The Greatest

greatest muhammad aliI remember as a kid hearing Muhammad Ali claim that he was the greatest. He certainly did not lack in self-confidence. He was an extraordinary heavy weight boxer who became quite successful psyching his opponent out before the fight ever began. He may have been the original inventor of “smack talk”. He was also a really good boxer who trained well and he often backed up his talk. I always felt he went to far when he declared one day “I am the greatest”. He didn’t really qualify that he was the greatest boxer, although he probably did fit that description. He beat more champion boxers than any other person before or since. He is recognized as one of the best-known athletes of the past century. He is not the greatest although he may have been the greatest boxer I’ve ever witnessed.  Jesus speaks pretty clearly about humility and greatness according to a different set of guidelines. Check this out…

11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. (Matthew 23:11-12 NIV)

Serving is the highest position available in Christianity. It’s not about titles and victories or about being better than someone else. Jesus said the greatest will be your servant.  This is exactly opposite of what our culture in the USA teaches overtly and covertly. In fact in the church sometimes, we get this concept really screwed up. Everyone in the Kingdom of God is a servant and those who set themselves to be the “head servants” are still simply servants.  Those who set themselves up in higher positions are setting themselves up to be brought down and humbled. The second part of this teaching is that while the greatest is the servant, the servant humbles himself rather than being humbled by the King.  God loves humble servants who know their place in the Kingdom. That is the very person He likes to show off to others. I think it’s important to note that I will be humbled one way or another. If I humble myself it’s probably a lot less painful or embarrassing than if someone else does it.  I just want to be a simple servant in the Kingdom. I’m already a HUGE RECIEPIENT of Grace and Mercy from the Lord. I’m so grateful for that and willing to serve where and when He calls me.

Pressing On!

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