Rank Is A Reward In Heaven
How would you like to enlist in a great army as a General? Or better yet, just be modest and take a lieutenant's stripes, but establish your own pay grade and set up your own assignment?
I recently sat in a group discussion with seasoned church-going senior adults who bantered around what's going to happen when they show up at the pearly gates. I was amazed at their sincere, but misguided, statements and arguments. These godly saints, who have read through the Bible and take "God's Word" very seriously, puffed out their chests and bantered about how they were going to rule and reign in Heaven, based on their devotion to Christ on Earth.
What we do comes out of who we are. A generous person gives. A stingy person keeps. An aggressive person takes. If someone gives, or keeps, or takes, that doesn't make him generous, or stingy, or aggressive. You can't work your way into Heaven, and you don't get to be a General because of what you did. Rather, you are expected to do certain things when you become a General. See a difference?
Most Bible literate people are familiar with the foot washing ceremony Jesus initiated at his last supper, as recorded in the thirteenth chapter of John's Gospel. When he finished washing the disciples' feet, Jesus said, "You call me Master and Lord. That's right. I am. If I then, your lord and master, have washed your feet, you ought to be willing to wash each others' feet. I've provided the example I expect you to follow.
"No servant is greater than his boss. Neither is a messenger more significant than the one who dispatches him. You may comprehend these principles, but you'll only be at peace when you can put them into practice. The greatest among you will be the servant of all."
In Jesus' kingdom the one who is willing to serve is greater than the one who wants to rule. It's not the doing that catches his attention and admiration. It's the heartfelt desire that comes from a servant's heart. "For the Lord sees not as a man sees. Men look on outward appearances, but God looks straight to the heart."
Don't suffer to gain points with Jesus and gain rank in Heaven. Become more Christlike on Earth and accumulate points for doing what comes naturally. You have no idea where you stand until you stand before the king. If he really likes what he sees and thinks your up to it: maybe he'll let you wash feet. You might be surprised what you'll get out of it, compared to being the head heavenly hall monitor.