Matthew 20:28 (NLT)
28 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.�

This verse comes after the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus with her sons to make a request. The request was, �In your Kingdom, please let my two sons sit in places of honor next to you, one on your right and the other on your left.� Jesus knew they were not certain what they were asking for so Jesus gave an explanation of His purpose. Jesus was not to be a ruler who sat and did nothing; Jesus came to serve others. The life of Jesus was not going to be pleasant for Jesus was going to give His life to ransom many from the sin that held them captive.

The disciples wanted something from Jesus He could not give them. It was a change the disciples needed to make in themselves. Imagine if Jesus had said to them, �I want you to die on a Roman cross tomorrow for my sake.� I doubt at this point in their lives they would have complied. Change is from the inside.

Altering directions a little, when you have a problem with someone else - who do you focus on the most? Do you think things would change if that other person would just change or do you think, wow I need to make some changes in me?

Jesus said: Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank that is in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye (Matthew 7:3-5).

Jesus said we must first focus on our own shortcoming, on changes we need to make. This is not to say that those around us don't have faults, bad habits and sins. They do. But despite that, God wants us to focus first on our part. We need to be willing to see if we need to change something in us.

There is also the issue we cannot change someone who does not wish to change. We can threaten, belittle and try all types of things, but if a person doesn�t want to change � guess what, they are not going to change. Only God can work in the hearts of people to change them, which is why our prayers for others are so important. Only God can soften the hard hearted and restore their life to a good place.

Do you ever say things like � It is their entire fault; I only get angry because they do that; He/she hurt me and I want them to feel the pain I did; I need to confront their sin, they just aren�t getting it.

I�ll be honest, I know I have said things like that in my life and maybe some of you have too. We need to remember to first examine ourselves and see what we need to change about us. Pray God would reveal to us the things we need to work on, how we relate to people and how we can serve others as Jesus served.

Seek to truly understand others opinions and emotions. When you understand where the other person is coming from, look for ways to minister to them as you talk. God wants us to speak with love and courtesy, whatever the circumstances. Our words should be things of beauty, "like apples of gold in settings of silver" (Proverbs 25:11). Even if you need to take strong actions, control your anger (Proverbs 29:11). Remember you can only change yourself. It�s others who have to want to change themselves by allowing God to work in their lives.