Great Christians Series
Intro: Can you produce greatness for someone else? In our culture it is all about who is the best, who is #1. Deep inside us is a competitive drive that finds innumerable ways to compare and climb higher. And the fundamental question behind that drive, the question that every human being asks until the day he or she dies, is, “Who’s the greatest?” When you think about that which has impacted you the most, usually it is a name. In the boxing world Mohammad Ail told the world for years he was the greatest, he could sting like a bee! In stock car racing for NASCAR everyone knew Dale Earnhardt one of the fastest that ever raced. Michael Jordan captivated the NBA because of what he could do with a ball and a hoop. Arnold Palmer became great by hitting a real tiny ball with a stick down a long fairway. They still talk about Babe Ruth today because of what he did with a different kind of ball and bat. All these individuals from the world’s prospective were great. In the eyes of people, you have to have power, prestige, beauty, and wealth to be considered great, but in God’s eyes? The lower you go, the better. You have to be the servant of all. True greatness is serving others for the glory of God.
In the previous weeks we have learned great Christians pray great prayers, think great thoughts, read great books, pursue great people and dream great dreams, take great risk, make great sacrifices and enjoy great moments. This week we find that Great Christians empower great people; they find a force within them that empowers them to help others be even greater than them. John the Baptist had the right idea; "He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30 (NASB)
Text: Mark 10:43-45 (NKJV)
“Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
1. Leave a legacy:
Great Christians leave a legacy. We become great in God’s eyes by helping others become greater than ourselves. One examples of greatness from the scripture was Moses, he is considered the greatest of all the Old Testament leaders, but among all of his other major responsibilities, he took time to train his successor, Joshua and he actually led God’s people into the Promise Land. Paul’s investment in Timothy is one of the clearest examples of empowering great people.
Jesus praised John the Baptist for his attitude; "He must increase, but I must decrease.” In the kingdom of God, decreasing equals greatness. Good Christians “live the life”; great Christians “leave a legacy.” More than anyone else in the Bible or in history, for that matter, Jesus had the right to focus exclusively on His own greatness. But He spent 3 years empowering 12 men who, along with the generations they in turn empowered, reached most of the known world with the gospel.
You can be a good Christian by obeying God and loving people, but if you haven’t poured your life into others, your life ends with a period. Great Christians end with a comma. They live the life of faith in a way that takes God’s grace to them and imparts it into the lives of others. They multiply themselves again and again and again; Good Christians “live the life”; great Christians “leave a legacy.”
It is rare that you can find a profession where it should be the goal of the boss to works himself out of a position or job with the company.
2. Reproduce your life in others:
“The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2 (NASB)
If it’s God’s desire for us to leave a legacy, it only makes sense that we would be able to see the practice modeled in Jesus’s ministry. We know about the legacy He left. Even unbelievers know about this one man who never traveled farther than sixty miles from His home and who had no mass media exposure. (Meaning He didn’t have a Facebook or twitter account). Eleven of His twelve closet followers were very committed, and a hundred and twenty others were more loosely committed. Two thousand years later we acknowledge His importance every time we write the date on a check. He’s the dividing line in history because of the power of His life, and because He passed His life on to others, who in turn passed it on to others, and so on…
Jesus had a fourfold process of empowering great people that stands out clearly in the Gospel. He brought them in, built them up, trained them for action, and sent them out.
The key to drawing people into the kind of relationship in which you can serve and empower them is exposure.
- To bring them in; you first have to model the message. Jesus’s method of discipleship was to live with his disciples.
- To build them up; Jesus told His disciples that if they followed Him, He would make them fishers of men. That goes beyond exposing them to His life and message’s it moves to a stage of nurture.
- To train for action; it is all about structure. Jesus told His disciples that: "A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.” Luke 6:40 (NASB)
When you fully train someone, whether it’s a child, a student, or a friend, that person is going to be a lot like you. So in the structure phase of empowering great people, we need to instruct their minds, develop their hearts, and equip their hands. Last but not least in this fourfold process of empowering great people:
- To send them out; finally comes the challenge stage. Jesus sent His disciples on a mission.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.’ Matthew 28:19-20 (NKJV)
An ordinary person can do great things for the glory of God. The key to Jesus’s impact was selection. He helped the multitudes, but He trained a few who would change the world. The first step in this selection is simple to ask: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5
3. Invest in your family:
Empowering great people also means you must look under your own roof; a leader must manage his own family well. Do you have a game plan for building the life of Christ into your kids? Who are you investing in? After praying and looking under your own roof, look for F.A.T. people. This has nothing to do with body weight but has everything to do with the characteristics of a person worth investing in. FAITHFUL, AVAILABLE, and TEACHABLE!
Faithful: are the people, who complete an assignment, they have a willingness to serve and follow through with this gift.
Available: is being there.
Teachable: are people who are in a position to grow and bear fruit.
I know there are bound to be a few people here today that are thinking, I can’t, I don’t have what it takes. You don’t, He does! The force can be with you! God has chosen: “Instead, God has chosen what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen what is weak in the world to shame the strong. 28 God has chosen what is insignificant and despised in the world—what is viewed as nothing—to bring to nothing what is viewed as something, 29 so that no one can boast in His presence.” 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 (HCSB)
Conclusion: Empowering great people is about letting your ceiling become the next generation’s floor. You equip them to start where you leave off and build on it. So why so few leave a legacy? There is a lack of discipline, lack of vision and lack of focus.
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.” Philippians 3:13-15
IS THE FORCE WITH YOU?
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