Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | September 18, 2018

“If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”

Today’s devotion comes from Mark 9:30-37.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+9&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“They came to Capernaum;  and when He was in the house, He began to question them, “What were you discussing on the way?”  But they kept silent, for on the way they had discussed with one another which of them was the greatest.  Sitting down, He called the twelve and *said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”  Taking a child, He set him before them, and taking him in His arms, He said to them, “Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me;  and whoever receives Me does not receive Me, but Him who sent Me.”  Mark 9:33-37.

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It is difficult enough to merely understand how one can be first by being “last of all and servant of all.”  The world considers it foolishness at once and gives it no further thought.  Even Christians may rush through this Scripture onto the next one without giving it due thought.

But, it is even more difficult to want and be “last of all and servant of all.”  “For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh;  for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.”  Galatians 5:17.

It helps us take the first step of at least trying to understand Jesus’ statement by considering Jesus’ example:  “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”  Matthew 20:26.

And, it helps us to take the second step of wanting to be “last of all and servant of all.” by realizing the reward of doing so.  “Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me;  and whoever receives Me does not receive Me, but Him who sent Me.”  Verse 37.

But, we need more than just understanding the rewards of being “last of all and servant of all.”  We need God’s Spirit which produces the fruit of the Spirit.  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;  against such things there is no law.”  Galatians 5:22-23.

“… through love serve one another.”  Galatians 5:13.

But, this is not our human love which is really only self-centered and self-interested.

We need God’s love;  “the fruit of the Spirit is love”, and through this love, “serve one another.”


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