Good to Great
Sermon shared by James Barrett
Summary: A look at the rich young ruler, based on Jim Collins book, Good to Great. What must a person do to move from a Good to Great Christian?
Audience: General adults
II. His approach v.18
Jesus tells him in verse seventeen to, “keep the commandments.” Notice the young man’s response in verse eighteen, “Which?” Jesus said “commandmentS,” plural, not singular. If your employer hands you the company handbook and says, “Keep the rules,” would you say, “Which ones?” of course not, you know that he means for you to obey all the rules. This young man wanted to know which of the commandments were really important, which ones were really necessary, and which ones he could ignore, or only keep occasionally. In other words, like Collins said, “Good is the enemy of great.” He just wanted to get by. Have you ever said, “God, you are a great God, so, I want to be a great Christian. I want to be a great witness, I want my prayers to be great, I want to be a great deacon, I want to be a great teacher?” most of us are content with “good.” Most of us are like the young man and only want to know “Which?”
III. His attitude v.20
Notice another problem this young man had. When confronted with the standards for greatness, he says, “I have already done that.” The Bible doesn’t say it, but bear with me just one moment as I ponder. I believe this young man’s statement that he had kept all of those commandments. Jesus certainly didn’t call him a liar or correct him for making such a bold statement. Here is where I believe the young man’s problem comes from. I believe while Jesus is making this list, the young man is standing there keeping score in his head, and thinking, well I am better than Fred at that one, and better than George at that one, and so on. The young man thinks he is great on his own. Go back to his original statement, “What must I do?” He doesn’t ask what Christ can do for him; he wants to know what he can do. One of the characteristics that the researchers found in the great companies was that there was a point where they said to themselves, “Something has to change. These are the things we are doing wrong or poorly and to be great, we must change.” The researchers called it, “Confronting the brutal facts.” Today, I challenge you to confront the brutal facts, are you great for Jesus?
IV. His assessment v.22
God showed me something in this passage that I had never noticed before. Look at verse sixteen, and then look at verse twenty-two. See it? He wanted to do something GOOD, but he had GREAT possessions. If God had blessed him with great possessions, why was he only willing to do something good to inherit great eternal life? The young man compared the costs of greatness with God and greatness with his bank account and seceded it just wasn’t worth it. In the book Good to Great, the great companies are compared to other companies in their same industry. One of the great companies had taken some major risks and made some huge changes in the way they did business before becoming great. The CEO of one of their competitors said we just couldn’t afford to make those kinds
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