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The Greatest in the Kingdom

The greatest among you must be a servant.  Matthew 23:11 NLT

Come with me and imagine what might have happened in heaven.

Wilbur was a member of a large church, and although many knew him by sight, few knew his name. He was often seen around the church doing tasks, like putting up and taking down tables and chairs for social events. He did everything behind the scenes to make church happen without any fanfare.

Wilbur never taught a Sunday school class—and heaven forbid that he would ever preach a sermon—yet the church would not have adequately functioned without him. He served the church his entire life. But one day, Wilbur died and went to his eternal reward. Sadly, there were many empty seats at his funeral service.

When Wilbur arrived at heaven’s door, he saw a line of people waiting for the Lord to greet them—pastors, teachers, evangelists, and other prominent Christian leaders. Jesus motioned to Wilbur to come to the front of the line. He looked behind him, thinking Jesus must be gesturing to someone else, but no one stood behind him.

Just as Jesus was about to greet Wilbur, someone shouted, “Why is he at the front of the line?” Another mumbled that Wilbur had never even preached a sermon. All the others in the line nodded in agreement.

But Jesus said, “No, this man has never preached a sermon like some of you have. I appreciate what all of you have done for Me, yet, in part, you did it because of the affirmation and acceptance you got from others. Wilbur did all he did just because he loved Me.”

Jesus stretched out his hand, looked into Wilbur’s eyes, and said, “Come in, my servant friend.”

What others think is not so important. What God thinks is. And God’s idea of greatness is much different than ours.

Are you one of the greatest in God’s kingdom?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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Ken Barnes

Ken Barnes has had a twenty-five year career in educational pursuits. He has taught in various public and private schools in Pennsylvania, Hawaii, and Virginia. He also worked for seventeen years with Youth With A Mission as a school leader, recruiter, and director. Ken holds a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is the author of The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places. He currently is a speaker, blogger, and freelance writer. Ken lives with his wife Sharon in Mechanicsville, Virginia. Visit Ken at https://sites.google.com/site/kenbarnesbooksite/