Sunday, August 15, 2010

Greater Than Great

Greater Than Great
August 16, 2010
Col 3:23-24 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."

God wants you to be great. Well, sort of. He wants you to do great things, but He is not interested in your status or your standing with others. His greatness is intended for you in Heaven, not here on earth. If you've been a Christian for any length of time, you've undoubtedly heard that God has great things in store for you. This is true, but it is easy to misunderstand what those "great" things are. When you become a Christian and decide to serve Him, He unfolds His plans for you and your life, what He needs and wants you to do for Him. These plans and works that He has for you are the "great" things, that is, whatever He asks you to do. Funny thing is, you're unlikely to see the greatness in the things that He asks of you.

There was a great woman in the Bible, who lived in Israel at the time of Jesus' birth; her name was Anna. Anna was a prophetess (a woman of God who had a direct line of communication with the Heavenly Father). She was married when she was young and then widowed shortly thereafter. After becoming a widow, she dedicated her life to serving the Lord. All she did was pray and fast, fast and pray. She never left the temple, it says; she lived there for roughly sixty years. She interceded for us, for the children of God. She prayed to God for the benefit of us, for the deliverance of God's people through a Savior, Jesus the Christ. When Jesus was born, she spoke over His life and confirmed to those listening that He indeed was the Christ child. That was all she did. Really, it was rather uneventful, her accomplishments. She lived a boring life, and aside from seeing Jesus as a baby, she didn't get to see anything she worked for. But Anna was great. She did great things for God, because it was what God asked of her, nothing more, nothing less. She lived a lonely life, poor, and without great accomplishments in the eyes of man, but she was greater than great.

God's terms are not the same as ours. When we think greatness, we think big, magnanimous, enormous---even famous. But not so with God. His greatness for you will never be big, magnanimous, enormous, or even famous until you are in Heaven. Until that day, He wants you to be the least on this earth but working for Him. In fact, the less famous you are, the more you are probably accomplishing for God, since people will notice God and not you in all your efforts. The things you are doing for God are great, if it is what He has asked of you. That greatness will be revealed to you in Heaven, not on this earth. If you don't see the fruit in your efforts for Him, don't be discouraged. Just keep doing what God asks of you and it will be great.

You will never know the ripple effect that your work has on this earth. You might bump into a random person at the grocery store, have a three minute conversation about Christ, and never see that person again. But you might have planted a seed, a seed that leads to that person's salvation and possibly the salvation of that person's entire family. Maybe that person has a family member who gets saved and then goes on to become the pastor of the worlds largest church, seeing millions of people saved. All that because you simply did something so "great" as to have a three minute conversation with someone during your busy day.

The Prophetess Anna's prayers were heard by God, she interceded for many people and her work impacts your life to this day. It is quite probable that she prayed for the safety of Jesus' life when He was a young boy, during the time Herod was trying to kill Him. She would have been aware of the scriptures that foretold the threat on Jesus' life. Her prayers helped keep Jesus safe from Satan's grip all His days on this earth. Partly because of Anna's prayers, Jesus went on to give His life for you and me. Anna worked hard and did great things for God; she can look down from Heaven and see the impact her life has on yours right now (you're even still reading about her two thousand years later).

Do what God asks and it will be great; I promise. Don't be discouraged, though, if you don't see the greatness in what you're doing, especially if your work seems pointless. God will reveal your greatness someday, just not now.

1. What are you doing for the Lord?
2. Considering the things you've done for the Lord, how great do they seem?
3. How can you put fame aside in doing things for the Lord?

Don't take my word for it; study it for yourself: Psalm 131:1, Matt 2:13, Matt 11:11, Matt 18:4, Mark 9:33-35, Luke 2:36-38, Luke 9:48, Luke 22:23-26, 1 Cor 2:9, 2 Cor 4:18, Eph 2:10, Philippians 2:13

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