The greatest among you will be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. (Matthew 23:11-12)
The sermon this past Sunday has inspired me again. The sermon was on our significance in God’s plan. I believe strongly that as a Christian Believer we are significant to God but I sometimes struggle with this concept.
I find myself thinking that I am insignificant. I am only a number among over a thousand numbers to my employer; the school system I work for. Yet, I am significant to my principal because I am the only computer teacher at the school.
I am insignificant in the crowd of people at the festival in my hometown. Yet, I am significant when my child’s school needs me to help with the school booth on the fairgrounds or the troop needs an adult leader to cook strawberry kettle cooked popcorn.
Maybe I should take on the attitude of the apostle Paul.
Listen to the way Paul refers to himself in the following verses:
Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle and singled out for God’s good news — (Romans 1:1 HCSB)
For this reason, I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles — (Ephesians 3:1 HCSB)
Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother: To Philemon our dear friend and coworker, (Philemon 1:1 HCSB)
I appeal to you, instead, on the basis of love. I, Paul, as an elderly man and now also as a prisoner of Christ Jesus, (Philemon 1:9 HCSB)
Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus: To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons. (Philippians 1:1 HCSB)
Paul, a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to build up the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness, (Titus 1:1 HCSB)
To someone who didn’t go to Bible College, it might sound like Paul considered himself insignificant when in fact he had one of the biggest impacts on the early church and in shaping Christians today.
In our society today, we don’t view the word “slave” in a good light. To many bad things happened in our countries history that keeps us from thinking that way, but, Paul does. Why?
Paul doesn’t see “slave” as someone legally bound and forced to obey, but someone who willing serves and helps the one he loves. To him, he was a servant of Christ and willingly told others about his Savior. For him, that was his sole purpose in life.
He could have been proud and overbearing and he would’ve had the right to be. He was a Pharisee and the son of a Pharisee which meant he was well educated. (Acts 23:6) He was a Roman citizen and had all the rights that came from being one (Acts 16, 22, & 23). Yet, He humbled himself and was able to be bold and able to go wherever he felt the spirit was leading him.
I am insignificant to the world, but I am significant to God. That is more important to me than anything in this world. I believe it was the same for Paul, too.
Lord, I praise you because I am important to you. You know my name. You know how many hairs are on my head. Help me to focus on your will. Help me to keep my eyes on Jesus. Thank you.