Do Something Great With Your Life
The Big Idea: The first step to every great outcome is to imagine its possibility.
All men are wired to want to do something great with their lives. Some of us may not think it was ever possible. Others that it is no longer possible. But every one of us longs for it. Greatness is usually measured by achievements, accomplishments, accumulation, power, position, prestige, or respect–to name a few. Today’s Scripture finds no fault with any of those things. But when Jesus overheard His twelve disciples arguing about which of them was the greatest, He radically redefined for all time the Christian way to do something great.
Hanging Out With Jesus: Do Something Great With Your Life
Matthew 26:21-25, Mark 14:18-21, Luke 22:21-30, John 13:21-30
Good morning, men! Welcome to Man in the Mirror’s Men’s Bible Study, where we always have room for one more guy! Let’s go ahead and do a shout out here this morning. This is going to go to eight men who gather in Corpus Christi, TX. I have very fond memories of Corpus Christi. Actually, I have pretty fond memories of almost every city we’ve mentioned so far over these last many years we’ve been doing this. This group has no name. They are two vets, an eye surgeon, the owner of a title company, an oil and gas man, a garage owner, a retailer, and a minister who have been meeting weekly on Fridays at 7:00 AM for a long time. So I wonder if you would join me in giving these eight men in Corpus Christi a very warm Man in the Mirror welcome? One, two, three, hoorah! We’re glad to have you guys with us, welcome!
The series that we’re doing is called Hanging Out With Jesus. How long do you think we have been in this series? So far seven and a half years, and we probably have another two and a half years to go! But we’re about three years into the ministry of Jesus. It’s Thursday, he’s in the upper room, Jesus is sort of wrapping up his ministry, his instructions to the disciples, and one thing that’s happened that’s fascinating in this period of time is that Jesus has inspired his disciples to seek greatness! The title of the message this morning: Do Something Great With Your Life. Jesus has inspired these disciples to do great things. In fact, in a few sentences in John 14:12, he’s going to tell them not only that, but because of your faith you are going to do greater things than these. You’re going to do things that are greater than what I have done! He’s inspired them to greatness, but first he now needs to help them redefine what greatness is.
Let’s take a look at our text today. We’re going to begin at Luke 22:24. There’s a little bit in this passage about Judas, who we already talked about. I want us to focus on this particular point that Jesus is trying to make. Verse 24:
24 A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.
Interesting, after Jesus has washed their feet and said follow my example, they’re sitting around debating about which of them is going to be the greatest. Well, why not? He’s inspired them to do great things! And so, every man is wired to want to do something great with his life. Every one of us! Now some of us may believe that’ll never happen, some of us may have lost hope that will ever happen, but nevertheless, every man in this room, every man who will ever hear this message longs to do something great with his life. The first step to every great outcome is to imagine its possibility. Imagine, for example, in our community, that there’s not a single child who ever goes to school in the morning hungry. Imagine, in our community, that there’s no homeless person who doesn’t have shoes. Imagine that there’s no teenage girl who becomes pregnant who doesn’t have an option to honor God with that baby. Imagine, in our community, that diabetes is cured. Down at the medical city, there’s actually a group of people working on that, and a cure for obesity. Imagine that! Or imagine finding the cure for paralysis. Imagine those things! Jesus was born into a world where there were all kinds of problems. It was a desperate place. There was political oppression from the Romans, women’s rights were unheard of, child labor was the norm, and religious leaders were filled with controversy and putting legalistic rules and requirements on people to do things they themselves wouldn’t do. Poverty was rampant, sickness, disease, and desperation. Into this world Jesus was born. What did Jesus do? What did he say would be the way he would solve these problems? How did Jesus go about solving these problems? He discipled twelve men and inspired them to spend their lives becoming and making other disciples. Isn’t that amazing? And so he has, he’s inspired these men that they are going to change the world! They are going to be the foundation of total global conquest! So now, they are sitting around, all inspired, wondering I wonder if I’m the greatest? I wonder if I’m the Muhammad Ali of my age? And Jesus loves them, he loves them to the end it says, and now he’s going to redefine what greatness is, and this is how he does it. Verse 25:
25 Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors.
That’s how the world was operating in his day. That was the order of things:
26 But you are not to be like that.
Men, you are not like that. This was a world that was consumed with power, prestige, position, achievement, accumulation, accomplishment, respecting me, not being disrespected, and many things like that. And guess what? We live in a world today that is bloated with what? Ambition to be powerful, prestigious, have positions, to accumulate, to achieve, to accomplish, to not be disrespected, to have respect. But you are not to be like that:
Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.
The youngest is neos, neo, the word we get neo comes from this Greek word the youngest like one who serves, diakanos, where we get the word deacon, one who serves. We know Jesus has already talked about this early in their education in Luke 9 where he talked about the greatest will be the least. The mega will be the micro. He’s redefining what greatness is:
27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.
Jesus doesn’t invert the pecking order, but he certainly does invert what it means to be great in this particular passage. The thing that’s obvious here is Jesus wants to redefine how you and I think about what greatness actually is. Now, he’s not trying to reign in your desire to do something great. On the contrary, he’s just inspired the disciples there and through them, us, to do something great. He’s not trying to reign us in, what he is trying to do is he’s trying to redirect how we think about what greatness is. He’s trying to redirect us, and he’s not saying there’s anything wrong. By the way, there’s nothing wrong with power, prestige, position, accumulation, achievement, accomplishment, respect, this text doesn’t say there’s anything wrong with any of those things. All this text is trying to say is that’s’ not how you get to be a great man of God. I know and you know many men who have a lot, and they have a little. And you know a lot of men who have a little, and they have a lot. But you also know a lot of men who have a lot because they’ve used what God has given them for the glory of God. You also know a lot of people who have little, who are little, because they’ve squandered what God has given them. The Big Idea today is this: The first step to every great outcome is to imagine its possibility. And Jesus is laying the ground work here for these disciples to act on the inspiration that he has given them. Can you imagine doing something great for God?
The Discipleship Opportunity
Let’s take a look at the discipleship opportunity that’s in this text. I want you to turn to Philippians 2:20. The discipleship opportunity in this text is to become a disciple like Timothy was a disciple. No doubt that Paul’s greatest disciple was Timothy. So what is it that made Timothy such a great disciple? We find the answer in Philippians 2 verse 20 and following. Paul wrote of Timothy:
20 I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. 21 For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel.
I have nobody else like him, Paul says! So for the sake of illustration, let’s just assume that you’re my Timothy, and I’m your Paul. Just picture that for a moment. Can I say of you I have no one else like him? I have no one else like Pat. I have no one else like John. I have no one else like Fred. I have no one else like Jerry. I have no one else like Charlie. I have no one else like Mike. I have no one else like Aubrie. I have no one else like Kevin. I have one else like Lyle. I have no one else like Jon. I have no one else like Dale. I have no one else like Keith. I have no one else like David. I have no one else like Lucas. Want to be great? Become like the least, become the servant of all.
Next, if I were to be able to say that of you, that I have no one else like you, on what basis would I be able to say that? The only basis upon which I would be able to say that is the same basis upon which Paul was able to say that about his Timothy, and that is that he was making disciples. He had become a disciple maker. 2 Timothy 2:2 Paul again writing to Timothy:
2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.
Paul was saying to Timothy you’re not making disciples until your disciples are making disciples, and you would not be my Timothy until you had become a disciple yourself and now you were turning around and discipling other people, helping them to figure out how they would also follow in your footsteps and make other disciples. You’re not making disciples until your disciples are making disciples. By disciples we mean somebody who loves God, who loves other people, somebody who’s tending the culture, taking care of the creation, and somebody who’s making disciples. The four universal purposes that you see in the scriptures, love God, love people, cultural mandate, and great commission. So that’s what disciples are doing, however God orchestrates that in their personal situation. That’s the basis upon which I would say I have nobody else like you, or Jesus would say I have nobody else like you. It would be that you are making disciples, you are reproducing yourself, and if you’re not far along enough in your journey to be doing that yet, you’re becoming the kind of person that will one day be able to do that. That would be a great outcome! The Big Idea today is that the first step to every great outcome is to imagine its possibility. Can you imagine the possibility of you becoming one of the disciples of Jesus that is going to change the world? Of becoming the disciple maker? You and I came into a much better world than he did, but for some reason, as a nation, we’ve seen better times. We are in the grip of a devastating men problem, the collateral damage is staggering among women and children. 48% of women would now prefer cohabitation over marriage, which of course directly reflects their opinion of men. Our Judeo-Christian values, this once dependable consensus that used guide our nation has been melting fast, like a polar ice cap. If the next twenty five years are a repeat of what has happened in the last, life as we know it will be no more. So how do we solve these problems? Let me tell you. However we got ourselves into the current situation, the only solution is to disciple our way out. You get that? No matter how we got ourselves into this current situation, the only way is to disciple our way out. That’s what Jesus did, he came into a world with even greater problems than ours, and what was his solution? We’re going to disciple our way out of this, and we have! But we got a little downward trend going on right now, and the only way we’re going to get out of this is we’re going to need to disciple our way out. Discipleship is the essences of serve. When Paul went up to Jerusalem, he said they agreed with everything I that I was doing in Galatians 2:10, the only thing they asked was that I remembered the poor, the very thing I was eager to do. So even taking care of the poor is swallowed up in this idea of discipleship, of calling men to Christ, equipping men in Christ, and sending them to live for Christ.
How You Can Do Something Great With Your Life
Finally, how can you do something great with your life? The application. First, redefine greatness in your own mind. How were you brought up to think about what it meant to be a great man? Many, perhaps most of us, were brought up to think that what it meant to be a great man was to have that position, to have that power, to have that prestige, to accumulate a certain amount of goods, to achieve that status, to accomplish a certain thing, to be respected. And again, there’s not a thing in the world wrong with that, but that’s not greatness. Greatness is serving sacrificially and humble the needs of others.
Secondly, is there something great that you’ve always wanted to do for God but you’ve been holding back on pulling the trigger on that? I want you to watch this video. It’s about a man named Sam Schmidt, co-owner of Schmidt, Peterson and Hamilton Racing. The Kingdom Racing Car, their cosponsor with Sam Schmidt, and Sam Schmidt is a Christian. He was injured right here in Orlando during a practice for an Indy Car race back in 2000, he was a driver. Recently they won the Indy Grand Prix and they are running two cars in the Indy 500, and I would like you to watch this video:
So the question is what’s holding you back? Is this the day that you say yes to do something great for God? The thing that he has put in your heart? Maybe it’s the day you say yes and attach yourself to someone else. Maybe you’re not a visionary like Sam Schmidt, but today’s the day you attach yourself to someone else’s vision and say yes to do the great thing that God has for you. The Big Idea today is this: the first step to every great outcome is to imagine its possibility. Let’s pray!
Our dearest Father, Lord, we each come to you this morning longing that there would be greatness in our lives. You have redefined what greatness is. Some of us need to redefine what greatness is for us, but even more than that, Lord, we need to be inspired as the disciples were inspired, and to say yes to that great thing you would have us do to leave the world a better place, to help build your kingdom. We ask this in Jesus’ name, amen!
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