The Road to True Greatness
Begins with Jesus
Taking rightful place
Communing with Him
Hearing His voice
Doing His will
Driven by purpose
Paying the price
To get the prize
The Road to greatness:
Fraught with challenges
Obstacles and uncertainties
Valley and mountains
Bears and lions
Goliaths and giants
Opposition and trials
Persecution and tribulation
But you forge on
As a champion
In the Name of the Son
Using the powerful word
Standing on the promises
Praying the promises
Taking steps of faith
Spending and being spent
Pushing and pressing
Till something happens
You dream big dreams
See beyond the seen
See through God’s eyes
Refusing to limit Him
Till your purpose is done.
Acts9, 2Cor11:23-12:10, Gen39,
41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. -41:41,
Neh1:11…. I was the king’s cupbearer.
5:14… 14 Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even unto the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that is, twelve years, I and my brethren have not eaten the bread of the governor.
6:15 So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days
30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.John19:30
6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
2 Corinthians 12:9
For my strength is made perfect in weakness.
A primary qualification for serving God with any amount of success, and for doing God’s work well and triumphantly, is a sense of our own weakness. When God’s warrior marches forth to battle, strong in his own might, when he boasts, “I know that I shall conquer, my own right arm and my conquering sword shall get unto me the victory,” defeat is not far distant. God will not go forth with that man who marches in his own strength. He who reckoneth on victory thus has reckoned wrongly, for “it is not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” They who go forth to fight, boasting of their prowess, shall return with their gay banners trailed in the dust, and their armour stained with disgrace. Those who serve God must serve Him in His own way, and in His strength, or He will never accept their service. That which man doth, unaided by divine strength, God can never own. The mere fruits of the earth He casteth away; He will only reap that corn, the seed of which was sown from heaven, watered by grace, and ripened by the sun of divine love. God will empty out all that thou hast before He will put His own into thee; He will first clean out thy granaries before He will fill them with the finest of the wheat. The river of God is full of water; but not one drop of it flows from earthly springs. God will have no strength used in His battles but the strength which He Himself imparts. Are you mourning over your own weakness? Take courage, for there must be a consciousness of weakness before the Lord will give thee victory. Your emptiness is but the preparation for your being filled, and your casting down is but the making ready for your lifting up.
“When I am weak then am I strong,
Grace is my shield and Christ my song.”
THREE LEVELS OF ATTACK (3)
Word for Today
‘…All these things I will give you…’
The attack over the cross. Let’s look at the third temptation Jesus faced: ‘…The devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me’ (Matthew 4:8-9 NKJV). Satan’s third attack was over a cross-less life. In essence, he told Jesus, ‘You don’t have to carry the cross. Just bow to me and you can have it all.’ Jesus said, ‘…”Away with you, satan!…”‘ (Matthew 4:10 NKJV). ‘Away’ with any teaching that says God is your porter and He has to wait on you! Or that He’s like a vending machine; all you have to do is put in a few coins and whatever you want will come out. Paul writes, ‘I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me’ (Galatians 2:20 NKJV). Has God promised to bless you? Absolutely! But that doesn’t mean you’ll never get hurt, or face lack, or fatigue, or be betrayed and disappointed by others. Jesus said, ‘…unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies [to self], it remains alone; but if it dies [to self], it produces much…’ (John 12:24 NKJV). Have you ever heard the expression, ‘Dead man walking?’ To do God’s will, you have to die to your own will, and do it daily. But if you’re willing to, God will take you to a new level of blessing.
If You Know It, Then Do It by Rick Warren
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
(James 1:22 NIV)
The Bible says in Mark 12:30, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength” (NLT). Another way to say this is, love God with all your talk, all your feelings, all your thinking, and all of your acting. God shaped you to be primarily either a talker, feeler, thinker, or a doer.
Talkers love God with their hearts. Feelers love God with their souls. Thinkers love God with their minds. Did you know that you can also love God with your intellect? Did you know that when you’re doing intellectual activities, it brings glory to God? When you’re developing and strengthening your mind, it is an act of worship.
People who are thinkers fall in love with the Bible when they become believers. They love to study that book. There is no other book in the world like it! It has the answers to life’s questions, like: “Why am I here? Where am I going? What is the purpose of life? Does my life matter? What’s the past? What’s the future? Where did I come from?” Thinkers love Bible study. Psalm 119:97 says, “How I love your law! I think about it all day long” (TEV).
We need thinkers, because the world needs consideration. Somebody has to be thinking through complex issues and the implications of what the rest of us are doing. We need people who think through tough problems and bring solutions to the table. That’s why we need scientists, writers, philosophers, and innovators.
But thinkers have to be careful to practice humility. The Bible says, “Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom” (Proverbs 3:7a NLT). Why? Because God is God, and you’re not.
Humility is a choice. Not once in the Bible are you ever told to pray for God to humble you. It says to “humble yourself before the Lord.” It’s a choice. Humility is something you do to yourself. Nobody else can do it to you. They can humiliate you, but they can’t make you humble. In essence, humility is total dependence on God. It’s not denying your strengths; it’s being honest about your weaknesses.
Thinkers also need to be careful to practice what they know. If you know it, then do it! James 1:22 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (NIV).
Do you believe you ought to give to the poor? Do you do it? Do you believe that people need Christ to go to Heaven? Do you tell them about it? Do you believe in tithing? Do you do it? You only believe the parts of the Bible that you do.
Talk It Over
• Is it harder for you to deny your strengths or be honest about your weaknesses? Why do you think this is so?
• Make a list of the things you believe in. Are you doing those things?
WORKING IN THE KINGDOM (1)
Word for Today ( Bob Gas)
‘…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.’ MARK 10:43
Disneyland is referred to as ‘the Magic Kingdom.’ For those who work there, one value is emphasised above all others. It’s what puts the ‘magic’ into that kingdom. What is it? Servanthood! Employees are told that when you walk through those gates, you serve. You treat every encounter with people as if they were your personal guest. If they need directions, you escort them. If they ask a question you’ve heard a hundred times, you answer it as if you’d never heard it before. There’s a ride called the Jungle Cruise, and the most common question asked about it is, ‘How long is this ride?’ So the staff is given a prepared, standard answer: ‘The Jungle Cruise is an exciting adventure ride that lasts ten minutes.’ But one employee had been asked it once too often, so when a couple asked, ‘How long is the Jungle Cruise?’ he said, ‘Three days.’ The couple got out of the line, left the park, went back to Disney Hotel where they were on their honeymoon, packed up their suitcases, checked out, and came back to the line at the Jungle Cruise. The next day the Disneyland employee was gone, and someone else was standing at the line saying, ‘The Jungle Cruise is an exciting adventure ride that lasts ten minutes.’ When you represent God’s kingdom you’re supposed to go out of your way to facilitate people, love them and meet their needs. Why
Do you want to rise to a great altitude?
Then way up is the way down
Jesus personified that way
As He humbled Himself,
took the place of a servant
and died on the cross
For you and for me.
He gave us the example to follow
Those who will be leaders
must first learn to serve.
Hence the attitude for altitude is humility.
The Humbled and Exalted Christ
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,
11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil2:5-11
Those who have ears listen:
Original sin- not in
Garden of Eden
But in heaven
When Satan rebelled
And then was felled.
Beautiful like peacock
Wanted to usurp
Place of the Rock
He said, ‘I will arise,
Be like the Most high.
Iniquity was found
Then he was bound.
Shot like bullet
Ejected like a pellet
The mighty had fallen
The demise of Satan.
Pride goes before a fall
Like it was with Saul
So bow this day
And follow the Way.
High yet stooped so low
Humbled Himself as He bowed
Obeyed God the Father
To lift you and I higher.
He took the form of flesh
To revive, redeem and refresh.
He hung on the cross
To take away our curse.
So choose God’s way
And you will not stray.
Beware of pride
That derails to ride
That secures the New City.
11 Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, And the sound of your stringed instruments; The maggot is spread under you, And worms cover you.’
The Fall of Lucifer
12 ” How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!
13 For you have said in your heart: ‘ I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’
15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit.
16 ” Those who see you will gaze at you, And consider you, saying: ‘ Is this the man who made the earth tremble, Who shook kingdoms,
17 Who made the world as a wilderness And destroyed its cities, Who did not open the house of his prisoners?’
2 Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, Thus says the Lord God: Because your heart is lifted up and you have said and thought, I am a god, I sit in the seat of the gods, in the heart of the seas; yet you are only man [weak, feeble, made of earth] and not God, though you imagine yourself to be almost more than mortal with your mind as the mind of God;
Amplified Bible (AMP)
4 With your own wisdom and with your own understanding you have gotten you riches and power and have brought gold and silver into your treasuries;
5 By your great wisdom and by your traffic you have increased your riches and power, and your heart is proud and lifted up because of your wealth;
6 Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you have imagined your mind as the mind of God [having thoughts and purposes suitable only to God Himself],
7 Behold therefore, I am bringing strangers upon you, the most terrible of the nations, and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom [O Tyre], and they shall defile your splendor.
8 They shall bring you down to the pit [of destruction] and you shall die the [many] deaths of all the Tyrians that are slain in the heart of the seas.
Amplified Bible (AMP)
13 You were in [a]Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, the carnelian, topaz, jasper, chrysolite, beryl, onyx, sapphire, carbuncle, and emerald; and your settings and your sockets andengravings were wrought in gold. On the day that you were created they were prepared.
14 You were the anointed cherub that covers with overshadowing [wings], and I set you so. You were upon the holy mountain of God; you walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire [like the paved work of gleaming sapphire stone upon which the God of Israel walked on Mount Sinai].
15 You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until iniquity and guilt were found in you.
16 Through the abundance of your commerce you were filled with lawlessness and violence, and you sinned; therefore I cast you out as a profane thing from the mountain of God and the guardian cherub drove you out from the midst of the stones of fire.
17 Your heart was proud and lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I lay you before kings, that they might gaze at you. Ezek28:2,4-8,13-17
Isa14:11-16, Ezek28:2,4,5-8, 13-17
Charles H. Spurgeon
“The Son of man.”John 3:13
How constantly our Master used the title, the “Son of man!” If he had chosen, he might always have spoken of himself as the Son of God, the Everlasting Father, the Wonderful, the Counsellor, the Prince of Peace; but behold the lowliness of Jesus! He prefers to call himself the Son of man. Let us learn a lesson of humility from our Saviour; let us never court great titles nor proud degrees. There is here, however, a far sweeter thought.
Jesus loved manhood so much, that he delighted to honour it; and since it is a high honour, and indeed, the greatest dignity of manhood, that Jesus is the Son of man, he is wont to display this name, that he may as it were hang royal stars upon the breast of manhood, and show forth the love of God to Abraham’s seed. Son of man — whenever he said that word, he shed a halo round the head of Adam’s children.
Yet there is perhaps a more precious thought still. Jesus Christ called himself the Son of man to express his oneness and sympathy with his people. He thus reminds us that he is the one whom we may approach without fear. As a man, we may take to him all our griefs and troubles, for he knows them by experience; in that he himself hath suffered as the “Son of man,” he is able to succour and comfort us. All hail, thou blessed Jesus! inasmuch as thou art evermore using the sweet name which acknowledges that thou art a brother and a near kinsman, it is to us a dear token of thy grace, thy humility, thy love.
“Oh see how Jesus trusts himself Unto our childish love, As though by his free ways with us Our earnestness to prove! His sacred name a common word On earth he loves to hear; There is no majesty in him Which love may not come near.”
Charles H. Spurgeon
“Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins.”Psalm 19:13