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Summary: Wherever groups of people are gathered you can observe behaviors revealing a universal "search for significance." The group may be political, commercial, social or even religious, but the signs will be there. The drive for significance seems to be a part

THE SEARCH FOR SIGNIFICANCE

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 20:20-28

INTRODUCTION

Wherever groups of people are gathered you can observe behaviors revealing a universal "search for significance." The group may be political, commercial, social or even religious, but the signs will be there. The drive for significance seems to be a part of our genetic strain. The struggle of Jacob and Esau at birth tends to confirm this. Even Cain and Able, in their competition for acceptance, lend credence to this possibility.

Many believers view the quest as being totally carnal. It can be, and often is, a "fleshly-motivated" behavior, but it need not be. It is not always a carnal manifestation. Jesus did not rebuke nor condemn the disciples for having ambition nor for expressing their desire to be significant. The reason why we want to be great and the way we go about achieving it are the issues to be concerned about.

Try to imagine where Christianity would be today if the surrender of ambition were a prerequisite to being a disciple of Jesus. Jesus motivated His followers by assuring them they were the salt of the earth and the light of the world. He told them to let their light shine before men. The purpose, however, was "that men may see your good works and glorify the Father who Is In heaven."

Jesus gives us clear direction. He taught appropriate ways to achieve significance. When we learn the basic biblical spiritual principles and apply them, we may be assured of His blessing and smile of approval. I am certain that God wants His people to be achievers. It Is the "why" and the "how" that we must pay close attention to. We will Identify and examine three of these spiritual principles.

YOU MUST HAVE AN ALL-CONSUMING AIM

No one will be happy, productive, or fulfilled until he has an all-consuming purpose. This aim must become an obsession. The lives of successful people reveal this. Most significant people have an Identifiable objective that borders on being an obsession. Often these people are thought of as having a "one-track" mind. While much good may be said about being a balanced and multi-talented person, it Is possible to be such a generalist that we become good at almost nothing In particular.

Students In college make poor grades, become discipline problems In some cases, and later dropouts because they lack an aim. Without a purpose, they cannot see how studies relate to anything, because they do not know where they are headed. People are In and out of different jobs, churches, social groups and communities because they feel no ties to anyone or anything.

Jesus Is the best model of an all-consuming aim. When He was 12 years of age, He was found in the Temple talking man-to-man with the rabbis and scholars. Confronted by His parents after three days of frantic searching, He responded, "Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?" At such an early age Jesus knew who He was, that He was here on a mission, and He understood what that mission was (Luke 2:49).

In John, Jesus explained to His disciples the necessity of passing through Samaria (John 4:4). The classic one-on-one encounter with the woman at the well and the revival that followed reveal how this fit with His aim and purpose. Luke records the conversion of a publican. named Zacchaeus In the city of Jericho. The conclusion of this story finds Jesus saying, "The Son of man Is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10).

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