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What Is the Great Submission?

The Great Commission in Matthew 28:19 calls all believers to "go and make disciples of all nations." But what is the Great Submission?

The Great Submission is what Jesus Christ taught us through His words and His life, from His birth in a lowly stable to His death on the Cross. He lived a life of great submission.

How do we live a life of great submission?

Three things characterize the Great Submission, humility, obedience, and servanthood.

First, we need to have a humble spirit. True humility is being honest about our weaknesses before God, but it is also not thinking of less of ourselves because of our human weaknesses. It is a state of mind directed outward, away from ourselves. The outward trajectory of humility should be directed toward God and others. Humility should be a way of life we intentionally adopt and live as much possible minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, until we die.

Second, we need to be obedient. As God-fearing believers, we should be living our lives in faithful obedience, resting on God’s promises, the presence of Jesus Christ in our lives, and the power of the Holy Spirit, not on our own devices. Humble obedience is not just a state of mind, it is a state of life we need to develop as we recognize our insufficiency before God and His call to obediently serve others using our God-given gifts.

Third, we need to be servants. This means we need to be open to serve, available to serve, and prepared to serve. We also need to be sacrificial, ready to sacrifice our time and other resources. As God's servants, we are to obediently serve others, thinking of ourselves less as we give of our time and other resources to help God's people, all His people. We should decrease so others might increase, as John the Baptist did for Jesus.

Much emphasis is placed on The Great Commission, the directive to go out and make disciples. But The Great Submission is an important element of fulfilling that directive. Living a lifestyle of servanthood is inherently part of making disciples, just as Christ's life was an example of how He made disciples through humility, obedience, and servanthood.

Listen to God's Words

The greatest among you will be your servant. (Matthew 23:11)

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said,“Anyone who wants to be first must be the

very last, and the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35)

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45)

Also read: Luke 6:38, Ephesians 5:21, Philippians 2:7

In the Words of Others

"Servanthood does not nullify leadership. It defines it. Jesus does not cease to be the Lion of Judah when He becomes the lamblike servant of the church." John Piper

"Everybody can be great...because everybody can serve." Martin Luther King Jr.

"A great man is always ready to be little." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Think About It

  • Elaborate on how you think a lifestyle of submission to God and His will, forms a good foundation for making disciples as part of The Great Commission.

  • If you have been living a life of servanthood, consider specific instances in which you served, and how humility and obedience played roles in your activities.

  • Find two examples in Scripture of how Jesus lived a life of humility, obedience, and servanthood. Meditate on each and think of how you could apply them to your life.

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