So let me ask you this. Who do you want to be in the Kingdom? Do you want to just be, or do you want to be what you are created to be? In Psalm 139 14-15 it says,
“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Marvellous are thy works; And that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, When I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.”
So the creator of the whole universe took the time to make you exactly the way He wanted you. Something that is perfect cannot create something imperfect. So much like He tells Jeremiah that He appointed him a prophet before he was even born, the Lord has planned out a purpose for our lives.
Earlier this week, I was struggling with the idea of greatness. The idea of not wanting my life to be a waste, and Dad posed a question to me. Who do you want to impress? Of course, the answer to this, as Michaela always says, is Jesus. What does that really mean though? What does it mean to be great in the Kingdom? Very simply it means that we imitate Him. In 1 Corinthians 11:1 it says, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.”
So why do we imitate Christ? In Mathew 5:16 it says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” So when it is all said and done, if you want to be great in the kingdom and if you want your life to not be a waste, live a life that shows others who Jesus is. Live a life that makes others want to have what you have. We must live a life filled with His love and His spirit. When we are filled with the wisdom of the spirit, we become His hands and His words. We are able to be to all men what is right for them at that time. Our life becomes a living testimony of who He is. Then when it is all over, we become part of the cloud of witnesses that are talked about in Hebrews 12:1.
So what is it that takes us off this path? The main thing is our self-centeredness. Selfishness moves us away from taking care of others and showing them God’s love. Selfishness leads to complaining, it leads to envy, and it leads to lust and covetousness. It was selfishness that led the Israelites to start complaining and turn away from the Promised Land and against Moses. It was selfishness that caused Cain to envy Abel and kill him. He lost his brother and his connection with God. It was selfishness that caused David to lust after Bathsheba and murder Uriah even when he had all he wanted.
In the mornings or pretty much anytime there is hard work, Joseph asks me, in his best motivational drill sergeant voice, “Who’s gonna carry the boat?” This is a reference to Navy SEAL training when they have to carry boats over their head. When anyone on the team stops carrying their part, the rest of the team picks up the slack. Sometimes this has to happen, but often it happens because someone doesn’t think they have to carry their load. They push their weight off on the others around them. Overtime time Joseph has morphed it into, “Who’s gonna pick the garden?” or some other chore that isn’t enjoyable.
The point is this, when you complain, are envious, are a gossip, or just generally have a bad attitude, you are not showing God’s love. You are letting others carry your part of the boat. In Philippines 2:3-4 it says, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”
How else do we know that there is selfishness? When there is complaining and bad attitudes. From the time the children of Israel left Egypt, they started complaining. By the time they had gotten to the Promised Land, they had already defeated themselves. All of the complaining had taken away any faith that God would do what He said and that they could take the Promised Land. So here is the point. If you want to turn an 8-day journey into 40 years, start complaining. When we complain, we rob ourselves and those around us of seeing Gods miracles and His goodness.
Here are two simple ways to combat this. First consider how your actions and attitudes affect those around you. Are you living a life that makes others want to imitate Christ, or are you acting in a way that takes people down a path away from love, joy, and peace? In Deuteronomy 30:19 it says, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:” So every day we choose the attitude that we approach the day. Will you choose life by showing God’s love or death through selfishness?
Step number two is to develop an attitude of gratitude. No matter where you are in life, you can always be grateful. You can be grateful for what He has done. You can be grateful for what He is doing now, and even in suffering, you can be grateful for where He is taking you. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 it says, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
So at the end of the day if you want to live a life of purpose and if you want to be counted amongst the cloud of witnesses, live a life that shows God so much that others want to have what is in you. Walk in His wisdom being His hands and words to those around you. Be grateful for all He has done and is doing. Be full of peace and joy helping and loving those around you by showing them who Jesus was and is.
— Written by Jeremiah
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