Summary: sermon on what is greatness in the eyes of God

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Intro: one of my favorite movies of all time is the "natural". Robert Redford is Roy Hobbs, a man who makes professional baseball later in life. In one of the greatest lines ever, when asked what he wanted from baseball by his girlfriend, he said, I wanted people when they saw me to say, there goes Roy Hobbs, the best there ever was. Why do I love that line, because in my life, I have always wanted to be the best at something. I didn’t just want to be good, I didn’t just want to be the best on my team, I wanted someone to say, there is Steve Funderburk, the best that ever lived. Maybe some of you had that same dream or have that same dream. Today, I want to take you to a story where a religious man, probably a big dreamer, someone who desired greatness in something, asked Jesus, what does it take to get to heaven, what is the greatest thing that I can do. Jesus gives him the keys to heaven, and what is great in the eyes of God.

The Greatest Of All Time

Mark 12:28-34

From 1968-72 my family was stationed at Ramey Air Force base in Puerto Rico. We lived next door to a man named Alvin, who probably was the biggest Muhammid Ali fan ever. If you ever talked with him, he would let you know in a second that Ali was the greatest of all time. When he lost a fight Alvin would be sick for a few days. Ali’s most famous saying, was I’m the greatest of all time. Today, I want to give you the keys to being great in God. Being a great Christian will take just as much effort, just as much determination, as being the best at anything else.

I. Loving God Only–v.29-the Lord our God is one–Jesus covers first things first. If you are going to make it to heaven, if you are going to be a great Christian, you must realize at the start, there is only one God. Jesus knows that some people will want to serve God, but have a lot of other God’s in their life. But to make it to heaven, to be a great Christian, you will have to serve one God, the only God, the true and living God.

a. having only one God takes discipline– because everyday there will be God’s that try to come into your life and steal your love for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

b.having only one God will not be popular– a lot of people don’t mind you having your God as long as you will love their God too. But with Jesus Christ, to be great in his kingdom, it will require you to serve Him only.

c. no other God’s before you–God is jealous, He doesn’t want any God’s before you. So every day we must make sure that we have one goal, one objective in life, and that is to serve our God.

II. Loving God with all you have got–v.30 I can hear Jesus saying to this religious man, you want to be great in the kingdom of heaven, you will have to give it everything you have got. You will have to love God with all of you, not just a little here and a little there.

heart, soul, mind and strength– Jesus breaks down the whole of man and says,sir, you will have to give God your emotions, your thoughts, your dreams and goals, you will have to work at it, stay with it, and never give up. You will have to be strong in the Lord to make it to the end of the race.

• Jesus is basically teaching–if you don’t give it everything you have got, you won’t be a great Christian, you will fall by the wayside.

•The part you don’t give to God the devil will take.

* you want to be a great Christian, you want to make it to heaven, listen up, you will have to do more than the scribes and Pharisees, you will have to guard against hypocrisy, you will have to close your life to other God’s. If you do this, someone may say, there goes one of the greatest Christians who ever lived.

III. Loving Others Like You Love Yourself–v.31– it is going to get a little bit harder now, you will have to love others like you love yourself to be a great Christian.

a. you will have to love people like God loves people. You will have to love them even when they don’t love back, even when they reject your message, even when they talk bad about you. If you want to be a great Christian, you will have to love people for God. Show them that God’s love is real, it makes it through the battles and tests in life.

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