On, Sunday, the message was titled The Neglected Path to Greatness, preached by Pastor John K. Jenkins, Sr. Since then God has been speaking to me about being great, so I wanted to share from the message, and what God has been sharing with me.
In Matthew 20:20-28, a mother is asking Jesus to allow her two sons to sit on either side of him in the kingdom. Jesus’ initial response to her is profound, considering that he was God in the flesh. He says to her in Matthew 20: 23b, “to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father.” The first thing we see here is that Jesus understood his role. Although he was God incarnate, he respected that this decision could only be made by God the Father. The first key to being great is being unselfish. We have to remember that it’s not always about us, even when we have the knowledge and or authority to make a decision. This coincides with the first point of the message which is that we have to be a servant. Most of us deem the word servant as negative, as a position that is less than or beneath us. However, Jesus says in verse 26 in order to be great you must be a servant. A servant is one who executes the commands of another or who cares for the concerns for another. As Christians, we must execute the plans of God vice our own plans. We must have a servant mentality in all aspects of our life. At work we are to respect authority and carry out the plans of leadership. In marriage, we are to serve our spouses by being willing to put their needs and concerns before our own sometimes. No matter what the situation, the word of God shows us how to be a servant in that area. We have to remember that ultimately we are to be a servant of God.
The second thing we must do to be great is to be a slave (verse 27). Most of us when we hear the term slave, associate it with being in bondage. However, to be a slave means to be devoted to another to the disregard of your own interest. It means putting your agenda aside and letting someone else’s agenda take the forefront. This takes humility. This means that although you would run the meeting differently, you don’t take over the meeting, but allow the person who’s leading the meeting to conduct it how they see fit. In marriage, just because you want to leave by a certain time, or you have a specific way of getting the children ready and your spouse is doing the complete opposite of what you would do, does not mean that you intervene and take over. Again, being a slave means putting aside selfishness.
Lastly, verse 28 tells us we must be a ransom. This simply means being willing to give something in exchange for something. There are some things that you must be willing to ransom, to let go of in order to fulfill your God-given assignment. For Jesus, it was to give his life. There are some things that you believe give you life, but yet if you continue to hold on to them you will find that they are bringing you to death-spiritual and or physical. Jesus gave his life so that others could be free. Are you willing to lay down your life-your desires, your plans, your way of success so that you can truly be free?
I encourage you to pause and reevaluate your life. If you really want to be great, the first step is to lay down your life-to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. From there find a good bible teaching and believing church where you can learn and grow in the things of God. Remember that greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). Greatness comes from within. Cultivate your inner man and greatness will be seen on the outside. Greatness comes from obedience. Just as God promised Abraham to make his name great (Genesis 12:2), as Abraham’s seed that promise is yours too! The Walls Group has a song out now and one of the lines says “he made me great, so let me be great”. Today is a good day to start being great.
Be blessed, but first comes obedience!