Chapter 1 Paragraph 3 Study # 5
January 18, 2004
Lincolnton, N.C.

<043> Thesis: How great do you need to be to be satisfied? Introduction: In the text before us this morning, we read that Jesus was going to be "great". In a direct way a text that we, more or less, just waltzed by many weeks ago said the same thing of John. He also was to be "great". In a text that we may get to if we have long enough, we read of the disciples of Jesus in a debate among themselves about who was the "greatest" [9:48]. When Elizabeth became pregnant, her "Hallelujah" was not about becoming a mother, but about having her "smallness" rectified. When Mary, who was very small in her own eyes, was chosen to be the mother of the Christ, she said that her soul magnified the Lord and her spirit rejoiced in God because He had changed her "smallness" into "being blessed above of all women everywhere for all of time". The "He has done to me great things", then, becomes "He has made me great". In Paul's second letter to Timothy, he said that a person ought to be motivated to seek greatness in a great house [2:20-21]. In John's warning regarding the Second Coming and the accountability that will come with Him, he warned us that there could be "shame" awaiting. The warning only has an impact if, rather than shame, we seek approval. What is that except the desire for greatness? We are also told that we should seek to hear the Judge of All the Earth say, on that day, "Well done, good and faithful servant." Along another, related, line, there is no telling how much conflict and evil has been generated over the ages by people "dissing" others -- something that would have no impact whatsoever if the desire for greatness isn't real. The point I am trying to make is this: everyone not only seeks to be great to some extent, we are supposed to. There would be no description of the "greatness" of Jesus, John, or the disciples, in the Bible if "greatness" was an illegitimate objective. So, the question I want to raise this morning is this: How much of the limelight do you have to have to be satisfied? What would God have to do to catapult you into the limelight to bring your soul to magnify Him and to bring your spirit to rejoicing in Him? Do not make the fatal mistake of trying to deny that you want Him to put you into the limelight: that claim is both a lie and an enormous self-deceit that deceives only the one making it. Simply consider this question: what must God do for me in order for me to be satisfied?