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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Chosen for Greatness

Exodus 3:1-4 (ESV) 1 Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” 4 When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”

The world is replete with books of instruction on greatness. There are books which give the secrets of selling, negotiating, climbing the corporate ladder, obtaining a better job and so on. There are books which tell people how to reach their financial and power goals in life. The books promise greatness and deliver greatness to the authors who wrote them.

I suppose being rich and powerful is great if you only want it to exist for a short period. Even most of the presidents aren't remember by a majority of students. I don't believe that many Americans could identify Fillmore, Harding, Garfield, Hoover or Coolidge. They would not be able to say anything significant about their administrations. One of these didn't have much of an administration anyway. Do you know which one it is?

So, either people are looking for greatness that will last in their lifetimes or they are expecting greatness which will last for some time but will eventually fade until only the name is remembered. Few historians will remember what was done.

Christians aren't immune from wanting greatness. I believe that is why they flocked to the Purpose Driven Life. They were hoping they believed that God would them great if they simply knew what they were supposed to do. They thought they could cause greatness to come to themselves.

Yet, that isn't God's method in the Bible. I can't think of a story of someone whom God made great who asked God to make his name great. God chose them. They obeyed. Their obedience made them great. God chose them and knew they would obey Him. Their greatness did not come from their seeking it. Their greatness came from the obedience to a God who sought them.

But how many of us have responded to the things God has already called us to do? After all, why should God give us more when we haven't done what He has asked of us already? They should He expect us to act in faith if we don't have the faith that He will care for us?  Thus, we fail to tithe because we believe that we must keep what we have because we can't believe God will supply us with even more.

We fail to serve Him when we are asked to the do the mundane. We refuse to serve in the church nursery. We refuse to show up for the committee meeting we agreed to serve. We refuse to help clean the church landscape. We refuse to help in the church soup kitchen. Many times we refuse because there are better things to do. Thus, we aren't asked to the do the great. We haven't been faithful in the small things. We have been selfish.

But greatness is being found obedient to whatever God calls you to. It is in giving a cup of water and washing the feet of others. It is in quiet prayer and in working in the church kitchen. It is in living the Christian life so that others will emulate what you do.

The three most important words Moses ever said were, "Here I am." This is where the greatness began.

Sure, he was chosen but I am chosen too. And so are you.

What is your answer when the Lord calls you?

"Here I am."

2 comments: said...

Ah, a thought provoking entry, for some of us! What is my definition of greatness? Fulfilling our God-given purposes is greatness.  Whatever that or those purposes.  If it is for me to be an usher for the church for a season, and I fulfill that doing my best, that is great or greatness.  If it is for you to be a lay altar minister, giving words of knowledge and prophecy, and praying for the sick and afflicted, for a season, and you do that, as best as you can and know, that is great or greatness.  Your greatness and mine are the same and yet different, but both of us, can still be affirmed with, "My good and faithful servant", all the same.  There is no equality, even with God, but ultimately, there is justice with God.

Don't envy another; in fact, you may be greater than the one you look up to, and you are not aware of it. Obedience, as is rightly pointed out by Ps Prentis, is key.  Other keys included faithfulness, perseverance, and purity of heart.  As with the definition above of what is greatness, these keys have nothing to do with the big-ness of thing you do.  It really does not necessarily mean a senior pastor with a mega church is ranked higher than one with a smallish church when both are assessed at the end of time - this is what I believe, and I believe many people will be surprised, in this regard, when they get to Heaven.

I want to join Ps Prentis in emphasizing that obedience is the mark of greatness.  Because the one who obeys God is also the one who loves God (John 14:21a), great is also the one who truly loves God.  And, remember always, do not just love in words, but in  appropriate deeds.  There was one lady in Scripture, the Lord said she would be remembered wherever the Gospel is preached.  She loved the Lord, and one of her acts of love was to lavish a pint of very expensive perfume (a person's one year's wage) on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair, anointing Jesus for his burial which happened days after that.  This lady was Mary Bethany, whom I believe could be the same person, Mary Magdelene.

Be great, don't be mediocre, but be great in true sense of it. Amen.

Anthony Chia, high-expressions

Deb Willbefree said...

"Here am I, Lord, send me." :) It was in response to that verse that I went forward to be saved. Odd, I know, but that was the verse. The Lord has called that verse to my mind on numerous occasions over the years. Often, as a call for renewed submission to Him.