As I'm going into this, I have to remember that I am a servant. It's so easy, especially for me, to get caught up in the moment that I'm doing a good thing, and I forget to give all glory and motivation to Christ and the gospel. I am very prone to think about all the good ways my works can make my life better.
Just tonight, God definitely brought this to my attention. Since I've started specifically asking Him to show me what He wants me to learn every single morning, I have noticed a lot of things I need to work on. But tonight, at my youth group bible study, we were studying Mark 10. A section in this chapter really hit home for me.
Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem (on His way to sacrifice His life) and saying things that the disciples could not understand. They always asked Him "What did you mean by...?" after Jesus spoke. In spite of all this, James and John decided to ask of Jesus a favor.
"And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, 'Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.' And He said to them, 'What do you want me to do for you?' And they said to him, 'Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.' Jesus said to them, 'You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?' And they said to him, 'We are able.' And Jesus said to them, 'The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.' And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. And Jesus called them to him and said to them, 'You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.'" (Mark 10:35-45)
Oh my goodness! So easily, I and you can look at James and John and think, "How foolish and naive!" But then again, when we look at ourselves, we do the same thing too. As a Christian, I have been called to serve and follow Christ. And yet I still want to be known for what I do; in other words, I want praise and adoration for my good works. James and John had been called to follow and serve Christ, and they were asking for a favor- and no small one at that.
Being a disciple of Christ is not to get a title or a name- it's not a label. Being a disciple is an action. It's being a servant. The goal in the Christian walk should not be, "How can I be the best Christian in heaven?" No, it is "How much glory can I give Christ?"
It's so hard for me to remember, but it is so so important and true. As I go on this missions trip, I am praying that God will help me to have a servant's heart that wants to bring Him glory and none for myself.