Friday, August 24, 2012

Is Greatness a Worldly Value?

An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Luke 9:46

Those disciples! Give them credit for their passion.   At least greatness was on their radar. 

In preparing this week for Sunday’s message, I feel like a new lens was given to me regarding greatness.  What struck me was not the disciple’s squabble, but Jesus’ response. While we will cover Jesus’ definition (and whose else matters?) of greatness this weekend, today I want you to marvel with me that Jesus wasn’t put off by the disciples’ passionate debate regarding greatness.

I don’t know why, but I always assumed greatness was a worldly value, the pursuit of which God frowned upon.  Then I did a word study and was reminded that like many things in our culture, the world has stolen this Godly value and redefined it.  Here is a taste of what I was reminded of in the Bible:
  • God is great! Psalm 145:3 Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.
  • God’s love is great! 1 John 3:1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!
  • God’s faithfulness is great! Lamentations 3:23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
  • God’s salvation is great! Hebrews 2:3 …how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? 
  • Jesus is great! Philippians 3:8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ Jesus valued great people! Luke 7:28 I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”
We value greatness so much, we are willing to pay for it, aren’t we? We want our car mechanics to aspire for greatness. We want our kid’s teachers and educators to aspire for greatness. We want our heart surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, oncologist, and chiropractors, to aspire for greatness. Why shouldn’t we aspire for greatness in areas that matter most?  What is great from the perspective of heaven?

That is exactly what we will study this weekend together.  I look forward to being with you.  It’s going to be…well…a great time together!

I love being your pastor!