And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” Mark 9:35
Have you ever wanted to be the greatest at something? The greatest basketball or baseball player? The greatest concert pianist or artist that ever lived? Maybe you dreamt of being the greatest executive that built a great firm from the ground up? We all have dreams and aspirations of some kind and a built-in desire to succeed. As lofty and grand as your plans may be, it is not wrong to set goals and pursue advancement, but there is a secret to it all.
In today’s reading, Jesus gives us one of those opposite principles. He said that if you want to be first or the best, you have to always put other before yourself and serve them. Ouch! This is not the most popular message He ever gave, and it is certainly not something that is in our nature to do. Most people tend to go to the pride side of things and want others to look what things they have done and achieved. Bet Jesus said true success is when you take care of others and prefer people above yourself.
The apostle Paul talked about this in his letter to the Romans, Ephesians and Philippians. He said in Romans 12:10 to be kindly affectionate to one another with brother love, in honor giving preference to one another. It is a true success law and a principle set up by God that works every time you follow it.
Our heavenly Father wants us to take care of one another in a way that we make others feel good and encouraged. In order to accomplish this, you must put the focus on another person and take it off of you. Think about it. It doesn’t make anyone feel better about themselves if you tell them how great you are and how successful you have become because you had just the right ideas and plans. Even if it is true, the thing that blesses others is when you talk about their strengths and their enablement to do great things.
You can also consider that it is not so special to others if they get to wait on you and serve your needs. What really shows another person that they are special to you is when you humbly take care of their needs and desires.
So, today I want to encourage you to put yourself in first place by being the last. Make yourself the greatest by serving the needs of others around you. Accomplish the awesome feats in your life by blessing the people that God brings your way and put yourself in the path of God’s greatest plan by helping others to get to the top.
Today’s scripture reading: Mark 9:30-37
30 Then they departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it.
31 For He taught His disciples and said to them, “The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.”
32 But they did not understand this saying, and were afraid to ask Him.
33 Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, “What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?”
34 But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest.
35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”
36 Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them,
37 “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.”