“Whoever is the least among you is the greatest” (Luke 9:48b, NLT).
Sometimes the last thing I understand in my Christian life is the importance of taking care of small things. In my heart and mind I may tell myself I am ready to die for Christ, but then I don't live for Him in the small details. A real disciple takes care of every area of his life. He obediently surrenders all the things in his life which separate Him from God's love–his actions, his thoughts, his motives—and, yes, the small details. He makes himself least so that Jesus might become more.
Christ became the least for me. He made himself the least in His father's eyes when He took on my sin. He was perfect in every way. Spotless without deceit or jealousy or hate or bitterness or greed or His own agenda, He said “yes” to His father's plan for saving my life. That acceptance meant the perfect love Jesus had with His own father would be broken, and His father would be unable to look upon the ugliness of my sin in His own son. But Jesus made himself least and gave His life so that sin's ability to destroy my life would be broken. Sin that had forever separated me from God's perfect love was crucified on that cross–once and for all. From the least He became the greatest. He was raised from the dead into newness of life for me. He lives with His father in heaven forever exalted for His obedience that promises abundant life now and eternal life forever. He may be with His father, but I am not alone here on earth. I have the promise of the Holy Spirit to lead, guide, and empower my life. Daily He asks me to be least so that he might be the greatest in my life. All I must do is accept His love and obediently follow Him.
“Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself,” Paul wrote. “He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion” (Philippians 2:5-8, MSG). Jesus regarded himself as being no greater than anyone else, and He gave His life for me. He had a servant's heart. I am called to have a servant’s heart, and to serve with His humility of heart.