Jesus spoke these words as he taught his disciples about the nature of true greatness. In the Kingdom of God, greatness is defined not by who serves you but by who you serve:<

“…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. Mark 10:43b-44

Christianity is all about serving others. But that’s not how you become a Christian.

Becoming a Christian does not begin with serving Christ and giving your life to him; it begins with Christ serving you by giving his life for you.

This is the main difference between religion and the gospel. Religion begins with our need to serve God. But there’s a problem. We are by nature in bondage to the grip of sin and unable to serve God from the heart. That’s why Jesus came to free us from sin’s grip. He performed the ultimate service by humbling himself to be born as a human being, “the Son of Man,” and then going to the cross, where he gave his life “as a ransom for many.”

This means that we must be served before we can serve. We must be served and saved by Jesus before we can serve others for Jesus. It’s important to remember this as the Christmas season draws near, because as we get busy serving others (a good thing to do), we tend to forget how Jesus has served us (and that’s not something we should ever forget).

Lord Jesus, help me to serve others with joy this Christmas season, and also to share the gospel with others as I rejoice in how you have served me and given your life as a ransom for me. Amen.

Today's Challenge: This holiday season provides many opportunities to share the good news with those who may have a very fuzzy understanding of who Jesus is and why he came. Pray for an opportunity to share, and take it when it comes.

Tags: serve Mark 10