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Greatness According to Jesus

God loves you. He has put a calling on your life, and that is to be great according to Jesus’ definition of greatness.

Hello Gloria Dei, 

My wife, Lorrie, and I did our best to instill in our two kids the meaning of true greatness. That is: Greatness according to Jesus.  

You see, Jesus defines greatness far differently than the world does. And so, trying to live according to Jesus’ way of greatness, not to mention trying to teach and model it for our kids, has not been, nor is it today, an easy task. And I’m sure we have failed miserably at times.  

Much of the time the world defines greatness in terms of fame and fortune. And there is certainly nothing inherently wrong with either fame or fortune. When I was a kid, I dreamt of being a professional baseball player. And not just any player, but a famous one. And I applaud anyone who has a dream. Go for it. Do your best. We taught our kids to go after their dreams. Being a famous baseball player is a wonderful endeavor to shoot for. 

And I don’t believe Jesus sees anything wrong with fame or fortune (although Jesus does give us ample warning about allowing things like fame and fortune to be our gods). According to Jesus, fame and fortune are fine. 

Yet Jesus goes beyond fame and fortune and, like he so often does, turns things topsy turvy.  

In Matthew 20:26-28 Jesus says this: “Whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” 

This weekend in worship Pastor Sarah will be using this text as part of her preaching. During this season of Lent we are on a journey with Jesus to the cross. Jesus becomes the ultimate servant as he literally gives his life away so that the likes of you and me can have true and abundant life. 

And in receiving this tremendous gift of love, we are empowered by Jesus’ grace to live our lives as God’s great people. Fame and fortune are fine. If you have them, use them to serve others. Yet for every single one of us, rich or poor, young or old, we are blessed in order to be a blessing to others. That is now part and parcel to our identity. 

I encourage you to read Matthew chapters 18 to 22. In these chapters we get a further glimpse of what true greatness looks like. We read the early portions of Holy Week. And next week we’ll read together to the end of Matthew, where we see the very Son of God die and rise for the sake of this world that he loves.  

God loves you. He has put a calling on your life, and that is to be great according to Jesus’ definition of greatness. 

And just a reminder, we have an Online Church Directory, and we need YOU to be a part of it. Some of you have already submitted pictures, but for everyone else, we will have a picture booth area available for you to have your picture taken before or after worship for the next few weeks. Stop by and get your picture taken so that we all can see the Great People of Gloria Dei. 

See you in worship, 

Pastor Tim

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