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Greatness - Kingdom Style

Servant of All Message Series

October 6, 2019 • Lead Pastor Tim Moen

“True greatness is the ability to achieve what you choose to achieve in the area you choose to achieve it; and to achieve it with excellence and a level of mastery.” James Arthur Ray Text: Mark 9:33-37 33 “And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35 And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” 36 And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 ‘Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.’” Deep down inside each of us is... • A desire for greatness. • A desire to achieve. • A desire to excel. This drive for greatness was placed there by God! Jesus is going to address that this drive became corrupted when sin entered the world. 1 John 2:16 “For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.” Galatians 5:17-21 17 “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” John emphasizes (in 1 John 2:16) that these physical things do not last; they will pass away. • The temptation of Eve in the Garden • The temptation of Christ in the wilderness (Matthew 4:8-10) The pride of life can be defined as anything that is “of the world,” meaning anything that leads to... • Arrogance • Showing off • Pride in self • Presumption • Boasting Proverbs 16:25 “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” ————— Mark 9:33-34 33 “And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest.” Jesus unpacks what GREATNESS looks like. Mark 9:35 "And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” Proverbs 16:25 “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” There are two different kinds of GREATNESS... • One kind is recognized by the approval and applause of men • The other kind is approved and applauded by God Mark 9:36-37 36 “And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 ‘Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.’” Three Quick Thoughts on Pursuing Greatness - Kingdom Style Philippians 2:3-4 3 "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. #1 A Servant will not follow after SELFISH AMBITIONS! #2 A Servant is HUMBLE! #3 A Servant Takes Care of Others! Philippians 2:5-8 5 “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Challenge Prayer Dismiss

Day Seventeen

Assignment ...SERVANTHOOD! • January 22, 2020

DAY 17 - Mark 10:45 Assignment ...SERVANTHOOD! For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”   Jesus came to live among us, not for greatness or to receive, but to freely serve and give to others. He gave the ultimate gift, through the cross, as the ultimate sacrifice. As we journey with Jesus we are not called to live on the sidelines. Football games are not won on the sidelines, they are won on the field. What an example for us to live our lives to be more like Jesus. I believe we are never finished serving the Kingdom of God. Until God calls us home, we are called to make an impact and serve the Kingdom of God and lead people to Christ. There is a place in our church for each and every one of us to serve accordingly to the gift that has given us...Don't hold back!   Jesus has never held back on us, so why do we choose to hold back on him? We want to see the Kingdom of God impacted for the greater good, yet, when Christ calls us to move, we stop and ponder the options. Carrying the cross requires a price. The price is being a humble servant for the Kingdom of God. You may never see the fruit of your labor. However, in the eternal perspective of life, it doesn’t matter because we know God is already working ahead of us. I want to give God my best because He gave His best. Never settle for giving God “lazy” when we serve. Jesus was never lazy, He came to go the extra mile for the people who did not deserve it.  Today, walk in the power of the Holy Spirit to serve and give Christ your best. Don’t hold back. We are presented with opportunities to serve the lost and see people come to a life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ. Where do you fit in and what will you do?   Only one life, 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last" C.T. Studd

Day Sixteen

Salt and the Light • January 21, 2020

Day 16 - Matthew 5:13-16 - Salt and the Light “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Disciples are like salt because they are to have a preserving influence. As we Journey with Jesus, our salty nature will affect the people around us, and with that, we can help season their walk with the love of Christ. We as salt should be favorable having the ability to guide others as they journey through life and all it challenges. How do we do this? We do this by praying with and for them, reading/studying the Word to give out to them, being lead by the Spirit, and continuing with those He has placed in our lives to walk alongside in their need. To be of any value in this Journey we are to keep our saltiness...our witness for Christ. if we choose to lose our way and begin living as the world lives, we then lose our flavor and other true believers and non-believers will see no difference between Christ and the world. We are to show the world who Jesus Christ is and His way tastes good. Psalms 34:8 Taste and see that the Lord is good;  blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Same as salt, our light will affect everyone around us. For instance, if we do not share our testimony of how Jesus not only saved us and how He did it, well then, we might as well be placing our light under a basket. Jesus wants us to share our testimony of how He helped us overcome. By sharing our victory in Christ Jesus, we are shining His light into someone who could still be in bondage and darkness. Our testimony can help break the chains of darkness in their life where they too can come to believe in Jesus and be saved and delivered. After all, it is about salvation for this lost and broken world. Do not be afraid to share your testimony. There is a saying, “we could possibly be the only bible someone will read.” In the end, it’s really not your testimony at all, its about His testimony of what He did for you and what He can do for the lost! But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a [special] people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies [the wonderful deeds and virtues and perfections] of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9 Don’t be afraid! Go spread your salt, and shine your light, to a lost and broken world! As Christians continue to be vilified, let us continue to rejoice and be exceedingly glad. It means we are being the salt and the light and we are IN HIM! R. C. Sproul Jr.

Day Fifteen

Surrendered and Focused Forward • January 20, 2020

Day Fifteen Luke 9:57-62 Surrendered and Focused Forward “As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, " I will follow you wherever you go." And Jesus said to him, " foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." To another He said  "follow me." But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father.   "And Jesus said to him,  "leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God. "Yet another said, " I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home." Jesus said to him, "no one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God." In this account, Luke is telling us three men it seems, could not meet the conditions Jesus laid down to enter the kingdom of God, and journey on with Jesus. This was a tough word to three would-be disciples. Are you surprised at Jesus' response to these three men? I'm sure they, and the "large crowd" they were part of were as well. We can gain some insight concerning the nature of God's Kingdom, and the truth of what it means to be a Christian by this interaction with Jesus. These three potentials were members of a crowd following Jesus. They obviously enjoyed being part of the movement, but Jesus knew they had a fundamental ignorance to what was required to enter the kingdom and journey on. They had a false enthusiasm as most did who followed him because they lacked understanding. (John6:66) Jesus knew this, and I'm sure they had good intentions but, He knew their hearts were looking for the physical blessings that He was providing and that they were not yet committed followers. He knows us better than we know ourselves. Jesus seems to be discouraging them. How Jesus handled this, seems so contrary to what we see in the church of today, and what we are accustomed to. We are accustomed to the church doing everything they can to attract people. We have made it so easy for people to think they've entered the kingdom. Just say a prayer and you're in. But Jesus, seems to be doing the exact opposite, and I'm sure all were caught off guard. Why did Jesus handle these men in the manner He did? Why did He seem so unsympathetic and harsh with his three responses? What did Jesus mean when He said, no one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God?" Why was He turning potential ploughman away, when, just two versus later, He says "the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few"?(Lk 10:2) Let`s take a look! Profession is easy! Jesus knew their hearts. Their minds lacked understanding therefore, their hearts had the wrong motive to enter in. I'm sure they were sincere in their thinking, but they exhibited the wrong motives. He rebuked them because He wanted them to know exactly what they were doing. He wanted them to know that committing to Him is more than a prayer. He wanted them to realize they needed to surrender all that would hinder their relationship with Him. He was trying to teach them and all who had ears to hear! Keeping in context, many healings and miracles have recently taken place. Jesus had recently taught His followers about self-denial, cross-bearing and losing one's life. (v23-24) Jesus had announced twice to the disciples His forthcoming rejection and death. (v:22+24) and He had just steadfastly set His face towards Jerusalem. (V:51) ...He had His game face on. He was trying to make them understand the seriousness and the consequences of not understanding what was soon to take place. He was going to die for them.  When Jesus talks of putting one's hand on the plough and turning back, He is saying, the disciple must fix his eyes on Jesus and His mission. He must "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness."(Mt6:33) A disciples consuming purpose is to FIRST KNOW JESUS, and then, MAKE HIM KNOWN, which is the most important thing in this life. Are there things of this world hindering you from being fit for the kingdom of God? Family? Work? The gym? Your bank account? Are you ashamed? Too tired? The reality is One doesn’t fit Jesus into their schedule, they fit their schedule into Jesus’. Is Jesus the focal point of your life? He deserves you full time, not when you have the time! I enjoy Jesus' agricultural analogies, they're so applicable. In this case, He uses a plough. A symbol of work. To plough a straight furrow, the ploughman focuses on a point ahead, he needs two hands on the plough to strike a straight furrow. This can't be done if he's looking back. In like manner, looking back at former desires and ways, will distract you from the mission and lead to temptations of this world. Jesus knew these three men had a divided loyalty. They wanted to be with Jesus, but they didn't want to surrender all the world was offering. To Journey with Jesus and receive His blessings and joy requires leaving worldly values with a clean sever and immediate separation from the pride of life! "For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."(Hebrews 4:12) "Love not the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love for the father is not in them."(1Jn2:15) Jesus gave the warning, "remember Lot's wife, whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it."(Luke17:32-33) I can't help but wonder if she was longing for the former life as she looked back. Her life was apparently pretty good there. She probably knew it was wrong, but she liked it. (We have the same problem, Paul says he dies to self daily) Apparently, she was hesitant to surrender all and looked back with longing eyes, in disobedience, and died instantly. Since the only way to really Journey with Jesus is with unconditional commitment. We need to ask ourselves, am I keeping one foot in the world just in case? Am I committed to Jesus Christ unconditionally? Am I ready for the high cost of discipleship? Have I counted the cost? Because if you are following Jesus the way he intends you to, it's going to cost you things you enjoy if it hasn't, you need to reassess your life. Jesus wants you to understand what discipleship in His kingdom requires because He loves you. He wants you on the right train because it's a one-way ticket. After all, because of His supernatural love for us, He paid the ultimate cost for our redemption so we would not face God's wrath. Praise God! " the cross is laid on every Christian. The first Christ-suffering which every man must experience is the call to abandon the attachments of this world. It is that dying of the old man which is the result of his encounter with Christ." Dietrich Bonhoeffer