Sunday May 23, 1998

All verses herein are from the New International Version

BIBLE PASSAGE:    MARK 9:33-37 AND MARK 10:35-45

KEY VERSE: MARK 10:45 "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."

Session Focus: Servant leadership is important in the life of the Christian community and leads to true greatness.

Mark 9:33-37 33 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. 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." 36 He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me."

2Mark 10:35-45

35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. "Teacher," they said, "we want you to do for us whatever we ask." 36 "What do you want me to do for you?" he asked. 37 They replied, "Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory." 38 "You don't know what you are asking," Jesus said. "Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?" 39 "We can," they answered. Jesus said to them, "You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, 40 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."41 When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. 42 Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 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."

John 13:16 I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him

John 15:20 Remember the words I spoke to you: `No servant is greater than his master.' [1] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.

When Adam and Eve sinned, they died. Spiritually, at the moment of disobedience, they died. And, along with that died our understanding of what true greatness truly is. We thought through our mom and dad Adam and Eve, that greatness was going our own way so that we could "be like God!" Oh, that our mom and dad hadn't listened to satan, but, they did. But thanks be to our Lord and Savior Jesus who has provided for us a way to be restored into Life in Him and to see what true greatness really is. He not only has spoken what true greatness truly is, but He lived it!!! Oh the Love that drew salvation's plan, Oh the Grace that brought it down to man! God's Grace was His undeserving Love given freely to us to set us free from the bondage of our first mom and dad and from satan's lies that they had accepted into their hearts which was passed down to ours. I'm so thankful from the quote/thought our Lord gave our brother Bill Gothard that freedom is not the right to do what we want - it's the power to do what we ought. True greatness begins with listening, for if we don't listen first, we'll never learn how to speak. God is never disappointed with one who questions Him with sincerity of heart for to that one He will make Himself known. If we were to come upon a chest in the ground while planting our garden and upon opening it found that it was full to the rim with priceless gems and gold artifacts, what would we do? Well, it first depends on our understanding of how valuable they were. If we had any kind of understanding of their value what would we do? In the same way we limit ourselves in true greatness of being, (note that I said being because we are only truly rich in what we ARE not in what we have for all that we have will return to the dust but that which we are will last forever) by first of all not listening to His Word for it's in listening that we truly begin to realize how very poor we are apart from His Infinite Wealth of Life, Joy, Peace, etc... John 8:32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." The first of the many Priceless gems we pull from His treasure chest is the Priceless, Precious gift of Faith. For as we begin to search His chest full of riches our eyes of Faith begin to open by which we begin to clearly see the many other Priceless gems that lie within. Romans 10:17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. Why is it that we want to blame others for our lack? America is the land where we should be free from prejudice and limited only by our lack of motivation. Being rich in Christ has the same principle-our life is God's gift to us - what we do with it is our gift to Him. I hope and pray that we will not limit our greatness due to complacency or lack of desire to know the truth. But may we listen to Paul who wrote to Timothy when He said in God's Spirit ; "2 Timothy 1:6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands." Let us always encourage one another provoking one another to Love and good works in Him; Hebrews 3:13 "But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." Hebrews 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching." True Greatness is Jesus, the more we know Him the more we'll be transformed into His image and the greater we will become. Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

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