“Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
- Matthew 11.11
Though the kings of the world are great to you who look [upon them],
a hundred hundred times loftier are the humble hirelings of Jesus.
- Oengus mac Oengobann, Féilire Oengusso, Irish, 9th century
Are you seeking to be great in the Kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5.17-19)?
Probably most of us have a hard time seeking the Kingdom as fervently as Jesus indicated we should (Matt. 6.33). Seeking Kingdom greatness? Hmmm…
Kingdom greatness is not measured in terms of material wealth, physical beauty or strength or prowess, tactical or strategic success, or persuasive oratory. Lots of folks possess such things, and yet they are far from the Kingdom of God.
Kingdom greatness is spiritual in nature, personal in expression. It starts in the soul, where the indwelling Spirit of God shapes us into the image of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 3.12-18), and only then is it manifest in expressions of goodness, beauty, and truth that reflect the very character of our risen Lord (1 Cor. 10.31).
To be great in the Kingdom is to be like Jesus, a servant, one who lays down his life in order to elevate and edify others.
The greatness which comes to light in the humblest believer is more powerful and enduring than all the force of arms or investment of wealth the world can muster.
For Kingdom greatness witnesses to transcendent realities and expresses eternal priorities that no human greatness can ever achieve. Such greatness comes to light even in the most mundane, everyday situations and tasks, and it glows with the reality of the presence of Christ in it.
Such greatness is available to every servant of Christ, and should be our goal in every area of life.
Even though we are ordinary folk, doing everyday things, with no particular claim to fame or grounds for glory, Jesus encourage us to seek greatness in His Kingdom through Him. For in our weaknesses, we are strong; in our inadequacies, we have all things; in our losses, we gain the world; in our perseverance we show the reality of His resurrection power; and in our humility, we are exalted to the very throne of grace and power.
To be great in the Kingdom is the calling of every believer, and every day of our lives is fraught with opportunities to realize this high calling.
Today, how will the glimmer of God’s glory, the luminescence of His love, or the transforming touch of His Spirit manifest the greatness of His Kingdom in you?
Psalm 97.1, 9 (Darwall: “Rejoice, the Lord is King!”ˆ)
Rejoice! The Lord is King! O earth, lift up your voice!
Be glad, you islands, shout and sing: Rejoice! Rejoice!
All gods and nations be exalted, God of love!
Be at work in me today, O Lord, that I may know the greatness of Your Kingdom, and make Your great Kingdom known!
Kingdom greatness begins where you are!
Think for a moment of the places you’ll go, the things you’ll do, and the people you’ll encounter today. This is your Personal Mission Field. This is where God has sent you to refract His glory to the world (Hab. 2.14)! What a glorious privilege and high calling! Susie and I and the Members of The Fellowship are praying that Members of The Ailbe Community – that would be you – will take up this challenge and lead the Church in a new and more powerful expression of our mission in the world. Can we send you A Field Guide to Mission, a kit with resources to help you get started in or accelerate your work in your Personal Mission Field? It’s available for a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe in any amount. Use the donate button here or at the website, or send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.
T. M. Moore, Principal