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Revisiting the Idea of PRACTICING GREATNESS

January 9, 2023 | by: Chris Kiiskinen | 0 comments

revisiting-the-idea-of-practicing-greatnessLast Spring I preached a sermon on what it means to practice greatness...from a biblical point of view. We are taught by Jesus that if we desire to be “great” (from God’s perspective!) that we must be the servant of all (Matt. 20:26).

As we head into a new year together as a church family, and as we recently were reminded by Tony from the series in 1 Peter, we are a “royal Priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9). The priesthood was established by God as a group that was focused on serving. They primarily served God, but they often did so by serving His people.
Jesus gave us the greatest example of what a servant looks like, helping us to see that it isn’t just one “option” that a Christian has, but rather it is a goal for us, if we desire to be like him. We see that he emptied and humbled himself for the purpose of becoming a servant (Phil. 2:7).

He took the place of the lowest servant in the house when he washed the disciples feet, something none of them even thought to do (John 13:1-7). He taught us that he didn’t come to be served, but to serve others. We are to have this same mindset...we are to be servants.

As I mentioned in the sermon, there are five principles that are helpful to remember when we consider our service to the Lord. Sometimes we may feel that we aren’t gifted, or that we just aren’t good at anything. Sometimes we may think that someone else will do it better. Other times, we may feel like we just don’t have enough time. But the Lord doesn’t allow for us to have excuses for not serving, he simply calls us to serve, as that is a way in which we emulate Christ...who came to serve.

Here are the main points from my sermon, to refresh your memory:

1) God gives us work to do.
Ephesians 2:10 teaches us that God has prepared works for us to walk in. If this is true, we can be sure that there are ways that He intends for us to be serving one another.
2) God equips us for that work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 teaches us that, through the Scriptures, we can be equipped for EVERY good work that He has prepared us for.
3) God calls us to do that work.
In Matthew 5:13-16, Jesus describes us as “salt” and “light” and tells us that we are to let our good works be seen by others. This can only happen if we are indeed serving. Paul says it in a similar way in Philippians 2:12 when he says to “work out our salvation” which is a way of saying that we are to live out our faith. In other words, it should show through our deeds that we belong to Christ.

4) God is the one who establishes the work that we do.
Psalm 90:17 and Proverbs 16:3 both teach us that, as we faithfully serve God, he is the one who establishes our works, or makes them accomplish what he intends them to accomplish. This is a truth that should always give us confidence that even if we don’t feel we are adequate, Jesus is our adequacy!
5) God wants our work to be done in love.
1 John 3:18 tells us that we are not to just “talk the talk” but we are to “walk the walk!” We are to love in deed and in truth, not just merely agree with the idea that the Bible says we are to serve one another. In Galatians 5:13, Paul teaches us that we are to serve one another through love. Love must be a component of our foundational reason for serving.
You have heard us announce for a while now that we still have many ministries in the church where we are in need of more people to serve. Some ministries have vacancies because many people who served in the past have moved away over the last couple of years. Some have vacancies because people have not come back to serve in them.

Another reason we may have so many vacancies is because, in addition to having many people move away recently, we have also had many new people start coming to the church in the last 2-3 years. Often it can take a bit of time to know if a new church is where you’ll stay, so you may wait to get plugged in. Sometimes when you’re newer, you may not be aware of the needs that exist. But it’s also true that, whether new or not, sometimes we are just content to let someone else do the job. But right now, that’s not happening.
Chris2_edited-1I want to encourage you to consider getting plugged into a ministry if you aren’t already serving somehow. You can find a list of ministries, along with the ministry leaders and their contact info, in every weekly worship email that gets sent out. If there are other areas you might be interested in that you don’t see listed, contact the church office and we’ll be glad to assist you.

Lastly, remember that no matter what we are doing in “word or deed” that we are to do everything in the name of Jesus, being thankful to God for all He’s done for us (Col. 3:17).

And whenever you feel like your serving doesn’t make a difference or isn’t really helping, remember that as long as we are serving the Lord, our “labor is not in vain” (1 Cor. 15:58). May we all seek to serve the Lord together in whatever tasks He has prepared for us to do! Let us “Practice Greatness” together...and be the servant of all!

Serving with you!
Pastor Chris

Chris Kiiskinen is a Pastor at Grace Bible Church