Matthew 23:11 How To Be The Greatest

Helping Others

The greatest among you will be your servant. Matthew 23:11

Jesus was speaking against the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law. Even though they knew the Law very well, they did not practice it, nor did they show any love or care for the people. They focused on themselves and tried to show how great they were. Jesus then tells the people that the one who would be greatest would be their servant.

In order for people to be great, they are often expected to be the best at something. They are to stand above the average person to be considered the greatest. The greatest musician is the one who can play or sing the best out of everyone else. The greatest actress is the one who can perform the best.

God has a problem with that type of thinking, which is the way most of the world thinks like. The problem with that type of thinking is that it is self focused. Regardless of what a person is doing, whether good or bad, the focus is on self being the best and looking down on others. There is nothing in this way of thinking that is about lifting other people up or building them up. It is about building self up.

Jesus is considered by many to be the greatest teacher or prophet that ever lived. He did not live in a way at trying to be the best. He lived as a servant. Jesus had the goal of serving God, thus serving people.

A servant is the person who makes the boss or master look good. He is the one who brings the food or cleans up after the master. He puts others before himself.

People want to be served. They want to feel the comfort of being served what they need, when they need it.

As a believer, you are to be like Jesus, serving others. Showing love to others means you will lift them up and help them. It will not be about you in any way. There will always be room to serve others.

As you take care and serve others, God will take care of you. He will place others in your life to serve your needs.

At that point you will be the greatest among the people. People will see your love and care and realize you are living like Jesus.

I pray today that you will have God’s love for people in your heart; that you will serve people as Jesus served you; that you will work to build people up in Jesus; and that God will see you as the greatest servant.

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Malachi 3:17-18 There Will Be A Difference

“On the day when I act,” says the LORD Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.” Malachi 3:17-18

God had been speaking, saying that there were some who were robbing Him and speaking arrogantly to Him. While some were doing that, there were others who were doing what they were supposed to be doing and serving God faithfully. Those who obeyed Him, He would have compassion on and protect them. There would be a marked difference between those who serve God and those who do not.

People who are not a part of the church have complained at times that those they know in the church are no different than themselves. There has been times that a person has worked alongside another person for several years, and never knew if each was a believer or not, while both of them were believers.

Some of this occurs because many believers do not talk about God in public, outside the church. Others may talk about God, but do not live a life for God in any way. Their actions and words show anything but a godly life.

God is looking for people who will be different from the world. He wants to take you and change you into a new person.

As a believer, it should be your priority to live your life in a way that those in the world will know that there is something different about you. They will want to have what you have, because it so different and full of life.

The fruit of God’s Spirit being in you is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These are things that the world does not exhibit very well. These are what makes you different from those in the world. The difference between the wicked and the righteous, those who serve God and those who do not serve Him.

As you look at your life, what does it show?

Can the world tell that you are different and a believer in Jesus?

Or does the world think that you are the same as they are?

If there is no difference, then you are not following Jesus.

I pray today that you will live for God; that you will strive to live by God’s Spirit; that you will allow God to change you; that you will be different from the world; and that you will be a witness for Jesus.

Ezekiel 22:2 Judgment Of “Believers”

“Son of man, will you judge her? Will you judge this city of bloodshed? Then confront her with all her detestable practices” Ezekiel 22:2

God was bringing judgment against the city of Jerusalem for all the things that the people of the city were doing. They were allowing worship of idols, prostitution, murder, and other types of sin openly. The people were not following God and His judgment was getting ready to be poured out upon them.

The city of Jerusalem was supposed to be the city of God, a city of people who were the people of God. They were supposed to be the believers who knew, trusted and followed God. Yet, they were not following Him, except in word only.

When Jesus walked on the earth, He met with many sinners and showed love and compassion to them. However, when He met up with the Pharisees and Saducees, the leaders of the church, He held nothing but harsh judgment against them. They claimed to know and serve God, yet, were doing things against God.

Today many believers like to show harsh judgment against non-believers for their sinful ways of living. Non-believers are just living the only way they know to live. They are living by their own ways or the ways of this world. None of them have been given a standard to live by.

Those in the church, however, claim to know God and serve God. They are without excuse as to how they live. Many choose to live in sinful practices, hating, jealousy, gossip, lying, stealing, cheating, and harsh judging against the world. God’s harshest judgment is against those in the church who claim to know Him, but do not.

It is easy to claim to know Jesus, but it is an entirely different thing to live for Him. Living for self is a common practice with many in the church today.

As you look at your life you need to take a look at yourself as to how you are really living for God. Are you just living in word only, claiming to know God? Or are you giving God your whole life, serving Him and striving to live by His standards and not the standards of this world?

You do not want to step into eternity and God has to look at you and say that He never knew you, because you did not really live for Him.

I pray today that you will know God; that you will live by God’s standards; that God will keep you from being corrupted by the world’s standards; and that you will be His witness to this world.

Song Of Solomon 5:3 Being Available

I have taken off my robe–must I put it on again? I have washed my feet–must I soil them again? Song Of Solomon 5:3

In this passage, the bride has gone to bed. Her lover has shown up to see her. She does not want to get up, get dressed and go out to see him. She does care for him, but is too tired to want to do anything more. Later in this chapter she decides to get up and go to the door. By the time she gets there, he has left and she can no longer find him.

During the night when one is sleeping, it is easy to want to refuse to get up for anyone, for nearly any reason. Everyone wants to get their own beauty sleep. It takes time and effort to get up and become presentable, just to answer the door in the middle of the night.

The problem with refusing to answer the door, is that one may miss an important opportunity or person. Once that person leaves, he may never return again or it may be a long time for him to return.

God works the same way in a person’s life. There are times God knocks on the door of a person’s heart for a reason in the middle of the night. This is not just for salvation, but for God to want to use the person. He may be waking up the person to have him intercede in prayer for someone in need.

In your own life, God has plans for you. There are times when He wants you to do something when it is not convenient or fun. It could be during the day or during the night.

As you follow Jesus, you must be available during these times. God may have a word for you, or a word for someone else. He may have a miracle in store for you, or, again, for someone else.

If you choose to ignore His call in your life, you may miss out on His move and big plans for you. Do not allow yourself to ignore God when He stirs your heart to do something. You are here to serve Him, not just yourself, so you must always be available to do His will.

Be willing to get up and get dirty for God today.

I pray today that you will hear God’s voice at all times; that you will be willing to serve God at all times; that you will be available to do His work; and that you will not ignore God’s knock in your life.

Job 36:11 False Expectations

If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment. Job 36:11

Elihu continues to defend God against Job. He points out that God makes the rules and holds everyone accountable to them. When a person does not obey God, according to Elihu, God will bind them up and bring them into suffering. Those who obey God will live in prosperity for the rest of their lives.

Living in prosperity can mean various things. The most common belief in prosperity is that a person has wealth and health, with no problems at all. In America, this means that a person has a six figured income, a four car garage home with the cars, perfect health, and no bills at all. Once a person has all these things, he is considered prosperous.

This mindset has also worked itself into the church. The belief that if a person loves and obeys God he will be prosperous and have all these things.

Over the years there have been preachers who have preached this type of message. Prosperity meaning only with things, and nothing else. When witnessing to the world, many have said, just believe in Jesus and everything will be perfect.

Take a look at the life of Jesus. He was the perfect example of perfectly obeying and serving God, yet, His life was far from trouble-free and He did not have a home to go to.

The prosperity that Jesus had, was success in His mission. He accomplished what He was sent to do. His life was in line with what God wanted. Jesus had perfect peace and joy, because He was obeying God. That is real prosperity.

Having all the wealth in the world will not bring about true peace and joy. It will not bring about true contentment, because you will always want just a little bit more.

As you obey and serve God, do not expect things to look perfect in this life and go your way perfectly. There is still sin in this world that needs to be overcome. You are still in a battle until Jesus returns.

Do not expect the false prosperity of this world. Seek out the prosperity that God is giving you, love, joy, and peace. He is giving you eternal security, eternal prosperity.

I pray today that you will love and obey God; that you will seek what God has for you; that you will be content with what God gives you; and that you will be His witness in this world.

2 Chronicles 30:7 Be Different

“Do not be like your parents and your fellow Israelites, who were unfaithful to the LORD, the God of their ancestors, so that he made them an object of horror, as you see.” 2 Chronicles 30:7

Hezekiah had become king and had the temple cleaned up and rededicated to God. He called for a celebration of the Passover for the first time in many years. With that call he sent a letter to all the people of Judah and Israel to return to God. Hezekiah urged the people to not be like their parents and other Israelites, who had walked away from God, but to dedicate themselves to God.

In America, during the 60s-70s, many homes had some belief in Jesus. Talk of Jesus was heard in many places. It was expected that a person would go to church on Sundays. Businesses were closed on Sundays so that people could go to church.

During the 1980’s a lot of that changed. People stopped seeing the need to go to church, businesses opened up on Sundays, acceptance of sin became more open, and the decline of morals became more steep. Since then the world and the nation has become even more open and promoting of sin in every part of a person’s life.

Today many young people, who now believe in Jesus, have not brought up in a Christian home. They were not brought up knowing Jesus, but learned of Him later in life.

You may be one of those who came to Jesus later. If you are, you are to be different from your parents. Do not follow the ways of your parents if they did not follow the ways of God.

You are also to be set apart, different from those around you…the world. As the world pushes sin more and more, you must stand out against sin. Refuse to step into sin and be a part of it.

Living in sin will bring on the wrath of God and no peace. Living for God will bring the favor and peace of God, despite any thing that is going on.

Are you blending in with the world?

Or are you being separate from the world?

I pray today that you will know Jesus in your life; that you will reject sin in your life; that God will strengthen you to be separate from the world, and that you will not conform to the ways of this world.

2 Chronicles 19:9 How To Serve

He gave them these orders: “You must serve faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of the LORD.” 2 Chronicles 19:9

As king, Jehoshaphat appointed various men to be judges in different parts of the nation. He also appointed the Levite priests to administer the law of God among the people. They were to work at settling disputes brought to them by the people. One of the orders he gave them was to serve faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of God. As they served they were to do it knowing God is watching them.

In ever workplace there are some people who choose to try and cut as many corners as possible in their work. When the boss is around, they will tend to work a little harder than when the boss is absent.

When no one is watching, it becomes very easy for a person to slack off on the work, or to cheat the system. It is then, that many people start taking money or things from the workplace, or cheating others out on what is rightfully theirs to make a personal gain. Others that are in leadership positions, will work the workers at an unnecessary level, just because of their position.

This can happen in the church as well. A person may lead a Sunday school class, but not really study for the lesson or put his heart into it. Others may use their position to shame another into doing something for the church.

Paul had said that whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord. Everything that you do is to be done faithfully and with your whole heart as if you were doing it directly for God.

Do not do things like the world does, unfaithful and as though God was not in control. Put your heart into your work, knowing that God is watching you at all times. He sees everything that you do and do not do. Everything that you have and can do is because God has given you it or given you the ability to do it.

Now serve faithfully and wholeheartedly for Him.

I pray today that you will know what God has given you to do; that you will work as though working for God; that you will serve faithfully in every area of your life; and that you will put God first in every area of your life.