Growing up as a teenager, I sometimes had a problem with the word obey. I wanted to be in charge of my life and be my very own person, thinking I was grown up enough when, in fact, I was not.

I spent a lot of my energy focused on activities and hobbies I enjoyed, which meant putting a hold on the chores my parents asked me to do at times. In other words, my focus was a selfish one — I only wanted to pursue my advancement and agenda.

However, as followers of Christ, we are not called to consider only our wishes but to look for and participate in opportunities to assist others who are struggling and in need of our help, be it physical or spiritual.

In Mark 9, Christ assumed the position of a faithful servant, and his entire three-year ministry demonstrated a servant's mentality that culminated with his insistence to die on the cross for us. He wants us to live as servants of God, serving others, proclaiming the good news, advancing his Kingdom — and loving each other.

Jesus provided us with the ideal example of what he wants us to do. He lived out his message through his service to the lost, the outcast, the sick, and the sinner. Do we put the same conviction in deepening our faith, advancing his Kingdom, and serving God's people as we do in our careers and favorite pastimes?

If our priority is the Kingdom of God, it would be shrewd for us to be diligent in our service to God and others, whether at work or play.

Let us follow our Lord's advice and use our resources and talents, not just to improve our lives but to invest them, as the Holy Spirit leads, to serve all those around us who are struggling and hurting just about every day.

Lord, it seems that I am always thinking about what I want. Reach into my heart and mind and change me to be more like you — who always thought more about those around you who needed your help. Amen.

Throughout This Day: Let us invite the Spirit to show us how to serve God and others in every situation and choice we face today.

Tags: Daily Devotional Mark 9
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