Summary: Having trouble with some in your church who want to get all the attention? Here’s a sermon that may help your situation. The popular TV show "American Idol" serves as the illustration.
"WHO NEEDS TO BE AN AMERICAN IDOL?"
35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, "Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask."
36And He said to them, "What do you want Me to do for you?"
37They said to Him, "Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory."
38But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?"
39They said to Him, "We are able." So Jesus said to them, "You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized;
40but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared."
41And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John.
42But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, "You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.
43Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.
44And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all.
I’m going to read to you a list of names:
Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Stoddard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, David Cook, Justin Guarini, Clay Aiken, Diana DeGarmo, Bo Bice, Katharine McPhee, Blake Lewis, and David Archuleta.
What do they have in common?
The first 7 are winners of the American Idol contest.
The other 7 were the runners-up.
American Idol is the highest rated program on national television
Each year since 2002, FOX TV Network has conducted a contest.
The aim of the program is to discover
the best young singer in the country,
through a series of nationwide auditions.
The outcomes of the later stages of this competition
are determined by public voting by phone.
There can be only one selected as American Idol each season.
No matter how good the other contestants might be…
the rest are just runners-up.
Now, none of us is likely to be on American Idol.
But I think we all want to be winners.
Nobody likes being a “loser”.
Yet, there are times in our lives when we come out second best.
Sometimes someone else gets the honor.
When that happens, here are some things to remember:
Point #1. GOD HAS A BETTER PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE:
35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, "Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask." 36 And He said to them, "What do you want Me to do for you?" 37 They said to Him, "Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory."
Every contestant on American Idol has a plan.
They want to win by beating all the other contestants.
They plan to become famous, to get rich.
They want to have a lot of fan admiration.
In our Bible text for today, James and John had a plan, too.
Let me paraphrase what James and John asked:
"Jesus, make us the big-shots. Do it before the other 10 apply for the job."
That was their plan.
But it was not God’s plan for James and John.
Even so, He did have a plan for their lives.
God’s plan is often very different than ours.
James & John planned to have authority and status.
Jesus planned ministry and service for them.
They planned glory and honor for themselves.
God’s plan led to James being beheaded.
God’s plan called for John
to spend time as a prisoner on Patmos Island.
Abraham, Moses, and Paul are more Bible characters…
Whose plans were changed by God.
Yes, we make plans for our lives!
Then we come to find that God’s is different.
Others have learned that and so must we.
The preparations of the heart belong to man,
But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.
In the final analysis, God has the last word.
Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit"; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that." 16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.