August 15, 2022     7:44 am
335. Week of Twentieth Sunday after Trinity - Friday
Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
          Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?   Mathew 18:1
          What we would say in answer to this question might be wrong. Let us see what the Saviour answers. He says: "If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all and servant of all." (Mark 9:35) What does this signify? It signifies three things. First: It is right for a Christian to desire to be first in the kingdom of God, that is, to wish to do more for the kingdom of God than any other man, and also earnestly to attempt this. Secondly: But in doing this, such a Christian must consider himself nothing but a poor sinner, which indeed he is, and deeply deplore that he can do so little, but esteem every other Christian better than himself. Thirdly: In doing this, he again must serve all others and make himself their servant, for in the kingdom of God service alone is what is wanted. Whom, therefore, does our Lord call the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? Him who uses His best endeavours to amount to something in the kingdom of God, but at the same time esteems himself less than others, and serves others with the greatest humility. The Saviour further answered our question by setting a little child in the midst of His disciples and saying: "Truly, I say to you, except you be converted and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 18:2-4) Conceit shuts one out from the kingdom of heaven, for it is in direct opposition to the state of a heart that trusts in the Saviour of sinners. Whoever, like a dear little child, serves his fellow-man, and at the same time, again like a dear little child, considers himself the least of all believers, he, yes, he is the greatest. A wonderful doctrine, and directly opposed to flesh and blood! But such a one the Saviour loves.
          PRAYER: - Lord Jesus, give to me, and sustain within me, a poor sinner, the true faith, that I may be and remain in Your kingdom. And grant me Your Holy Spirit to serve You gladly in Your kingdom by serving my neighbour. And guard me against faith-destroying conceit and vanity! Let me be Your beloved disciple in childlike simplicity and humility. Amen.

Third Part : The Christian's Life and Death
August 15, 2022     7:44 am