When Least Is Greatest


Even a live dog is better off than a dead lion.  (Ecclesiastes 9:4)

Oh, what a word of encouragement we have today in this verse from the wise preacher! Life with Christ at any level of living is better than a life without Christ. Regardless of where this message finds you today, do you agree with this biblical truth? What does the confession of your life say to those around you?

To be sure, the absolute least in the kingdom of God is better than the greatest in the kingdom of this world. Now, I know this truth flies in the face of the wisdom of this world. The world says the least in anything is to be abhorred and avoided at all cost. The world seeks greatness in its position . . . in its power . . . in its pleasure . . . in its prosperity . . . in its prestige. The world says Caesar in the palace is far greater than the Christian in the pit. Sadly, this kind of thinking has infected many in the church today. Far too many Christians are seeking the things of this world, rather than the things of the world to come.

But this is not for you! The wisdom of the world is wrong—eternally wrong. Who of you reading this right now would disagree with the Bible’s teaching about the brevity and fragility of this life? We are here today and gone tomorrow. The day after we take our last breath, the nameplate on the office door is replaced with another name. The prophet Isaiah hit the proverbial nail of this truth squarely on the head when he wrote these inspired words:

All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because of the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever. (Isaiah 40:6-8)

Nothing in this world will endure. Only the Word of God is eternal, and that Word tells us that our God is making a new heaven and a new earth for those who are His. Shouldn’t that change our perspective about who and what is truly “the least” and “the greatest” in this life? Wasn’t the good thief on the cross, who appeared to be least in the eyes of the watching world, far better off than the religious leaders in the Temple, who appeared to be greatest?

The prince of preachers, Charles Spurgeon, powerfully underscored this most encouraging biblical truth in his Morning and Evening devotional:

Lazarus among the dogs is better than Cicero among the senators; and the most unlettered Christian is in the sight of God superior to Plato. Life is the badge of nobility in the realm of spiritual things, and men without it are only coarser or finer specimens of the same lifeless material, needing to be quickened, for they are dead in trespasses and sins.  

Remember, a live dog can do infinitely more than a dead lion. If this truth resonates with you today, celebrate your “least,” knowing that your greatness awaits you on the other side of the grave.

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!


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