Contrary to nearly Universal popular opinion, accepting the way of Jesus is not primarily a self-centered means by which we can personally, and effortlessly, get ourselves into heaven, or a way to simply enrich ourselves here on earth, at the expense of others.
In fact, the teachings of Jesus tell us explicitly that those who seek to be first, and that those who seek personal gain above others, will be last in God's Kingdom.
"Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matt. 20:27-28)
"The greatest among you shall be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted." (Matt. 23:11-12)
"And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” (Mark 8:39)
God, our Father and the Creator of all things, has chosen (John 1:34) and anointed (Luke 4:18) this man, Jesus, to be our perfect example in all things, showing us of what we are capable.
We are called through the example and words of Jesus to seek to do righteousness, to forgive others just as God forgives us, to be good examples to others, and to bring God's Heavenly Kingdom into the Earth through our daily actions.
This, and this alone, is the Kingdom that Jesus preached, and we should seek everyday to conform ourselves to it.
It's clear that Jesus calls us all to a life of action and Good Works on behalf of others. Every one of our actions in our daily lives should show to others how God wishes humanity to relate to one another and to our Creator.
We are called to act selflessly, in the service of others. And Jesus left us a template by which we can act as God wishes us to act here on this earth.
We are called, not to judge, or to only mouth praise to God or to Jesus, nor to hope someone else acts, but instead, we are ourselves called to act righteously and justly in our dealings with others.
The example of Jesus - a human being like ourselves - shows us that we are ABLE to act, and have from birth the moral ability to act, on behalf of others. And it is our duty to do so, without excuse.
Feed the hungry; clothe the naked; comfort the sick; welcome the stranger; visit those in prison. (Matt. 25:31-39) Jesus never shirked his duty to serve others, even washing the feet of the disciples as a sign of his humility and how he was living as a "ransom" to others. (John 13)
When others teach, and preach, that we can serve OURSELVES first, or that we may enrich ourselves without caring for others, or that God can be used exclusively to grant our material, selfish desires, it becomes easy to forget who our Master is, and that because we have one Master and one Teacher (Matt. 23:8-10) Jesus' words alone are to be our pathway to the life God wishes us to live.
Jesus calls us to follow his example in all things. Let us commit to doing this, collectively as followers of Jesus and on our own in our daily lives.