Luke 9:46-48 – An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all–he is the greatest.”
Ambition for honor and striving for superiority caused an argument among the disciples. That’s often what causes arguments and divisions among people! In this incident we see that even Christ’s inner circle had issues for which they deserved to be severely rebuked. They had visions for greatness that emanated from self-serving ambitions and too high an opinion of themselves. This exposed them to a great deal of conflict, temptation and trouble which those who are humble and content to be “least” are immune to. So they began to argue their qualifications and superiority with one another. Jesus perceived the thoughts and intents of their hearts. It has been said that “thoughts are words to Him, and whispers are loud cries.” We should keep our thoughts under control because the Lord knows them full well! Jesus directed His disciples to aim at greatness that is obtained by quiet humility, and not at that which is obtained by aggressive and aspiring ambition. As an example, He stood a little child next to Him, and said (in essence), “This child is me!” “Anyone who welcomes this child welcomes me; and that means he also welcomes God!” If you’re too important and self-absorbed to revere and love a child, you’re too self-absorbed to revere and love God! If you are free to take time with and invest yourself in those who are the least among people, then you have taken time with Christ and invested yourself in Him!
Many adults are not interested in children or in giving them their time and attention. If a person’s heart is set on being great in the things of the world (titles, influence, power, fame, riches, records and personal accomplishments and recognition), he will have little or no time for children. It’s easy to get absorbed in the worldly competitions of being the best, becoming the greatest, having the most, making the most and climbing the ladders of society. This is one reason why many in our culture have no interest in family or in having children. Children take time and attention, and they offer very little in return when it comes to helping you climb the social ladder! They don’t have money, connections, influence or authority. They WILL, however, give you a job!J They’ll give you all kinds of work! And, they’ll cost you all kinds of time, energy, money and patience! They’ll need teachers, discipline, correction and training in doing the right thing, in the right way, at the right time, for the right reason! So, you want to be great? Open your heart to children! Embrace them into your arms and your world as a sacred and precious trust! Anyone who welcomes a little child in Jesus’ name, welcomes Him! Anyone who will invest in children with his time, love, teaching and training (in Jesus’ name), that person is the greatest! What do you think the disciples thought about ministry to children after this?
Thursday: Meet together with at least 1 or 2 other believers to enter the Throne Room of Grace.
Friday: Pray for the Good News families of the week: Pete & Laurel George (Annabeth, Luke, Josiah), Pastor Dave & Cindy George, Allen Grandin (Junior).
Saturday: Pray for a heart that aspires to greatness as Christ defines it!
Sunday: Commit to serving and investing in the least!
Monday: Take a hard look at the attitude of your heart when it comes to “ladder climbing” and what you consider to be GREAT or important in life.
Tuesday: Don’t be afraid to change your values and priorities when it comes to investing in things that are really great!
Wednesday: Embrace the children with your prayers, your time, your gifts, your money and your heart!
Prayer Challenge: So do not worry, saying, `What shall we eat?’ or `What shall we drink?’ or `What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:31-34)
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)