Let me begin by sending greetings to all who may be reading my blog at this time. My prayer for you is that you are enjoying the favor of the Lord in your life but if you find yourself currently in the middle of a storm in your life, my prayer is that you sense the Lord’s provision and strength for all that you need in your storm.
At our church this past week, we had the privilege of hosting the first week-long session of the Nazirite Training led by its founder; a very dear friend of ours, Pastor Jerome and his lovely wife Abel; all the way from the Philippines. Let me say that it not only was a very wonderful time of training but it was also very challenging week as well. The Nazirite Training is divided into 3 sessions. Pastor Jerome led us in the first session which was on Humility.
As Pastor Jerome explained, humility does not come naturally to us. In fact, the exact opposite is often what seems to the case, we struggle with pride. Many of us are familiar with Proverbs 16:5 “The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.” and Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Yet even though we may be familiar with these verses and the many more verses on pride and being proud found in the Bible, we still struggle with our pride. It would be good for us to heed the warning given by the Lord in Isaiah 2:12 “The Lord Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled.)” The question remains for us; what are we to do.
In Matthew 18:1-9, we read of a time when the disciples came to Jesus and asked Him a very important question, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” I don’t know about you but this is a question I find myself relating to. I tend to believe that deep down in the core of our being, whether we want to admit it or not, there is that need in us to be viewed upon by others as the greatest at whatever we do.
In all truth, the reason I believe the disciples asked Jesus, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” was to see if Jesus would say that person would be one of them; and why not they thought. They had walked with Jesus, they had preached the good news, they had been a part of the many miracles Jesus had performed and much more. It would only seem right that the greatest in the kingdom of heaven would come from one of them, right. Isn’t that just the way many of us think in the church at times? Why am I not the first one they pick to be an elder, why am I not the worship leader, why isn’t it me that they pick to lead the mission trip, and the list goes on. It’s that sinful prideful nature in all of us that rises up right at the most crucial time when we should look instead to be seen as humble servants.
The very next words Jesus speaks after being asked that crazy question by the disciples is what I believe will help each of us maintain a humble heart. Jesus calls a little child over to Him and says, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Can’t you almost see the dropped jaws on the disciples faces? WOW talk about being schooled by the Master. This little unnamed little child, with such an innocent look on their face, stand by Jesus. He or she wasn’t there when Jesus performed all the miracles; he or she wasn’t there to be used by the Lord as He preached the good news; he or she hadn’t walked with Jesus all those years, but he or she knew exactly where to stand; close to Jesus.
Though little children continue to make so many mistakes; though they don’t have all the wisdom of the world in their world in their hearts yet; Jesus says if we would humble ourselves and become like little children, then we would be considered the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. You see it is not about the position of being the greatest that we are to seek after; it is not about all the recognition we get from others; nor is it about being considered the one to lead that is important.
The words we should long to hear from Jesus when our life is over are, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” What have you been faithful with that the Lord has placed in your care? Make sure you take care of that first before you seek your next step. Become like a little child and you will become the greatest in the kingdom of heaven!!! Anyone up for a game of marbles 🙂
Categories: A Pastor's Blog