Galatians 1:10 – For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond servant of Christ.
Matthew 6:1 – Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.
Luke 9:46-48 - An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest.Jesus, knowing their thoughts,took a little child and had him stand beside Him.Then He said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in My name welcomes Me; and whoever welcomes Me welcomes the One who sent Me.For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.”
Mark 10:31 – Many who are first will be last, and the last, first.
In hockey, a Most Valuable Player (MVP) award is an honor typically bestowed upon the best-performing player on a team or in a league. Almost every hockey player wants to be the MVP. We want to score the most goals, put up the most points, make the big hit, and lead the team to victory. Most have a strong sense of team with a desire to win as a team, but within that is a desire to stand out, for personal fame and greatness, to be first. But God says it is the one who is least who is the greatest, and many of the last who are first. It seems God has a different picture of what an MVP looks like.
We have a desire to be in high positions, associated with people of status, and looked at as important. We think fame and notoriety are the fruit of greatness, so we seek satisfaction in the favor of men and exulting ourselves. This is how the world defines greatness. Jesus’s disciples desired to be the greatest which sparked an argument (Luke 9:46). Jesus put a child in front of them and said whoever receives the child in His name will be great. The disciples understood that there wasn't much worldly reward from receiving a child, and that one who did, wouldn't be seen as great. But Jesus gave a new definition of greatness, that those who do this, seen as the least, are truly the greatest.
The world’s concept of an MVP is performance based – who can do the most for the team. Greatness in God’s eyes is not a matter of performance; it’s a matter of the heart. God doesn't need ‘performers’ to accomplish a goal, as if carrying out His plans is in jeopardy. He desires those who seek His favor, who are willing to be least, willing to be last – so their recognition will come from Him, and not from men. I believe God wants us to do great things for His kingdom, but greatness in action can only follow greatness of the heart. To have greatness of the heart, we must be made new (2 Corinthians 5:17) and be transformed (Romans 12:2). Without a new heart, one will promote himself, seek fame in the eyes of the world – and in the world’s eyes will be first, but in God’s will be last – because of the true condition of his heart. But one who looks to the interest of others, considers them more important than his own interests, and serves those who are least without looking for repayment or praise from men, though it seems like he is last, he will be first before God because of the condition of his heart.
What type of MVP do you desire to be – an MVP in the world, or an MVP in God’s eyes?
In what areas of your life do you try to please men instead of God?
For additional reading see – Philippians 2:3-4, Matthew 6:1-6
Wed, May 8, 2013
by Todd Lohstreter filed under