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Those who are in the kingdom are greater than those who are not in the kingdom

Picture a small bag of dust. How valuable is it? Not much, right?

Well, add some water to it. How valuable is it now? Still not much, right?

Now stick it in a pot of gold powder for a while, and pull it out. It may now have a little more value because of the tiny amount of gold that sticks to it.

Now take some gold powder from the pot of gold and put it in the bag. Its value suddenly jumps up because it now has more gold in it than ever before.

That is the way it is with us. Without God in our life we are just a small bag of dust mixed with some water.

In the Old Testament, some men and women were filled with the Holy Spirit and they could do things that normal men and women could not do. They were greater than normal men and women because of the presence of the Holy Spirit on them. They were like the bag of dust immersed in the pot of gold powder.

But those who are born again have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. They are like the bag of dust with gold in it. Even with a tiny amount of gold in it the bag is more valuable than all of the other bags.

Now let us read Mt 11:11 and Lk 7:28.

Mt 11:11 "Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he."

When Jesus says, "Truly I say to you," you must understand that He is saying something that is going to be hard for you to believe. So you have to pay more careful attention to what He is saying and prepare to adjust your mindset to His.

Lk 7:28 "I say to you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he."

Have you ever wondered why Jesus said that? This verse gives you a clue regarding how God places value on people.

John had the unique distinction of being filled with the Holy Spirit even before he was born (Lk 1:15,41).

Lk 1:15 "For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother's womb."

John was able to recognize Jesus when he (John) was not yet born, and when Jesus was barely conceived. This wouldn’t be possible unless he was filled with the Holy Spirit. And when he leapt in the womb upon recognizing Jesus , his mother was filled with the Holy Spirit. That is perhaps why he was the greatest of all who are born of women. But everyone who is born of God is greater than anyone born of woman because the Spirit of God dwells in them, and not just fills them.

Just like how a bag has little value if it has dust in it, but great value if it has gold in it, in the same way, we are of great value, not because of who we are, but because of Who is in us.

A person who is baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit may be likened to a bag of dust immersed in a pot of gold. The dust bag that is immersed in the pot of gold from the earliest time would then be considered the greatest. Yet, while a bag filled with dust may be considered valuable if it is immersed in a pot of gold, it is not as valuable as a bag that is filled with even the smallest amount of gold.

So God has the least value for ordinary man, and a little more value for people that He can use to build His kingdom, and the most value for people who are like Him in character.

Now think about all the unbelieving people, born from the beginning of time until now, who are great men in the eyes of the world – the great politicians, the great presidents, the great scientists, the great artists, the wealthiest people, and the great sportsmen. In God’s eyes (and in the Day of Judgment, those are the only eyes that matter), John the Baptist was greater than them all! And what’s more, if you are a child of God then you too are greater than them all. If you meditate on this you will never suffer from poor self-esteem. Believe it or not - believing in Mt 11:11, daily, is the final and permanent cure for all self-esteem issues!

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