Summary: In the world, greatness is determined by how many people SERVE YOU; but, in God’s kingdom, greatness is determined by how many people YOU SERVE

The Key to Greatness – Pastor Rob Yanok

I. The Big Idea: In the world, greatness is determined by how many people

SERVE YOU; but, in God’s kingdom, greatness is determined by how many

people YOU SERVE.

“There is no more noble occupation in the world, than to assist another human

being and to help someone succeed.” Alan Loy McGinnis

The context here is the disciples, James and John, had just asked Jesus if one could

sit on His right and the other on His left in the Kingdom of God. And this was

Jesus’ reply to the whole group:

Text: Mark 10:42-45

•You see, at this juncture in the disciples lives they still hadn’t gotten it.

They were proud to be following in the footsteps of the Rabbi. They hadn’t made

the shift from hearing His teachings to living His teachings; to becoming what He


Two reasons why people don’t achieve true greatness:

A. SELFISHNESS - devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned

primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless

of others.

1. A toddler’s favorite word is “mine.”

2. Tertullian: “He who lives only to benefit himself confers on the world a

benefit when he dies.”

3. Your Gift, Talent, or Ability will not Promote you – You have to have a

heart to serve. When you go beyond your call of duty it Results in a Medal

of honor in the military. Everyone wants to acknowledgement, the reward,

the honor, the title, the recognition, but no one want to pay the price.

4. “Whatever you want in life, you’ve got to give away first.”- Robert


5. Your Giving determines what becomes of your future – Luke 6:38,

Gal. 6:7

6. No man or woman will ever be a success by him or her self. Must learn

to give of ones self. Work together. When you don’t serve your life is a life

of mediocrity.

7. John D Rockefeller said, “I believe that the rendering of useful service is

the common duty of mankind, and that only in purifying fire of sacrifice is

the dross of selfishness consumed and the greatness of the human soul set



1. Greatness is not WEALTH.

2. Greatness is not FAME.

3. Greatness is not POWER.

II. How We Can Achieve True Greatness

A. SERVE others.

“‘Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,

and whoever wants to be first must be your slave’’

A “servant” (diakonos) was hired to maintain another person’s home and

property. A “slave” (doulos) was forced into service. These were the two

lowest positions in society. Yet Jesus said that to be a servant and a slave

was to be “great” and “first.”

John would later describe himself as a “servant” of Jesus (Revelation 1:1).

The world’s thinking: You rise to greatness; Jesus’ teaching: You descend

to greatness.

John the Baptist said in John 3:30 about Jesus, “He must become greater; I

must become less”

Author Herman Melville said, “We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our

lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads.”

“True Servanthood is marked by the willingness to Abandon all to become

a tool in the hand of another”

Greatness is not a matter of authority and control but of humility and


+Mother Teresa once said,

“We are all pencils in the hand of a writing God, who is sending love letters to the


Teresa chose as her life’s calling not to be served, but to serve. She wanted to live

like Jesus, so she chose to serve among the poorest in Calcutta, India.

+Illustration: They were like the two shipwrecked men in a lifeboat. From their

end of the boat, the two watched as those at the other end bailed frantically to keep

the boat afloat. The one said to the other, “Thank God, the hole’s not on our end of

the boat.”

It’s easy to say “that’s someone else’s job!”

Jesus said,

+John 12:26 (NIV)

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