King of Glory, You bowed down, laid in a feeding stall, and lived among the lowly, all to lift me up. Thank You.
Read: Matthew 18:1-9
 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”  He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.  And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.  “If anyone causes one of these little ones-those who believe in me-to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!  If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.
Reflect: Do your values align with those of heaven?
Young children develop by copying adults, but even adults need godly role models if they are to grow to mature faith. Today’s reading shows us that bad influences lead nowhere good for anyone concerned (6,7), so we need to ruthlessly apply preventive spiritual self-surgery to temptation (8,9). Thankfully, we can look to a role model par excellence in Jesus, who perfectly embodies humility and greatness, and prove that the “me first” culture of the world has nothing to compare with the depth, truth, sacrifice, and love of relationships in God’s community.
So why is childlike humility so necessary in our response to Jesus (3,4)?
Humility means surrendering control. It’s not easy to escape the snare of self, so we must seek to supplant self-preoccupation with a holy obsession with Jesus. God helps us, for in Jesus our old self is dead and we now have a glorious “new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (Col. 3:10). We become like our role model, Jesus, by fixing our eyes on him in all circumstances we face.
In what ways do you still feel the tug of self-importance or pride? Come humbly as God’s child to confess.
I bow down, Lord, so that You might lift me up. Give me a heart to willingly go to the lowly as You did.