The Path to Greatness

“An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side and said to them, ‘Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great’ ” (Luke 9:46-48).

Jesus made a habit of upending common notions about life. For example, most people think the path to greatness is to amass popularity and riches. So they set out to do that. Along the way, they step over and sometime on others. If they manage to get to the top, it seldom comes with any real satisfaction. Why? Someone is always trying to take it from you.

Jesus had a better solution. The path to true greatness is to be least among them. Of course, we risk getting overlooked if we take this so-called less appealing approach. But that’s not really true. God’s eye remains on those who serve others, and who accept a lesser rank in doing so. The key is to pursue true greatness in God’s eyes. To do so, we must be willing to stoop lower. We must accept less crowd adulation and set out to meet needs.

The Bible indicates in many places that we will stand before God to give an account of our life. Servants of God should look forward to this time. If they have faithfully served, they will receive praise from God (1 Corinthians 4:5). On the other hand, others who fail to use their life will experience loss and receive a reprimand from God (1 Corinthians 3:10-15). God will reward faithful service. We should eagerly serve others because, in doing so, we serve God.

We should also recognize the cost of serving God. For example, serving God takes time. Serving does not always bring tangible rewards, though it does increase our joy. Serving may keep us from attaining worldly fame and wealth. Jesus directs us to count the cost (Luke 14:28). The wise person will conclude that serving God brings both blessing and reward.

“For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do” (Hebrews 6:10).

Our faithful God will strengthen you for every good deed:

“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21).

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