments

  1. When the nine disciples failed to cast out a demon from a child (Mark 9:14-18) the Savior mercifully proceeded to do it (Mark 9:25-27) and indicated the reason was a lack of faith, prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:20-21). However by faith the disciples had done this and more before (Mark 6:12-13). They were given to prayer, and Jesus said fasting was not absolutely required while He was around (Matthew 9:14-15).

    A little later the deeper problem was revealed. The disciples harbored thoughts of gaining high positions in Christ’s kingdom. They desired to outdo their brethren, to be the best and called the greatest (Mark 9:33-37). Self-ambition and striving became a hindrance to sincere prayer and the exercise of faith. They needed to fast to clear their clouded mind and reconnect with God.

    Sadly many Christians miss the point of elevation, which is to expand and deepen service (Matthew 20:26-28; 23:11). Likely very few strive for positions purely because of an overwhelming burden to serve, for there are lots of opportunities to serve, which are often ignored, and do not require holding particular offices. So what could be the competing motivation?

    Those who strive for office may answer best. However, Jesus ever stressed humility, particularly in regard to desire for position (Luke 14:10-11). Yet somehow many in His church find it beneficial to promote personal ambition and sponsor more and more activities which foster a competitive spirit and the yearning for supremacy, and this among beings with a fallen nature.

    A people praying for and expecting to receive the latter rain may need to consider seriously how their agenda and what they practice affect their preparation and readiness (Acts 2:1-4).

  2. I see my need of Christ today more than ever. I need a new heart and a humble spirit within me. I feel the need to be transformed, so I can do everything for the glory of God and not for self exaltation. I can see how the enemy blinded the diciples minds, it is so easy to be deceived. Our only safeguard it is in recognizing our need of Christ and our urgent need to be transformed to his Image. Let us acquire the mind of Christ daily. Amen!

  3. What's so wrong about wanting to be the greatest when the Bible teaches that we should:

    1. Strive for the best gifts. (1 Corinthians 12:31)
    2. Be diligent in business and you'll stand before kings. (Proverbs 22:29)
    3. Always do you best. (Ecclesiastes 9:10)
    4. Hold before us examples such as Joseph, Daniel, Esther and David who were all promote to high office.
    5. Show the way to get promotion. (Matthew 6:33)

    It seems there is nothing wrong with ambition and wanting to be OUR best, but not at the expense of others. If your best is better than my best then I should be happy in knowing that I'm doing MY best.

  4. My prayer for today is in this song:

    Make me a servant
    Humble and meek
    Lord, help me lift up
    Those who are weak
    Then may the prayer of my heart always be
    Make me a servant
    Make me a servant
    Make me a servant, today.

    Consider this: "Be careful what you set your heart upon, for you will surely have it." J.A. Baldwin

  5. The very example of God in Christ reveals the ruling principle of all righteousness, which is selfless service for all others without partiality. This principle is observed also in nature. Anything different will spoil the peace and harmony of such an atmosphere of love. Look at our earth where the opposite is the norm, where there is no peace between any who follow the path of pride at whatever level it is indulged. To follow Jesus is to mimic Him who is “meek and lowly of heart”. This is true worship. Jesus Himself revealed the child-like trust when yielding to His Father's will rather than His own. Whether it was fasting for 40 days or accepting the cross, the meek and lowly Jesus shows us the Way, the Truth and the Life for all who would follow Him.

    In the incident where exalted positions were requested, Jesus reveals the very principle by which God Himself operates in giving His only begotten Son to save a polluted world. The genuine follower of Christ will also be willing to lay down his life to save the lost. Many have forsaken the pursuit of wealth, position, power, ease and comfort of this temporal world to seek souls for the eternal kingdom. There is no higher position in the Eternal Kingdom of God.

  6. You and I cannot even imagine all the pain that JESUS was force to endure for our sakes. Jesus was Scoured- Matt 27:36. Jesus was Beaten Luke 22:63-64. Jesus was Spit upon-Matt 27:30. Jesus was Mocked-Matt 26:29. Jesus was Nailed to the Cross-Matt 27:38, John 20:25. Jesus was Stripped Naked-Matt 27:35. Jesus Beard Plucked from his Face-Isa 50:6. These Truths don't even begin to scratch the surface of JESUS suffered for you and me, Isa 52:14. His was a bitter cup, But one that he Drank of willingly so that we might be SAVED. JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR WAS THE GREATEST OF ALL. AMEN!

  7. God is not interested with the world materials nor positions but rather our spiritual being. Luke 10:17 "Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven."

  8. People in general tend to suffer from pride and high egos. The disciples of Jesus were no different in this regard. Again we see the great controversy playing out right in Christ's inner circles - His companions. Satan was championing this bitter contestation among the disciples. The bold and brash Peter and the "sons of thunder" James and John who Jesus brought close repaid this privilege by getting their egos inflated.

    Christ's response to the self-important and full of pride disciples' bickering sharply about their own greatness, was to merely pick a child and ask him to stand in a place of honour next to Him in order to demonstrate that in His Kingdom, humility and servanthood are qualities of greatness in a child of God as opposed to self-aggrandizing pride. How many times have we seen Church leaders jockeying for influence and power seeking everything but humility? We have witnessed how human depravity has infected them in the most foul manner. We've seen these persons expending their energies to plotting their way to power, even stealing elections, trampling on others in the most satanic manner imaginable only to arrive at the pinnacle of power not to serve but to keep such tight control of everyone that they become more like petty dictators than men of God? How many such leaders have assumed power by conniving, scheming and through character assassination only to get power to make or break pastors'careers? This sickness has affected many not only Church Leaders.

    Lord Jon Acton once said, "power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." As children of the King we desperately need to unlearn the false power dynamics that belong to the world and are clearly contrary to the power dynamics of heaven.

    Note that Jesus here is not saying that a spiritual leader should not have authority but that that authority should be exercised in a different way. The authority for such a leader is not established by virtue of the office he holds, but by virtue of service. In the former authority is exercised in such a way as to advance ones own selfish agenda/s and in the latter to serve for the benefit of those whom you're serving.

    Jesus taught His disciples and us today that anyone who is His follower must, when prompted by ambition, rather respond by seeking the highest greatness in active service. We are to be distinguished by being humble, displaying the deepest sense of our unworthiness and service to others.

    Lord, help us to learn the lessons You taught us. Help us to be meek and lowly like You. Let us be alive to the truth that one day soon You are coming back and that every deed will be examined in relation to the holy standard You've set. (Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5: 10).

  9. It just comes to my mind that the battle for survival of the fittest and strongest, as often seen in this world, is a dominating spirit, pushing aside the unfittest and weakest. There is a wide field of service in stepping down to those unfittest and weakest, the trodden down victims, the uncared for, lifting them up, which actually is a service done to Christ (Matthew 25:40).

    Winfried Stolpmann

  10. For me this lesson is about: "they missed the large issues at stake, focusing on false concepts." The disciples grew up learning from the established church; whom Jesus, time and again, scolded for missing the meaning of God's word. Paul also had this problem. The teachings of the established church were so ingrained on their minds, it took a dramatic, even tramatic, event to open their hearts and minds to what Jesus was telling them is the truth in God's word. Once their foundations were shaken to the core, the disciples and Paul became like 'little children.' They realized they didn't know everything and opened their hearts and minds to what Christ was trying to tell them. They were finally teachable, like "little children."
    I pray that God does not have to shake us to the core with tramatic events to get us to finally listen. I pray that we would ask the Holy Spirit to prepare our hearts to be open to God's truth without interpretation of "false concepts." May we be God's "little children."

  11. Right now am thinking... Which pathetic selfish requests did i bring to Jesus. May God help us to set our minds on heavenly things.. To seek first his kingdom and its righteousness. Three is no time for petty pride en competition among the chosen children of the kingdom. May God help us to focus on Jesys- so dat he can remold us into his likeness- removing da traits of lucifer from our lives.

    I love the simplicity of Jesus teachings. Yet orofound lessens that have stood the test of time are found in them. As the world becomes excited about nee spiritual 'revelations', may the true remnants continue ti draw their hope and joy from the 'old time religion' thank you ssnet for this platform.


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