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In “Not So With You” we discovered The Greatness Principle: When you bless others, God blesses you.

“…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant… Matthew 20:26.

The following week in “To Do For You” we talked about ways to serve others. As a matter of fact the Greatness Principle will involve looking for ways to serve others.

“For Me Too” reminded us of our responsibilities to take care of the needs in the house and serve in our local church.

In “Blessed If You Do” Jesus said that the secret to a blessed and abundant life is acts of service, even lowly acts such as washing feet.

But some of us may still be asking why? Why do I need to serve others or why am I serving others? What is my hearts attitude and motive? It’s a question that should be asked. Join us Sunday at 9 or 11 a.m. for “Why Should You”, part of our series GREATNESS AS WE SERVE.

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When I was a kid, in the late sixties, it was a time of unrest and revolutionary thinking in our country. I came across an entertaining book that at the time summed up how I felt and how much of our youth felt as well. It was called “How to Be a Nonconformist.” The book sort of poked fun at our desire to be different! Even though it was comical, the truth is that we really didn’t want the norm. We wanted something different. We were looking for a better way. The funny thing was I lived in a very loving, near perfect home. I had great parents, and all of my needs were met. We lived in a great and free country with a stable economy.

The problem was that I, nor anyone else, really knew what we wanted. “We were rebels without a cause” you might say. We wanted something to believe in. We wanted something to fight for, and we were willing to take risk, if we only new what it was that were fighting for!

Those days passed. I grew up. I conformed rather than being a nonconformist. Most of us do.

But deep down inside, the desire for something different never left me. Even after I surrendered by life to Christ Jesus, I still felt there was something more. There was still something within me that knew life could be better than what we were experiencing on the surface. As I looked at the mediocre like style that most were living, the rat race, and keeping up with the Jones’s, it’s as if I could hear the words of Jesus echoing in my brain, “Not So With You”. “Don’t conform to the ways of society, be a nonconformist. But do it my way.”

I knew that, even as believers, we needed to revolt from the normal and ordinary and live according to the principles and teaching of Jesus so that our lives would have meaning and significance. Lives that are abundant and full.

This desire was from God because, as I learned later in life, Jesus didn’t want us living mediocre lives either. As a matter of fact, Jesus said. “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.John 10:10 (NKJ)

That’s what Jesus wants for me and that’s what Jesus wants for you – “Abundant Life”. That’s why He came. He wants you to not only have eternal life with Him in heaven, but He wants your life right now, right here on this earth, to be full, meaning, rewarding, and abundant!

The Greek word for abundant is perissos, meaning superior or beyond measure.

Are you living that kind of life? Now that you are a Christian, is your life superior to what it was before? Are you living a life that is beyond measure?

Join us this Sunday at 9 or 11 a.m. for GREATNESS AS WE SERVE, “ Blessed if You Do”.

image Watch or listen online @ http://believersstatesboro.com/home/online-sermons/.

Greatness As We Serve “For Me Too” Believers Statesboro 01-19-14

The Greatness Principle: When you bless others, God blesses you.

Jesus told his followers that true greatness in life only comes from serving others. “…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant… Matthew 20:26.

Or as Jesus said in Matthew 23:11, “The greatest among you will be your servant.”

Now consider this. If I cut my neighbors grass, Janet would be proud of the way I served others. But what if I cut every yard in our neighborhood in order to serve others, but I never cut our grass? Janet would say, “I appreciate what you are doing for others, but you need to do it for me too!” She would have every right to say that and I would agree with her. It’s nice to do for others, but we need to take care of things at home too!

Minister Your Gifts to One Another

In reality, all believers are “ministers.” We are called to serve God and to serve others.

Minister or Ministry is a biblical idea which means “to serve” or “servant.” “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (1 Peter 4:10)

You have received a special gift from God, and it is your responsibility to be a good steward of that gift.

Elbow Grace

Eph 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (NIV)

James 2:20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? (NKJ)

You have been GRACED with a gift. Grace is not only God’s favor but also “God’s enabling power” that will be given to you or come upon you. God graces you with special gifts, power, strength, and ability to do all that he has commissioned you to do.

In our First Serve Class beginning, Sunday Morning, February 2nd, at 11:00 a.m. you will be given a chance to discover for the first time, or rediscover your spiritual gifts. Not only will we talk about your Spiritual gifts but we will also look at the talents and craftsmanship’s that you are blessed with.

But the bottom line according to 1 Peter 4:10 is that you have been given a least one gift, you are graced, supernaturally enabled to do that gift. You are told to do it for others, now the only question remains is, “Where do I serve?” Again, we are commissioned to reach the world for Christ Jesus, home and aboard, but what I want us to focus on today is cutting the grass in your own backyard. Serving in the church family that you are called to be a part of. As Janet would have told me, “I appreciate what you are doing for others, but you need to do it for me too!” I appreciate what you are doing in the world, but I want you to serve for me too, that are to serve here in your local church. So now the more specific question is, “How and where do I serve in Believers Church of Statesboro?” Are you serving here? It is your home, so I hope so!

Just Jump In!

Do you remember the first time you ever stood on the end of one of a Diving Board? Do you remember the fear, the anxiety, the uncertainty, and the apprehension? So, with butterflies in your stomach and everything turning, you just jumped. And to your surprise, you didn’t die. In fact, it was kind of cool! It was so fun and energizing and more than likely you climbed out, got back in line, and jumped off again. You will never know the joy of serving others until you jump in and start serving! You will never experience an abundant life until you volunteer to serve others!

Where Are You Going to Jump?

Now before you jump in, you not only have to think about how you’re going to jump—what you might be gifted at, what gifts has God graced you with, but you also have to think about where you’re going to jump.

Have you ever noticed that many people go to “Splash” but where they hang out is different? Everybody is going to the pool, but the part of the pool that they enjoy and that energizes them is different for everybody.

Now, it’s one thing to have an awareness of what your spiritual gifts might be. It’s quite another to figure out what area of the pool, so to speak, you should deploy them in—what area you’re passionate about.

Outside Your Gift Mix

For many of you, the area you might be passionate about is something you would expect based on your background, skills and natural gifting. For others of you, it might be something you wouldn’t expect at all. God could call you to do something totally out of your gift mix.

EX: The Apostle Paul, God used his brilliant mind and intellectual skills to work devising compelling arguments to convince people that Jesus was God in the flesh. It was very consistent with his gifts. On the other hand, Peter and his brother Andrew, knew how to fish. They were gifted at fishing, yet God called them to be teachers and writers and evangelists.

FIRST SERVE

Can you imagine having to sign a six-month to a year lease on a new car, just so that you could drive it to see if you like! I mean, wouldn’t it be kind of fun to just take it for a 45-minute test drive first? Often times, you don’t volunteer to help in a ministry because you don’t know if you would really like it or not. Right? You don’t want to commit a year or more to something that you don’t like. So we are offering you First Serve, short-term serving opportunities offered at a variety of times and tapping into a wide range of skills and areas of interest.

This is an opportunity to take a ministry on a “test drive”.

VOLUNTEER FAIR and MINISTRY SIGN UP

Guest Services

 Welcome Center Host /  Greeter /  Usher /  Vision Dinner /

 New Members Class Host /  Special Events /  First Response Team

Worship Ministry

 Vocalist /  Band /  Seasonal Choir /  Sound /  Computer Operator /

 Camera Operator /  Lighting Tech /  Stage Design /  Stage Hand

Drama Ministry

Believing Couples Ministry

Church Office

Special Events Ministry (Plan, host, set up or clean up, and serve at events.)

Outreach and Evangelism

Men Who Believe

Inside Out Ladies Ministry

Seeds of Love

Life Group Leader (Lead a Life Group based on common interest or felt needs.)

Believing Kids / PromiseLand

 Team Coordinators  Classroom Greeters  Classroom Teachers

 Child Safety Team  Technical Team  Music Team  Drama Team  WOW Kidz

Edge Youth Team

All we ask is that you serve in that ministry thirty days or four meeting times.

NEXT STEP: Sign up today at firstserve.believers@gmail.com or on your First Serve Card.

FOUR IMPORTANT QUESTIONS

1. Did the work feel meaningful? (The answer is purely subjective, but vitally important.)

2. Was your emotional energy higher or lower after you served? (Were you energized or drained. Serving can be exhausting physically but still deeply satisfying.)

3. Do you really enjoy serving with the people you served with? (Is there a comfortable relational dynamic on the serving team? For some people, the relational component is more important than any other factor.)

4. Looking honestly at your schedule, does this serving opportunity fit your timeframe for ministry opportunities?

(No matter how much you might enjoy a given opportunity, if it doesn’t fit realistically into your schedule, you’ll never be able to engage in it consistently.)

Just continue to experiment until you get it right. Jesus would do things like this with His disciples from time to time. He would just send them out on some kind of ministry assignment, and they would come back, and then they’d debrief afterwards: “How did it feel?” “What went well?” “What didn’t go so well?” “What was energizing for you?” “What was discouraging?” God has a perfect ministry fit for you. There is a place at the pool where you will love to hang out. But you will never discover that place until you JUST JUMP IN!

Do I want you to reach the world for Christ Jesus? Yes I do! But it all starts with serving at home first! You do FOR ME TOO, and God will bless you with Abundant Life and more serving opportunities in the future!

Do all you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can,

To all the people you can, As long as you can. John Wesley

Life Group and Family Devotional Application

1. Review Life Applications form 01-05-14 Not So With You and 01-12-14 To Do For You.

2. According to 1 Peter 4:10 we have been given a gift that we are to minister to others. What is your spiritual gift(s)? What talents or special abilities do you have? Are you using them to serve others?

3. As far as serving at Believers Church (or your home church) how are you serving now? Do you enjoy what you are doing? If so, why?

4. If you aren’t serving in your local church, why not?

5. Which area of ministry will you sign up to First Serve in?

for me too

Over the past two weeks we have been learning about a principle that is woven in scriptures which we called The Greatness Principle: When you bless others, God blesses you.

But consider this.  If I cut my neighbors grass, my wife, Janet would be proud of the way I served others.  But what if I cut every yard in our neighborhood in order to serve others, but I never cut our grass?

Janet would probably say, “I appreciate what you are doing for others, but you need to do it for me too!”  She would have every right to say that and I would agree with her.  It’s nice to do for others, but we need to take care of things at home too!

This Sunday at Believers Church as we continue in our Greatness as We Serve series with discussion entitled, “For Me Too”.  We will see that as we serve others and the world, we must also take care of the needs a home in our local church, God’s household.

Join us this Sunday at 9 or 11 a.m. and let’s continue to be great in the eyes of Jesus as we serve others together!

One Hour On Wednesday

January 14th, 2014

Join us for this great Bible study in the Book of Matthew this Wednesday night at 7 p.m. EDGE, our YOUTH ministry will meet in the GARAGE!

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newcomersdinner

Call today and register for our Newcomers’ Dinner! This is a great way to find out more about Believers Church and get to know others who are new to the church. Call the church at 681.1440 and let us know you will be here. We look forward to getting to know you better. Childcare is available.

 

1-12-14 Promo 

Listen or watch online to last Sunday’s sermon at http://believersstatesboro.com/home/online-sermons/. Below are the sermon notes.

In Matt 20:17-28 Jesus began to teach his disciples a principle that is woven in scriptures which we called The Greatness Principle: When you bless others, God blesses you. Jesus told the disciple that true greatness in life only comes from serving others. “…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant… Matthew 20:26. Or as Jesus said in Matthew 23:11, “The greatest among you will be your servant.”

Last week we stopped reading Matthew 20 at verse 28, but let’s go back and see what happened immediately after Jesus taught the disciples this greatness principle. In verses 29-24 Jesus makes the statement, "What do you want me to do for you?"

Last year we looked at this story in a different light when we urged you to cry out to Jesus in prayer and tell Him exactly what it was that you wanted Jesus to do for you. Yes, Jesus wanted the blind men to acknowledge there specific need. But let’s look at this text in a different light today. In the context of serving others, what if Jesus is giving his disciples an object lesson on how and who to serve.

Sometimes it’s obvious, we see needs all around us and we try to meet those needs. Other times it may not be so obvious and we need to discover what needs we can meet or who, where, and how God wants us to serve others. As in this story the most straight forward question to find out how to serve someone is to simply ask them like Jesus did, “What do you want me to do for you?”

How Can I Serve You?

We as servants of Jesus, the ultimate servant, with a servant’s heart and attitude should always be asking, “How can I serve you or what can I do for you.”

And with the compassion Jesus displayed in, we should try our very best to meet their need. Sometimes we can, sometimes we can’t. Sometimes we can only feel for them and pray for God to intervene.

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?” Martin Luther King Jr.

Hidden Mickeys

Do you know what a Hidden Mickey is? A Hidden Mickey is a representation of Mickey Mouse that has been inserted by the designers and imaginers subtly into the design of a ride, attraction, or other location in a Disney theme park, Disney properties, movie or other Disney products. The most common Hidden Mickey is a formation of three circles that may be perceived as the silhouette of the head and ears of Mickey Mouse. The funny thing about Hidden Mickeys is that even though they are all around you, you don’t see them until you are looking for them. Once you see a few, you will start noticing them everywhere!

Sometimes the needs around us are not readily noticeable. Even if you ask someone, “What can I do for you? They may not tell you. They may not even really know what they need. They just know they need something!

Opportunities to serve others are like Hidden Mickeys. Once you begin to look around, you will be able to see needs and once you see one of two needs you will see more and more needs that need to be met and you will see ways for you to serve others.

The Greatness Principle will involve looking for ways to serve others.

We all tend to be selfish people and we can live a life totally unaware of the needs of others. We focus on our own needs and interests. We think, “What do I want, what makes me feel good, and what can others do for me.” Our human nature we tend to fall into an “Everyman for Himself” attitude. “I’ve got mine, you get yours” mentality. We forget that we are not the center of the universe and life is more than living for ourselves.

How would life be different if we would all take a NEXT STEP to look for opportunities to bless others every day?

We aren’t the first to struggle with this. Paul wrote to the Philippian Church in the early 60s (not 1960’s), but the early 60’s AD. We read it last Sunday, but let’s read it again.

Phil 2:3-7 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (NIV)

God puts people in our path every day that we can serve, but like the Hidden Mickeys we need to look for them and ask God to give us an awaken awareness of all the needs surrounding us.

And let’s be honest, we feel most alive and fulfilled when we shift our focus off of ourselves and onto others. That could be why the second bestselling book in the history of the world (second to the Bible), The Purpose Driven Life, begins with the line “It’s not about you.”

The Great Compassion (Matthew 25:34-40) Six Specific Opportunities to Serve Others

Matthew 25:34-36 "Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

1. I was hungry and you gave me something to eat.

There is nothing more satisfying than to fill your hungry stomach! There is nothing worse than going hungry and not being fed.

There are people all over the world who are currently staving, but there are also families in Bulloch County that are going hungry. Maybe not starving to death, but missing meals, going to bed hungry and waking up hungry. Sometimes it is a result of their own actions, sometimes they are just victims to circumstance and situation. But Jesus doesn’t tell us to judge the reasons, he just says, I was hungry (for whatever reason) and you feed me.

The organization “Feeding America” states, “Hunger in America exists for over 50 million people. That is 1 in 6 of the U.S. population – including more than 1 in 5 children.

http://feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america.aspx# Around the world the numbers are worst.

Spiritual Hunger-You may be surrounded by people that have enough to eat, but how many people you

work with, go to school with, or live in your neighborhood are spiritually hungry. Hungry for Love,

Acceptance and Forgiveness. Hungry for a purpose in life. Hungry for Jesus?

EX: Our Church and Believers Church of Jenka.

Next Step: How can I awaken my awareness to these needs and begin to feed the hungry?

2. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.

We are blessed with clean drinking water and it’s free from the spigot. We also have an abundance of water to purchase. Purified water in a bottle, or bottled spring water, sparking water, fruit flavored water, vitamin water, carbonated water and even smart water!

Around the world it’s a different story. According to http://www.giveadrop.com/ over a billion people live without access to clean water. Two million people die every year as a result of water related illness.

Spiritually Thirsty – We are surrounded by spiritually dry and thirsty people every day. Jesus loved to use thirst as an example of people’s desire for God.

Matt 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. (NIV)

John 4:13-14 Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (NIV)

Next Step: How can I awaken my awareness to these needs and begin to give a drink to the thirsty?

3. I was a stranger and you invited me in.

Our relationship with God isn’t all that different. Before you and I knew him,

we were strangers to his love. But God opened his home to us and invited us in. Nelson Searcy

God is our example. We have opportunities to love strangers and invite them into our lives and community, befriend them and serve them.

Some are led to physically house people in their home, some open their homes for Life Groups, some invite others to have lunch or dinner with their family and some invite others to have a cup of coffee.

Every time we invite someone to church with us, we are saying, “You are welcomed to be a part of what God is doing in our lives.”

Every time a guest walks in our door we need to be aware of an opportunity to make a new friend.

People (strangers) aren’t just looking for a friendly church, they are looking for friends!

Our philosophy at Believers is BELONG – BELIEVE – BEHAVE.

Spiritual Strangers – People that are strangers to God and far away from God need to know that they can be reconciled to God through Christ Jesus.

Next Step: How can I awaken my awareness of strangers and begin to give them my friendship?

4. I needed clothes and you clothed me.

We have need! A need for bigger closets! Not really, we just need to get rid of some of the clothes we already have. Thank goodness there aren’t a lot of naked people walking around in our culture, but there are plenty of people who need clothes. This is a basic need that is relatively easy for us to meet. We will serve others by helping them find clothing.

ILL: Omo Children (All three needs, food, water, and clothing), omochild.org

Spiritual Nakedness – We were all spiritually naked at one time or another or we dressed ourselves in sin ripped garments. But Jesus has provided for us all a robe of righteousness. We take off the old and put on the new.

Next Step: How can I awaken my awareness to those who need to be clothing and cloth them?

5. I was sick and you looked after me.

When you hear that someone is sick it’s so easy to say, “Hope you feel better, I will pray for you.” Truth is we may pray or we may forget, because we roll on in life healthy and forget those who are sick among us. But when people are sick this is a great opportunity to serve them!

Pray immediately. / Visit them. / Provide food for them. (Seeds of Love) / Clean for them. / Give them a ride.

Spiritual Sick – It doesn’t take a lot of searching to find those who are spiritual sick and take them the healing truths found in God’s Word.

Next Step: How can I awaken my awareness to those who are sick and how can I serve them?

6. I was in prison and you came to visit me.

This is a form of serving that is not made easy by our penal system, but it can be done. This is also an area that opens up the door to be used by others, but it can be done with wisdom and discernment.

There are established ministries that can help you in this process.

Some churches actually consider there prison meetings as an addition church site or location.

Spiritual Prison – Of course we can’t overlook the traps of prisons that Satan has people in. Nor can we overlook the self-imposed prisons that people have put themselves in. They need us to pay them a visit as well.

Next Step: How can I awaken my awareness to those imprisoned and begin to serve them?

What You Do for the Least, You Do for Jesus

Matthew 25:37-40 "Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 "The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ (NIV)

There is a loftier ambition than merely to stand high in the world,

It is to stoop down and lift mankind a little higher. Henry Van Dyke

Life Group and Family Devotional Application

1. Do you naturally see the needs of others or do you have to work on your awareness of the needs of others and look for ways to serve like Hidden Mickeys?

2. How can you, your family, Life Group, or church serve the hungry, thirsty, and strangers?

3. How can you, your family, Life Group, or church serve those who need clothes, sick, or in prison?

4. Concerning the Six Specific Opportunities to Serve Others found in The Great Compassion (Matt 25:34-40), which one pulls at your heart the most?

5. If one of the six bothers you, makes you angry, or sad, that may mean that God is calling you to do something about it. What could you do to serve others and make a difference in the life of the one who is in need?

Sign Up for a Life Group

January 11th, 2014

This is rally week!  Sign up for a Life Group in the foyer and get connected!

2014 Winter Life Group HO PG 1

2014 Winter Life Group HO pg 2

1-12-14 Promo

Last week as we began our new series, Greatness As We Serve, we discussed a term Jesus uses in Matthew 20:6, “Not So With You. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.” Jesus was teaching that we would not achieve Greatness the way the world does. In Matthew 20:17-28, Jesus began to teach His disciples a principle that is woven in scriptures which we called The Greatness Principle: When you bless others, God blesses you.

We see needs all around us, the obvious ones,  and we try to meet those needs. Other times it may not be so obvious and we need to discover what needs we can meet or who, where, and how God wants us to serve others. As we read Matt 20:29-34, we see that the most straight forward question to find out how to serve someone is to simply ask them like Jesus did, “What do you want me to do for you?”

Join us this Sunday at 9 or 11 a.m. for week 2 of “Greatness As We Serve” as we take The Greatness Principle and find ways to apply it in every day life!

Job 2721 Believers Magnet

Watch or listen online at http://believersstatesboro.com/home/online-sermons/.

Matthew 20:17-19 Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, 18 "We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death 19 and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!"

Hey guys, let me make sure that you fully understand what is happening here and what you can expect.

· I’m going to set up my Kingdom, but it’s not what you think. It will be more of a spiritual Kingdom rather than a physical one.

· This Kingdom is not going to come about as you expect either. I will have to suffer and die, taking the sins of the world upon myself as the ultimate act of servitude.

· But I will be raised from the dead and usher in God’s Kingdom rule and reign.

But everyone wasn’t getting it. They were still looking for a physical kingdom, taking back there country from Romans oppression, ushering in the vengeance of God and ruling the earth with King Jesus!

As a matter of fact the mother of James and John only heard one part of Jesus’ words, "We are going up to Jerusalem…” Of course this would be the logical place for Jesus to set up his Kingdom rule, so she felt prompted to ask Jesus for one tiny, little, favor.

Matthew 20:20-21 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him. 21 "What is it you want?" he asked. She said, "Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom."

I don’t care with son gets to sit at your right hand, as long as the other is sitting at your left hand.

Matthew 20:22-23 "You don’t know what you are asking," Jesus said to them. "Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?" "We can," they answered. 23 Jesus said to them, "You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father."

Not So With You

Matthew 20:24 When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers.

Who are they to ask, or worst still, have their mother ask for such positions of authority, if anyone deserves to sit at the right hand or the left hand of Jesus it is me! I want to be great! I’m ready to step into greatness!

Matthew 20:25 Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.

Hey guys… that’s the way of the world. Not my way. The Gentiles of the world do it that way but…

Matthew 20:26 Not so with you.

Not so with you. I love that phrase, because it seems to encapsulate what true kingdom living is all about. You don’t do things like everyone else does then.

· You don’t get to the top the way every else gets to the top.

· You don’t ever want to get to the top at the expense of others.

· You will actually prefer others above yourself!

The Secret to True Greatness

Matthew 20:26-28 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave– 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Don’t you get it guys? I have been a servant to you and the crowds we serve. As a matter of fact, you and I have to serve to the point that we look and act like slaves.

What would it be like to wake up one morning and read you own obituary? Would you like it?

ILL: Alfred Nobel Story. The Swedish inventor and chemist. One of the things that he did was direct his will to give 90% of his net worth to the establishment of “Nobel Peach Prizes.” In his own words the price would be given to “those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind.”[1]

How will people remember you? Are you impacting your world the way you want too? Are you achieving true greatness, or are you like so many only experiencing small occasional successes that seem to have no eternal value of significance?

The Greatness Principle

As we talk about Greatness in 2014, we are not talking about you or I being great, while others are not, or lording our greatness over others while they serve us. We are looking for all of us to achieve greatness together. God’s way! I want to be great in the kingdom of God and I want you to be great in the kingdom of God, I want all of us to be great together!

We all may have our own qualifiers to mark the path of greatness: My career. My financial position. Fame and popularity. Various academic awards and achievements Being the best in art, sports (physical shape), or craftsmanship.

In our Matthew 20 text, Jesus is teaching His disciples The Greatness Principle.

Matt 20:26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, (NIV)

In Marks account of the story he mentions that the disciples were actually arguing about who was the greatest! Mark 9:33-34 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, "What were you arguing about on the road?" 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.

Jesus responds to this nonsense.

Mark 9:35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." (NIV)

When dealing with some religious later in the book of Matthew, Jesus refers to this principle again.

Matt 23:11 The greatest among you will be your servant. (NIV)

Servant Jesus

Jesus also told His disciples to look to Him as their example. Matthew 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom

for many." If Jesus, was not above serving others, certainly they we not above serving others either.

As Jesus walked the earth he referred to himself as a servant and his followers continued to refer to him that way.

Acts 3:13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. (NIV)

Acts 3:26 When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways." (NIV)

Acts 4:27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. (NIV)

The Early Church Called Themselves Servants

Acts 4:29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.

Acts 16:17 This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved." (NIV)

Rom 1:1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God– (NIV)

Eph 3:7 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power.

Would the word servant be associated with you and your name? Or would the idea of you being a servant to others cause people to smirk?

Next Step: Today I will honestly ask myself this question, “How well am I serving others?”

King Solomon, one of the wisest men in the world, understood this principal too.

Proverbs 11:25 A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. (NIV)

God will bless or refresh those who bless or refresh and I think we can safely say, serve others.

Paul taught the Philippian church about motive and attitude behind serving others.

Phil 2:4-5 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: (NIV)

What kind of attitude did Jesus have? Phil 2:6-7 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (NIV)

The Greatness Principle: When you bless others, God blesses you.

Is that our reason for serving and blessing others, so that God will bless us? No, but as you serve you cannot deny of disregard the principle. You will be blessed in the process of serving other.

You will be considered Great by God if you serve others and put them first.

Our Theme for 2014 at Believers Church is “Greatness As We Serve”.

I truly believe that as we serve others, we will step into our divine purpose and destiny. We will be living and doing what God created us to do. We will find lasting joy and satisfaction and truly understand the abundant life.

John 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly. (NAS)

Living the Greatness Principle will allow you to experience the all that God has planned for you. But at the same time, it really does benefit others.

That should be motive enough, that we want to help and serve others. And people really will be blessed through our actions and blesses as we serve them.

Next Step: I will begin serving others today by volunteering to First Serve at Believers Church. (Add email address, or fill out the enclosed card)

Life Group and Family Devotional Questions

1. Some people have a more natural lean toward serving, and some are have a gift of serving. Does that describe you or do you know someone like that? Who?

2. Not have a gift or if you are not naturally a server, that doesn’t get you off the hook. Jesus has called us to be servant of all. On a scale of 1-10 with 10 as a super server, how would you rank yourself?

3. In Matthew 20:26, when Jesus used the words, “Not so with you.” What do you think He was trying to teach His disciple about the worlds way compared to his way of doing things?

4. If someone were writing your obituary, would they say anything about serving? If yes, list all of the areas were you currently serve.

5. The Greatness Principle: When you bless others, God blesses you. Have you found this statement to be true or not true? Explain using a few examples.

Looking over your NEXT STEP FIRST SERVE Card. What area at Believers Church would you like to start serving in? Contact Laura today @ firstserve.believers@gmail.com

 


[1] “Excerpt from the Will of Alfred Nobel.” Nobelprize.org. accessed February 29, 2012.