"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus..."
This verse, and the context, reveal a set of ideas that are almost nonexistent in our modern culture. We (whether Boomers, GenX or Millennials) really believe that we are supposed to put ourselves forward as #1. The concept of humility, and offering ourselves up to serve people or to serve God is something that's relegated to the pulpit and the mission field. Yet the greatest among us, those who truly stand tall to those around them, do just that. They look at the world, they see where the need is greatest, and they make the effort to fill that need, or those needs, whichever they are. The greatest of all sees the ultimate need of his friends and neighbors as greater than more money, better cars, and so on. He sees that need as spiritual, as connecting with the God who made him, as helping other people to do the same. Many folks say, "Well, if the ultimate need of humankind is spiritual, then other things don't matter." But they do. The world is interconnected. You cannot want someone's spiritual well-being and also have no concern about their lives here, because in reality, eternal life is a continuation, not a departure into something completely different. This is why the best ministries focus on both the life that is here, and the life that is to come.
Paul, the great evangelist of the early church, did this himself:
He worked so as not to be a burden to the poor of the congregations to which he ministered.
He collected money for the poor in Jerusalem.
He gave money to help people in difficult circumstances.
Jesus, the greatest of all, "Went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed by the devil;"
Peter, who said, "silver and gold--I have none, but such as I have, I give you..." and with that, used his healing gift to minister to a lame beggar who sat at the gate of the temple.
Each of these men, and many others, gave of themselves and of their resources to help people in THIS life, and thus provided a doorway into eternity for those they helped. Their kindness in their deeds matched their words of life, and many found their way into everlasting life because of the grace these men and women showed to people who needed them and their concern and love. To these people, it was really just fine that they got no recognition. To them the Lord's approval was the ONE THING they wanted, besides the opportunity to offer their kindness and love in practical terms to folks who needed it.
Which would you rather be? The man or woman who gets everything, all the money, all the property, the best cars, or the person who can look back on life, see grateful people, and look ahead to eternity, and see not only grateful people but people he's influenced standing around the Lord's throne, happy and blessed for eternity--and the Lord, waiting with open arms?
Choose. It's yours to decide. What will it be?
Ever wonder what God might have to say to YOU today? Here are things to ponder, and things to receive into your heart. If you have a question, put it in the comments. I respond as much as I can.
A note for all my readers: I've been experimenting with YouTube videos for Bible teaching, and now I'm working my way through the New Testament. I encourage you to subscribe to my YouTube channel for better coverage. I'm still writing, of course, and my written posts appear here.