Think for a moment about who you consider to be the greatest person in the following categories:
- The greatest singer
- The greatest musician
- The greatest teacher
- The greatest football player
- The greatest actor/actress
- The greatest pastor
- The greatest boss/leader
Most of us can easily identify a person in each of these categories. My opinion about the greatest one in each of them could be very different from yours. It would all be based on the qualifiers you have in your mind that would make someone the “greatest.” For example, if I said that the greatest singer is Josh Groban but you do not like his style of music then you would greatly disagree. Or if I said the greatest musician is Kenny G, but you prefer piano music, then you’d might list someone else as the greatest musician, even if you thought Kenny G was the best soprano saxophone player. Since you probably had different teachers than I did, it is very likely we would not agree on the greatest teacher. So if we are going to answer the question, “Who is the greatest?” then we need to have some qualifiers upon which we will identify who is the greatest. Jesus gives us those qualifiers in Mark 9:35 and the list is very short – just 2: humble and servant.
In our world today, humble and servant are probably not the qualifiers most of us would assign to the greatest person. Instead we identify them based off appearances, accomplishments, successes, possessions, abilities, personality, etc. In the world’s point of view, a great person is easily identified because that person doesn’t stop pointing out his own greatness. The two biggest words in his/her vocabulary is “I” and “me.” Most of hte people the world would identify as the greatest are full of pride. He is egotistical and self-made. He’s the person sung about in Frank Sinatra’s “I Did It My Way.” He doesn’t need anyone else’s help or guidance. He’s a self-made man.
But Jesus identifies the greatest in a very different way and pride has no room at all in the life of a person that Jesus considers to be the greatest. Instead, Jesus says the person that is greatest is last – or in other words, it is the man or woman who is humble. C.S. Lewis said, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” So what does the humble man or woman look like?
- Not boastful. Even if he or she earned “boasting rights”, you won’t find the humble person bragging. When he does speak about his accomplishments, he will point out the people that helped him get there so that the spotlight is on them rather than himself. He will also give God the glory and credit.
- A listener. It has been said that God gave us 2 ears and 1 mouth so that we could listen twice as much as we speak. The humble man or woman is an active listener with a genuine concern for what the other person is saying and/or feeling.
- Follow’s God’s lead. The humble person isn’t leading God along in her own personal plans for her life, rather she allows herself to be led by God and obediently follows His plan for her life.
- Doesn’t give up. Humble people are able to keep trying no matter how many times they fall down. Prideful people fall and they will get up but then give up out our fear of falling again and people witnessing it. Humble people understand that everyone makes mistakes but they acknowledge it, learn from it and then get up and try again. When inventing the light bulb, Thomas Edison had many failures before finding success. He said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” He was also quoted as saying, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
- In control. It takes much more effort and control to live humbly than with egotistical pride. Living humbly takes a consistent effort to choose humility over pride. People who “fly off” in a fit of rage are not humble people. Instead, those people allow their pride to control them and when pride is in control, the person has no control. But when humility wins the battle, the person has control of his words and actions.
- A leader. Vince Lombardi said, “Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” But there is a difference between a humble leader and a prideful one. Prideful leaders are, in fact, not leaders at all – they are bosses. They boss people around, telling them what to do and enforcing their will on others. Most often what they makes others do, they refuse to do themselves. The humble leader, however, works in the trenches alongside of those whom he leads – whether the task is dirty and hard or fun and exciting. When the hard, difficult task needs to be done, you’ll find the humble leader doing it himself rather than getting others to do it while he goes out for a round of golf.
- Willingly serves others. Not only did Jesus say the greatest person is humble, but that they also servant of all. Jesus demonstrated this by washing the disciples feet. If you know anything at all about Jewish customs, then you know that foot washing was the task of the lowest of the low ranking servants. Yet the Son of God, King of kings humbly knelt down and wash the feet of His disciples. In Jesus’ qualifiers for the title of “Greatest”, we should follow His example and be willing to serve others in whatever capacity is needed. The humble person doesn’t care if serving others receives recognition. They aren’t doing it for what they can get out of it, but for what they can give to someone else. It brings him joy to serve others so there is no grumbling or complaining. He sees serving others and an opportunity rather than duty or obligation.
- Loves others. Let’s face it – not everyone is easy to love. But Jesus said the 2nd greatest commandment was to love others as we love ourselves. The humble person loves others regardless of who they are, where they come from, what color of skin they have, what they smell like, what their mental capacity is, what their annual income is, what their employment position is – they simple love others. Prideful people love people who fit into their criteria as loveable. Humble people recognize that because of sin, none of us a loveable, but God chose to love us even while we were yet sinners and sent Jesus to die for us as the payment for our sin. They then share the love of Christ with others – even with the most “unlovable.”
- Tenderhearted and forgiving. Tenderhearted is the capacity to be kind and gentle. It doesn’t mean he allows others to “walk over” him or take advantage of him, but that even when he needs to be firm it is done with kindness and gentleness. The humble person is also willing to forgive others because she knows that she has made her own share of mistakes and is grateful of Christ’s forgiveness towards her so she is then able to extend forgiveness towards others.
- Correctable. People who are full of pride do not accept correction from others. They will pass the blame elsewhere or have a million excuses but they won’t accept their own fault. They are defensive and argumentative as they try to convince others they are right. The humble person is teachable. When he recognizes a mistake or someone points out a mistake, his response is, “teach me.” He has a genuine desire to learn from his mistakes and knows that as he learns, he’s another step closer to success.
- Christ follower. Humility is impossible if we are not following Christ because it is only then that we recognize God’s greatness and realize just how “fallen” and “broken” we are. The more we know about God, the more we are able to realize just how sinful we are. As a follower of Christ, we strive to be like Him so that all we do and say points people to Him – not to our self.
Jesus’ teaching about who is the greatest reverses the world’s concept of being the greatest. He taught that being “first” did not come through aggressiveness and privilege, but through a humble heart and a willingness to love and serve others. But He didn’t just teach it with words, he modeled it in his life. Based on Jesus’ value system, would He say you are one of the greatest?
#whoisthegreatest #humble #servant
Don’t forget to learn this week’s memory verse:
Don’t forget to learn this week’s memory verse:
1 Chronicles 28:9
Know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him.
Meditate and apply:
Will you commit to praying with us in 2020 that God will revive His people, renew our faith, and redeem our land? We feel such an urgency and desperation for revival. If God is moving your heart for revival, write your revival prayer in the comments along with your state or country.
#knowGod #headknowledge #heartknowledge #revivalinAmerica #revivalin2020 #WCM
This week’s featured design is taken from Matthew 17:20. A mustard seed is tiny; yet that is all the faith it takes to move mountains. Don’t be afraid to use your faith.
You’ll find this week’s design in two formats: a floral and a “mustard label.” Available in tees for men, women, kids, mugs, bags, and other products. The design is also available in white print or black. Check them out in the Spreadshirt shop.
All proceeds go to the advancement of Wellspring Christian Ministries.
Thank you for helping us grow!
#mustardseed #faith #notafraidtouseit #teespring #spreadshop
BOOKING NOW! Be a host site for the NEW God, Love & Marshmallow Wars Book Tour & Couples Conference:
This event helps couples understand why the daily activities found in the book will equip them to build a stronger marriage and the book provides them with 365 intentional activities to take what they learn at the event and apply it on a daily basis. Through the event, couples will discover the Biblical “why” behind the categories of activities found in the book and the “how” these activities are important to building a stronger marriage. Focus points of the event includes :
- How memorizing scripture together and studying God’s Word together as they study, meditate and apply scriptures related to marriage and life issues will help them develop marriages that honor God.
- Why utilizing fun conversation starters that spark meaningful conversations will keep interest alive as they continually learn new things about each other.
- Why keeping romance alive is essential to intimacy and connectivity.
- How making memories and working together builds relationship investment bonds and how these investment bonds can become the knots that keeps them together through the tough times.
- How they can understand what they are or are not contributing to the marriage as well as how they might be contributing to problems or potential problems within the relationship through the use of targeted, intentional personal reflections
- Why it is important that couples never stop dating and how group dates with Christian friends can be both an encouragement and accountability to their own relationship.
During the event, couples will be given an activity from each focus point to do together, making this event an interactive, fun, and engaging event with practical, hands-on learning. Unlike other couple events that are over when the event ends, couples who attend the GLMW event will be able to apply what they learn when utilizing the book on a daily basis for a year. Since the book is not dated, couples are able to reuse the activities year after year to continue being intentional in strengthening their relationship with each other and with God as they strive to live out God’s design for marriage every day.
Learn more about hosting this event at your church or conference site by clicking here.
About the book: The GLMW book contains 365 daily challenges for couples to strengthen their relationships to each other and with God. Couples will complete activities such as Scripture memory, conversation starters, relationship builders, learning about Biblical marriage, romance builders, personal reflections, and date ideas. Click here to purchase your copy. (This link will open a new widow and take you to Westbow Press’ bookstore.) It is also available at Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble
#GLMW #couplesevent #GLMWbook #intentionalmarriage #Godlymarriage
Looking for a keynote speaker for your next ministry event? Julia is now booking for 2019 and 2020 Christian events for women’s and couples’ ministries for both small and large events.
Book with us now.
Julia is CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and couples develop a passionate relationship with God. A public speaker, conference trainer, event planner, and blog writer, Julia is a two-time graduate from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor in Psychology and a masters in Professional Counseling. Saved as a child and raised in church and in a Christian home and private Christian School as a Pastor’s kid, Julia has taught Sunday school, led music, played the piano, served as Children’s Director, and engaged her gifts in many other areas of church life. Previously employed with the Florida Baptist Convention, Julia organized events and led conferences for church ministry assistants. Today, Julia enjoys sharing her journey as a growing Christian with others looking for a deeper connection with God. Through Bible study and her own life experiences, God has given Julia a passion to help couples understand God’s design for marriage while they learn to place God first in their marriage, cultivate meaningful relationships, build intimacy, and address the tougher issues that come in every marriage so that they can experience a marriage that honors and glorifies God. Julia also loves mentoring, teaching, and working with women to help them learn to live as Godly women.
With her history and experience growing up in both small and large churches, Julia enjoys bringing top level quality events to churches of all sizes. Her father largely pastored small churches and therefore she understands that these vital parts of the believing community need to be good stewards of the resources God provides them with. This knowledge inspires her passion for being available with a fresh perspective for those who want to provide their congregations with meaningful spiritual growth opportunities, regardless of size.
Or call us at 904.524.8073
#JuliaBruce #speaker #keynote #author
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