Summary: Fourth of four on Building a Great Church. Karl Marx looked at the church and saw an opiate for the masses. Some look at the church and they see a private club filled with people who care only about themselves. Others look at the church and see faith f

Building A Great Church Requires A Great Passion

Karl Marx looked at the church and saw an opiate for the masses. Some look at the church and they see a private club filled with people who care only about themselves. Others look at the church and see faith filled fanatics. Jesus looked at the church as saw a prevailing powerful body that the gates of death would not stand against. Building a church like that takes passion, courage, dedication and a total reliance on God.

Ephesians 3:8-21

Eph 3:8 CEV I am the least important of all God’s people. But God was kind and chose me to tell the Gentiles that because of Christ there are blessings that cannot be measured.Eph 3:9 CEV God, who created everything, wanted me to help everyone understand the mysterious plan that had always been hidden in his mind.Eph 3:10 CEV Then God would use the church to show the powers and authorities in the spiritual world that he has many different kinds of wisdom.Eph 3:11 CEV God did this according to his eternal plan. And he was able to do what he had planned because of all that Christ Jesus our Lord had done.Eph 3:12 CEV Christ now gives us courage and confidence, so that we can come to God by faith.Eph 3:13 CEV That’s why you should not be discouraged when I suffer for you. After all, it will bring honor to you.Eph 3:14 CEV I kneel in prayer to the Father.Eph 3:15 CEV All beings in heaven and on earth receive their life from him.Eph 3:16 CEV God is wonderful and glorious. I pray that his Spirit will make you become strong followersEph 3:17 CEV and that Christ will live in your hearts because of your faith. Stand firm and be deeply rooted in his love.

Eph 3:18 CEV I pray that you and all of God’s people will understand what is called wide or long or high or deep.

Eph 3:19 CEV I want you to know all about Christ’s love, although it is too wonderful to be measured. Then your lives will be filled with all that God is.

Eph 3:20 CEV I pray that Christ Jesus and the church will forever bring praise to God. His power at work in us can do far more than we dare ask or imagine. Amen.

The mountain makes the man great.

The man does not make the mountain great. The mountain makes the man great. Greatness does not come from who we are but from the task we are called to do.

People live and die; come and go. James says we are but a vapor; here and then gone. It is that which we do that makes us great. We are selves are not all that important. Oh, we each are unique and we offer our talents and skills but the work is greater than the person. The greater the work the greater our influence.

Norman Schwarzkopf (The United States General who led the coalition forces during the Gulf War) tells the story of his first class at "charm school" he attended when he became a brigadier general.

He and 35 other "one star" generals were all required to attend classes designed to help them get a broader view of their responsibilities as general officers of the army. The classes also are designed to teach them better manners and the political realities of a military that is under civilian authority. (That’s why it’s called "charm school"!)

When the 36 men gathered they for the first session they all expected to be affirmed and encourages as the best of the best the army had to offer. Instead, the teacher of the class, a seasoned general, stood at the podium and looked at them a long time before he spoke.

When he finally began he said, "If you all traveled here together in an airplane and it crashed and killed you all we would go back out into the field and get 36 more colonels just as good as you to take your place".

My dad is a preacher and he did his best to teach me the importance of serving God by serving and leading his church. Sometimes we preacher types can get the idea that we are really important. But my dad always told me that when you pull your finger out of a bucket of water that this is the kind of hole a minister leaves when he leaves a church.

That is true of every person in every situation. No one is so important that they cannot be replaced. No one is so valuable that the world will come apart at the seams if they aren’t there.

Even the apostle Paul understood himself to be small in the sight of God and men. He said in Ephesians 3:8a “I am the least important of all God’s people”. None of us are all that important but we have been called to greatness.

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