"Purity of Service"
In verse 34 of today’s Gospel reading, Mark 9:30-37, Jesus and His disciples came to Capernaum. While on their way, His disciples were discussing among themselves who was the greatest. Capernaum, a city near the Sea of Galilee, was where Jesus called most of His disciples such as the fishermen brothers Peter and Andrew, as well as Matthew the tax collector. Capernaum was also where Jesus performed many miracles. Since Jesus' disciples had been with Him for a while, it seems that they were expecting a hero's welcome as they returned to their hometown, and were probably further expecting Jesus to recognize and even announce which one of them was greater than the others. But the Lord, seeing their hearts, did not directly respond as to which of them was best. Instead Jesus took a child, representing humility and pureness of heart, to set before them as a model of greatness.
Christ has set us free from the slavery of sin and death, and because of this we love to serve Him with purity in our hearts, pleasing God rather than man. A right heart attitude is what God longs for in His servants.
Therefore let us not submit to worldly pleasures that will hinder our services to our Master and Lord. Purifying our minds with His Word (Rom. 12:1-2) and rendering our prayers (Phil. 4:6) to Him will clear our spiritual vision, thus keeping our services acceptable to Him.
No one can repay the Lord for what He has done for us. King David said in Psalm 116 verses 12 and 16, “What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me? O Lord, surely I am Your servant, I am Your servant, the son of Your handmaid, You have loosed my bonds.”