The Least Among You

My mind is like a person that went for a walk. She stumbled here and there and wondered about the strange things around her. And then, while she was looking at something, she walked right off a hill and tumbled the whole way down.

                She did not mean to fall down the hill, but when she reached the bottom she found something of great interest. It dawned on her. Here is that thought found at the bottom of the hill.

                What is the ideal life? Think about it. Imagine it in your mind’s blind eye. Will you love someone and marry her? Will you have a home together and soon children to fill it? What careers or hobbies do you see growing up out of the cracks in the ground? Do you wonder about the adventures you could have? Do you contemplate about the people you will meet? Where will the hand of God, the hand of fate push you? Money, success, fame, glamour…our imaginations have a gold tint to them and that’s how we know these are just possibilities.

                I must ask you, dearest reader, did you stop to consider what the focal point is of this ideal life of yours? What does it rely on? How long will it last?

                “‘All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.’” Isaiah 40:6-8

                Pause. This verse above…it gives off a feeling of mortality doesn’t it? Grass and flowers after all have such short life times. Any bad weather, a bit of wind or a change in season may slaughter them. Here today, gone tomorrow. We humans are so foolish you know. We live as if tomorrow is guaranteed. Only when our lives are threatened do we see clearly how fast life decays.

                So in your mind you understand we have such little time here. What shall we do with it?

                As long as Jesus lived he served other people. He taught, healed, fed and helped people. His life was selfless. He gave all that he had and then his life. Now, raised up, he continues to guide people and counsel them.

                “Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.” Luke 22:26-27

                Jesus knew that God is the one who sits at the table. God is the greatest one to serve and Jesus did exactly as his Father commanded. Jesus was obedient and held no fault. He carried out what was asked of him. Read on.

                “Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.”

                “The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.  If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:1-11

                Hedonism is the pursuit of pleasure and sensual indulgence. It’s what humans pursue in various forms. In the end it is meaningless. Shall we spend our days trying to feel good or shall we do good with our time? Don’t you know that if you spend your time doing God’s will, doing what is good that you will have satisfaction? You will feel good. Oh, friend, you will have joy that never ceases even when the world has chewed you up and spat you out. No other thing in this world could give you such results. No other thing could fill you.

                “‘Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’” Mark 10:43-45, Matthew 20:26-28

                Love must be shown not felt. Jesus showed his love for God and his love for people when he was crucified. The whole of the Law can be summed up that we should love each other (Galatians 5:14). This is the most important message we have. And don’t think you can get away with just loving your family or your friends. You must love all people. When you are persecuted for Christ or ridiculed for Christ or cursed for Christ you must have only love to give in return (1 Corinthians 4:12-13).

                “‘You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.’” Matthew 5:43-48

                It is true that God does not need us to exact his will, but we must not sit around and do nothing. Listen, faith without works is dead (James 2:26). We cannot simply say we are Christians we must show that we are. We ought to be like Jesus as much as we can.

                “We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.”

                “Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.” 1 John 2:3-11

                “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” Romans 13:14

                We are bound to fail. We will always sin, yes, but let that not stop us. Listen. I have a professor who told me he knew an extremely obese woman. This woman never exercised or tried to change her life because she believed God made her the way she was and that if he wanted her to lose weight then she would. Do you hear the madness in this? Surely God made you a certain way, but God also said to treat the body like a temple (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). This means to take care of the body.

                Do not sit around, I beg you I beg you. Pick up your feet and start doing things. Start living for God. Our time is short and we must serve others with that little amount of time available. How quickly this will all be over. All must hurry for this will be over in moments.

                Don’t be that woman who waited for God. Her faith was dead because she did not act. God loves us and wants our lives to be fruitful. If we never do anything then how can God live through us? When we draw close to God He draws close to us (James 4:8).

                So if you want God in your life and you’re ready for an adventure start living for him.

                Wait and see how weird things get. 

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