Personal ambition and servant-hood aren’t always compatible. In fact, they are often at odds with each other. A servant’s goal is to please his or her master in whatever way is required, but personal ambition strives for self-advancement. Jesus’ words from today’s passage must have sounded foreign to the disciples’ ears since, according to the thinking of their culture, greatness was acquired by striving for it, not by serving.
Like them, we live in a world where many people are seeking to make a name for themselves. They set goals, make plans, and do whatever is necessary to achieve what they’ve set out to do. But as Christians, we’re to live by a different standard: exalt Christ, obey His commands, and serve Him faithfully by doing His will, not our own.
We’re not called to gain fame and fortune by leaving our footprints in concrete for all to admire. Our task is to humbly follow in Jesus’ footsteps. Whether our lives have a large or small impact is up to God, not us. The greatest acts of service are not usually flashy displays; more often they’re commonplace gestures like being kind to strangers, ministering to fellow believers, and praying for others.
Jesus humbled Himself, surrendered His rights, and obeyed God even to the point of death on the cross (Phil. 2:5-8). Being His servant begins with the same attitude. It requires helping others when it’s not convenient, doing tasks that are not glamorous, and obeying the Lord even if it’s costly. We aren’t on earth to build our own kingdom but to faithfully serve God as He builds His.
What are your plans for today? If you’re like me and most other Americans, you’ve probably got a list of activities that might include things like, laundry, grocery shopping, washing the car and more. And while you’re at it you may try and slip in some relaxation time.
Let me ask a question. With all the things you’ve got on your plate today, is there any time set aside to read the bible and worship God? I’m here to tell you that this is absolutely the best way to start your day. Why? Because God will tell you what His plans are for you today.
If you were given the option of choosing which plan to follow, I hope your choice will be the smart one and follow God’s plan. His plans are the best and with Him guiding you through His Holy Spirit you will have success in getting things done according to His will for your life. And at the end of the day you will have a great feeling of accomplishment.
So, take some time right now to dig out your bible, read, and then praise and worship God. He’s waiting for you.
Who do you call upon in your time of need? Do you ask family members for help? Do you reach out to close friends for their help?
Nehemiah, a figure from the Old Testament, spent time praying on his knees. When he needed guidance, strength, provision, or protection, he responded with prayer. Because of this attitude of dependence, God was able to use Nehemiah to achieve His divine purposes.
If you want to follow Nehemiah’s example of dependent prayer, first recognize God as the sovereign Ruler of the universe (Neh. 1:5). Although He’s our loving Father and loyal Friend, we must never forget that He is also our high and exalted Creator, whose holiness is beyond our comprehension. We don’t want to casually think of Him as “the man upstairs” or come into His presence in a frivolous manner.
As one who respected God’s holiness, Nehemiah approached Him with confession, admitting not only his own sin, but his father’s and Israel’s as well (Neh. 1:6-7). We cannot hide, deny, or cherish sin and expect the Lord to hear and answer our prayers. Purity of heart and the power of God are linked. We need the Holy Spirit to help us remain sensitive to sin and be willing to deal with it immediately.
The reason Nehemiah stood so tall had nothing to do with his natural abilities; rather, it was because he had developed a relationship of dependency on the Lord through prayer. The same can be true for you. Rely on the Lord, and let Him be your strength.
Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. I have sworn and confirmed that I will keep Your righteous judgments.…Psalm 119:105-106
When you are faced with daily struggles, trials and tribulations, where do you go for the strength to see your way through? All of us at one time or another have faced problems in our daily living. How you’ve handled them is important.
As we’ve all discovered, trying to solve life’s issues can be difficult unless we have help and a direction from a reliable source. God’s word is that source. It contains wisdom and direction unmatched in any other resource. All of the self-help books in the world, when combined, still pale in comparison to the much needed guidance we receive from the bible.
God’s word, the holy bible, gives us all the direction and strength we will ever need to navigate our way through the problems we face during the day. Placing your faith and trust in God’s word is pivotal to allowing God’s power to work in your life.
If you desire success today in whatever you are doing and want to manage your problems with wisdom then read, study and know God’s word. It is the only source of help you will ever need.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will make your paths straight.”—Proverbs 3:5-6
While attending pilot training, one of the most important things my instructor taught me was to trust and have faith in my instruments. When you fly into clouds, bad weather or other situations that prevent you from seeing out side the cockpit, the only thing you have are your instruments.
Over and over he instructed me to trust my instruments because he said my body will give me erroneous information as to what is up, down or sideways when flying without visual cues.
During our travels throughout life we will have times when we are without a clue as to what direction to go or whether we are operating in the right attitude. Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior promised to be with us always. He promised His Holy Spirit would guide us and show us the way to go.
Do you have Jesus and the Holy Spirit in your life? They are by far the best instruments to follow when flying blind or going through this life without direction. God’s word, the bible, is your flight manual. If you study it and memorize it you will have success navigating the minefields and pitfalls put before you by Satan.
The next time you feel lost or want that much needed direction to get you safely to your destination, trust in the Lord with all your heart. His way is the only way.
For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance as our way of life.—Ephesians 2:8-10
Why do you think God has left you here on earth instead of immediately taking you to heaven the moment you were saved? Think of all the hardships and heartaches you’d have escaped. Imagine the joys you’d be experiencing with Christ in heaven. But then again, who would be here to tell others the gospel of salvation if all the believers were taken out of this world?
If you are living and breathing, then the heavenly Father has a purpose for you, a ministry to fulfill. Don’t think of ministry as something done only in a church building by a select group of people. Service to God is the responsibility of every believer. It’s a matter of doing the “good works, which God prepared beforehand” for each of us to accomplish (Eph. 2:10).
Although the way we serve may change over time, we are never called to retire and do nothing. Even a bed-bound saint can pray for others or offer encouraging words to visitors and caregivers. A believer’s goal should not simply be to attend church, listen to a sermon, and receive enough spiritual food to get through the coming week. The goal is to serve God with our whole being, reflecting the love of Jesus through who we are. Our worship of God and instruction from His Word is what edifies and equips us to serve one another and go into the world to share the gospel.
Your entire life is meant to be an act of service to God. If instead you are living for your own happiness and goals, you will eventually be disappointed. But when you walk in the good works God has prepared for you, you’ll have the satisfaction of doing exactly what you were created to do.
(Reprint Courtesy of Charles Stanley | In Touch Ministries)
I started writing this blog some time ago. How long to be exact I’m not sure. I started out with the intention of writing uplifting messages that show God’s love and care for us. I felt like a lot of people needed to read these stories. But, much to my surprise, my daily statistics show very few people visit my blog. Therefore, I am prayerfully considering to “continue writing anyway.” That’s right, I’m not giving up just yet.
You see, numbers in the grand scheme of things aren’t important. It’s the message that’s important. I believe with all my heart that someone out there will stumble across my blog one day and be saved by reading it’s messages. That’s why I continue to write each day.
I will not give up on that one individual who desperately needs to hear about Jesus and His soul saving action of dying on the cross. Many people don’t know who Jesus is and what He did for mankind. In my opinion that is sad. We as believers have the responsibility of sharing the “good news” with others. What “good news” you might ask?
The “good news” is that Jesus died for our sins so that we may have eternal life in heaven after we die. There is only one way to an eternal life in heaven and that is through our belief that Jesus died for our sins. Take the time to tell others about this great act and the free gift given to us by our Lord, Jesus Christ. Your gift of the gospel may be the one thing that saves that person from eternal damnation. So, give it away. It’s your free “Good News” gift to those around you.