This summer, we're spending a lot of time discussing what great things God built into us as men and women, and why we should celebrate those things. Yet our society is constantly challenging those inherent things in us, trying to redefine humanity. That's why we have to talk about these things in a church setting. But then what makes us great when it comes to the Kingdom of God? What makes a "great" man or woman of God? The disciples asked the very same question of Jesus in Matthew 18:1:
"At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?"
Jesus' response in verses 2-3 completely sets them back by challenging their concept of greatness. Jesus takes has them stand a child in the midst of them and says (paraphrased): "Unless you're converted and become as little children, you won't even get IN the kingdom, much less be great in it." No doubt they were stunned. But Jesus was making the point that we can't approach God's Kingdom the way we'd approach a man's kingdom. His is entirely opposite from what naturally makes sense according to human reasoning!
We measure greatness by size, accomplishment, intelligence, status, wealth, public influence. We see a big man and assume he's great. We see a wealthy man and label him as great. We see a beautiful woman and marvel at her supposed greatness. Intelligent people automatically earn a title of greatness. Yet all of these metrics are human measurements of greatness, not God's. Even in God's Kingdom, on the day of judgment, some will stand before Him having accomplished "great" things like casting out demons or preaching His Word, and they'll hear the most terrible verdict, "Depart, I don't even know you."
Greatness to God is not measured in human terms! The Bible is filled with people who did great things, but were those things the source of their greatness? Perhaps what made them do great things was a deeper greatness stirring inside of them where no one could see. Samson's greatness wasn't in his muscles, otherwise, why would the Philistines work so hard to find out his source of power? Esther's greatness wasn't in her beauty or position as queen, or that alone would have saved her people from annihilation.
God is all about greatness, just not greatness on our terms! Every Sunday this summer, we're focusing on what makes us great in God's eyes! Don't miss it! I promise it will challenge your preconceived ideas of serving God. And it will motivate you in a new way to pursue a new way!