8 February 2014
In my last devotional i asked why Jesus came as a carpenter. Today as i opened my bible i was reminded of the verses in scripture that talked about the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus said “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” And a few verses later, Jesus spoke again about the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, “ “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
There is a coined term today called “kingdom economy” which is used to describe the way the currency of the kingdom of heaven works. Unlike our earthly economy where people seek to be served and to accumulate wealth, the kingdom of heaven works differently. To those who give, manifold will be given back to them, and to those who serve, they will be called great. Jesus demonstrated this in his life – not as an earthly king, but as a humble carpenter’s son with no where to lay his head, with little possessions, but with compassion, mercy, service, love and sacrifice. He gave and he spent his life on us. Jesus said, ” “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?l Is anything worth more than your soul?”
Deep in our hearts is a loneliness and emptiness that cannot be quenched by wealth, power or status – in fact, these three things only bring about a bigger gap in our hearts and many mistakenly hoard more wealth, power and status to fill that aching pain of losing one’s soul.
When asked which was the greatest commandment of God, Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
It is a simple but tough thing to learn and to live out the economy of God. It does not come as second nature easily and our hearts can be deceptive at times. But with God, all things are possible. And when we just take each day at a time, to offer a part of our lives in that direction, that part of our life is redeemed in the kingdom of God.
Jesus said, “Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”