November 11 – Red Letters – “Whoever Wants to be First Must Be a Slave”

Read Mark 10:41-45

I’ve only been in full-time ministry for 5 years. In many respects, I am still very much learning “the ropes”, the “how to’s” and the “ins and outs” of leading people to become more fully devoted followers of Christ. Along the way, there have been a few incredible mentors for me that have taught me so much about what it takes to pastor well. From Dad (Dave Lawson), Nick Cleveland, and Randy Moomaw to Tim Boucher and Steve Kern, I have learned encyclopedias worth of information and have gotten incredible ministerial experience. Many leaders have said that you can learn from absolutely anyone. I personally believe that, the moment you stop listening to other trusted leaders, is the moment you should quit because you falsely believe that you know everything there is to know.

One of the principles that I have learned over the years is this: never ask anyone to do something that you wouldn’t do yourself. Never EVER think that you are somehow above anyone else and are somehow too important to do certain things. Never think that you are above taking out the trash, setting up tables and chairs and setting up for an event that you even may be speaking at. Validate people and let them know that you appreciate them and what they bring to the team. After all, we’re all in this life change thing together.

I believe this is similar to the truth Jesus was trying to communicate to His disciples in our reading today. If you read a little bit earlier than verse 41, you’ll see the disciples are in an uproar because two, let’s say “confident”, brothers ask Jesus to be seated on each of Jesus’ sides in Heaven. To the other disciples, this was interpreted as a slap in the face as they apparently thought they were much more important than the other ten.

Jesus, knowing the tense emotions that were developing, decided to curb these thoughts of “who is better” by telling them they have it all wrong. Instead of trying to be the best and greatest, you must exemplify humility to be favored in the Kingdom of Heaven.

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

If Jesus, of all people, the One who has the power to heal the sick, give sight to the blind, calm the storms and has the authority to forgive sins, came to this world to serve, why can’t we? Why do we always seem to think more highly of ourselves than we should? What makes us “above” anyone else?

I have taken it upon myself to constantly be thinking of ways that I can serve and encourage other people.

What about you?

Would you be so bold as to admit that you often think too highly of yourself? What are some ways that, instead, you can fight to serve and encourage others?

Jake Lawson

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