Friday, 20 August 2010


Christ’s disciples have just heard Christ tell them He was going to die. They then begin discussing among themselves who would be the greatest. Interestingly, Christ didn’t rebuke them - He actually gave them advice on how to achieve it! (Luke 9:44-48)
Do you want to be great? Who would you consider to be great today? It seems we live in a world which confuses greatness with fame. (Paris Hilton is famous, but, as far as I can tell, she is notGreat.) This confusion between greatness andfame has powerfully affected the way young people convert ambition into a life-long godly purpose.
For a generation maxed-out on “self-esteem”, greatness is a claim that is quickly made by those who feel they are already great, usually with the synonym: “awesome” even though they have no particular reason to claim greatness.
Greatness should be an attribute of those of noble character because what they achieve is largely for others.
But what makes the Great, great? Certainly the Great are great achievers. They actually have something to be great about. They aren’t the “one day I’ll...” type of would-be-great, rather - they actually turn intentions into a plan of action, then carry out that plan.
  • The Great overcome incredible obstacles and often have to have great courage and tenacity to do so.
  • The Great persist in their mission despite massive criticism.
  • The Great influence others, the Greater leave a legacy.
A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before the great.
Proverbs 18:16
In Luke 9:44-48 we read of Jesus declaring something profoundly great to His disciples. His disciples are inspired by Christ’s greatness and begin to discuss among themselves which of them would be the greatest of His followers. It would be fair to assume that Christ would sharply rebuke His disciples for their pride. But He doesn’t. Curiously, he offers them a way to redeem their desire for greatness. He took a child and placed him on His side and taught them about greatness.
From this episode we can see that greatness can be achieved in a right way. Consider the lessons of Christ about Greatness-
Wanting to be Great can be noble especially when carried out with humility and consideration for the vulnerable.
Greatness leaves its mark on the next generation in an inspirational way.
(A wise man leaves an inheritance to his children's children (Proverbs 13:22). I hope that we can leave our church as an inheritance to our grandchildren. It is my aim that our church will have such deposit of prayer and godly sacrifice that it reaps fruit for at least the next three generations. I hope that we create a culture of: (i) devotion to God and His Word, (ii) love for each other and our community, (iii) commitment to evangelism and the church as the base for this outreach.)
Greatness in service for Christ is not necessarily a church ministry, but is more probably about doing what seems ordinary (a child) in an extraordinary manner with extraordinary commitment.
It might sound “humble” to answer our opening question, “No”, but this may actually be false humility masking fear or even perhaps laziness.
You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great.
King David, Psalm 18:35
We desperately need more young people to be committed to greatness!
Picture of a great man.What are doing with your life that you could do for God, greatly? There was once a businessman who had an ability for making money. When he came to Christ he felt miserable about the way his business activities had led to people losing their jobs. He came to his pastor and announced that in order to make up for his previously ruthless business activities he was going to train for the Pastoral Ministry and become a church planter.
How will you live while you study and church plant?” asked his pastor.
It’ll be a struggle” he replied, “I’ll go from being a wealthy businessman to a poor pastor” he chuckled.
His pastor responded by saying, “Please don’t! We have too many poor and struggling pastors. Is there anyway you could use the gifts and skills God has given you for business and finance to become a more generous giver for the Kingdom of God?” The pastor went on to ask, ”How many church planters could you fund?” The businessman answered, “About 100 to start with.” His pastor said to him, “Then please do that because we have lots of poor pastors but not enough great and generous business who know how to give well.”
Whatever you’ve committed your life to, consider this: how could you do what you do, greatly? Great people, truly great people, are those who have learned to redeem their pursuit of greatness by ordering their lives according to the Word of God.
but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.Matthew 5:19b
May God grant you the desire, means, and plan to do something great for Him which will leave a lasting legacy for generations to come, which is perhaps why Christ used a child to make these points.

Dr. Andrew Corbett |

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