Sermons

Summary: THIS IS THE EIGHTH IN THIS SERIES ON CHOICES. WE HAVE TO MAKE THE DECISION TO SERVE THE LORD BY SERVING OTHERS.

I CHOOSE TO SERVE

MATTHEW 20:20-28

TODAY WE ARE STARTING ON THE LAST AND MOST IMPORTANT SECTION OF OUR SERIES ON CHOICES. “DESTINY CHOICES” ARE THE SUMMATION OF ALL THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CHOICES THAT WE HAVE PREVIOUSLY LOOKED AT.

DESTINY CHOICES PROPEL US INTO THE FUTURE, AND AS WE LOOK BACK OVER OUR LIVES WE ASK THE QUESTION, “WHAT HAVE WE ACCOMPLISHED?” “WHAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT AND HOW DO WE COMMIT OUR LIVES TO ACCOMPLISH IT?”

DESTINY CHOICES INVOLVE SERVING OTHERS AND STANDING FOR THE GOSPEL. JESUS TAUGHT:

MATTHEW 20:28: JUST AS THE SON OF MAN DID NOT COME TO BE SERVED, BUT TO SERVE, AND TO GIVE HIS LIFE AS A RANSOM FOR MANY.”

THE MOTIVATION FOR SERVING MUST BE RIGHT AS WELL. SERVING CAN’T BE OUT OF A SENSE OF OBLIGATION. WE USED TO SING THE HYMN “THERE IS JOY IN SERVING JESUS” AND THAT IS THE ATTITUDE WE SHOULD HAVE.

THE CHOICE TO STAND REMINDS US OF OUR WORTH IN GOD’S EYES, AND THE IMPORTANCE FOR US TO STAND FOR OUR CHRISTIAN BELIEFS. WHEN OUR LIVES ARE FINISHED WE WANT TO BE ABLE TO SAY AS PAUL DID:

2 TIMOTHY 4:7-8:

I HAVE FOUGHT THE GOOD FIGHT, I HAVE FINISHED THE RACE, I HAVE KEPT THE FAITH. 8 NOW THERE IS IN STORE FOR ME THE CROWN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, WHICH THE LORD, THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGE, WILL AWARD TO ME ON THAT DAY—AND NOT ONLY TO ME, BUT ALSO TO ALL WHO HAVE LONGED FOR HIS APPEARING

MAKING DESTINY CHOICES NOW WILL GIVE US THE OPPORTUNITY TO ACHIEVE OUR GOALS, TO DEPEND ON THE POWER OF GOD, AND HAVE THE CONTENTMENT OF SAYING OUR LIFE WAS WORTHWHILE.

NOW, LETS TURN OUR ATTENTION TO THE CHOICE TO SERVE.

JAMES MacDONALD WRITES:

“ I BELIEVE WITH ALL MY HEART THAT YOU ARE DESTINED FOR GREATNESS. I BELIEVE THAT GOD HAS A PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE THAT INCLUDES FABULOUS BLESSINGS AS YOU MAKE CHOICES EVERY DAY THAT CAN BRING YOU FAVOR WITH GOD AND A LIFE OF GREAT SATISFACTION.”

GOD HAS A PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE THAT LEADS TO GREATNESS. WHAT WE TEND TO DO THOUGH, IS EQUATE SUCCESS AND GREATNESS WITH THE ACQUISITION OF POSSESSIONS AND WEALTH. GOD’S GREATNESS TAKES A DIFFERENT APPROACH AND IS THEREFORE SOMETIMES HARD TO UNDERSTAND.

POINT ONE: WHERE GREATNESS IS NOT FOUND

TWO IMPORTANT AREAS WHERE GOD’S GREATNESS IS NOT FOUND ARE THE AREAS OF POSITION AND POWER.

GREATNESS ACCORDING TO THE WORLD IS MEASURED WITH AN ASCENDING SCALE. YOU MUST ALWAYS BE ADVANCING AND MOVING UP IN THE COMPANY. WE HAVE TO ALWAYS BE BETTER IN SPORTS, HAVE MORE TROPHIES, MORE ACQUISITIONS. THE KEY WORD IS MORE, MORE, MORE. THIS TYPE OF GREATNESS IS VERY FLEETING AND TEMPORARY.

THERE WAS A NIGHT A FEW YEARS AGO NOW, WHEN WAYNE GRETSKY WAS PLAYING IN EDMONTON. HE SCORED THE GOAL THAT MOVED HIM PAST GORDIE HOWE AND GIVE HIM THE RECORD FOR THE MOST GOALS SCORED IN THE NHL. DOES THAT MEAN THAT GORDIE HOWE CEASED TO BE A GREAT PLAYER? CERTAINLY NOT.

YOU AND I CANNOT MEASURE OUR GREATNESS BY THE POSITION WE HOLD OR THE POSSESSIONS WE HAVE, FOR WE COULD LOSE THEM ALL TOMORROW.

OUR GREATNESS IS MEASURED BY THE GRACE AND MERCY OF GOD. HE SAW IN US SUCH GREATNESS THAT HE CREATED A PLAN OF SALVATION FOR US. HE HAS AN ETERNAL HOME PREPARED FOR US. GOD’S GREATNESS IS NOT FLEETING OR TEMPORAL, BUT IS ETERNAL AND PERMANENT.

MATTHEW 6:33: BUT SEEK FIRST HIS KINGDOM AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND ALL THESE THINGS WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU AS WELL.

OUR WORTH IS NOT GAINED BY ANYTHING THAT WE DO, BUT IN SEEKING THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD.

THE ACCOUNT THAT WE READ TODAY SHOWS WHY WE ARE NOT TO PURSUE WORLDLY GREATNESS. I MUST ADMIT I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A LITTLE BIT AMUSED WITH THE ACCOUNT OF JAMES AND JOHN IN CHAPTER 20.

JAMES AND JOHN WANTED POSITIONS OF IMPORTANCE IN THE KINGDOM THAT JESUS WAS ABOUT TO SET UP. FEARING THE COMPETITION FROM THE OTHERS, THEY DECIDED TO BRING IN SOMEONE IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO SAY NO TO. THESE GROWN MEN TOLD THEIR MOTHER TO HELP THEM.

CAN YOU JUST HEAR THE CONVERSATION. “HEY JESUS. MY BOYS THEY ARE GOOD BOYS. THEY HAVE SERVED YOU WELL. THESE OTHERS ARE JUST A BUNCH OF FISHERMEN AND A TAX COLLECTOR. THEY ARE NOT REALLY WHAT YOU NEED TO GOVERN A KINGDOM. MY BOYS ARE WHAT YOU WANT, WHAT YOU NEED.”

THE BOYS AND THEIR MOTHER HAD NO IDEA WHAT THEY WERE ASKING. JESUS KNEW WHAT WAS ABOUT TO HAPPEN.

MATTHEW 20:22-23:

YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE ASKING,” JESUS SAID TO THEM. “CAN YOU DRINK THE CUP I AM GOING TO DRINK?” “WE CAN,” THEY ANSWERED. 23 JESUS SAID TO THEM, “YOU WILL INDEED DRINK FROM MY CUP, 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 BY MY FATHER.”

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