Nurturing the seed of greatness – Part 1
Jesus taught about the path to greatness in His Kingdom message found in Mark10: 35-45.
Expectedly, what Jesus taught differed from what His disciples thought about greatness. He made them know that humility and service are the pathways to greatness, which is not a sudden flight of fancy or a destination, but a journey of a lifetime.
We all have the seed of greatness in us. 1 John 4:4 says, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” Christ in us is the seed of greatness. We all have the potential for greatness, but attaining greatness is another matter. Unless we nurture the seed we have in us, we might never get there.
Mike Bickle in his book, THE SEVEN LONGINGS OF THE HEART says, “the longing for greatness is one of the in-born desires of man. It is not bad to desire to be great, but how we go about it is what matters.”
Some define greatness in terms of perceived success. If you have power, money, and status, then the world calls you great. Greatness, in the world’s eyes, is about material possessions and accomplishments. And though there is nothing wrong with these things, but is this the correct definition?
William Shakespeare says, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”
Celebrities advocate their notion of greatness. Take LeBron James, for example. With well over 70,000,000 social media followers, his influence on our culture is massive. Most of his social media posts end with this hashtag: #Striveforgreatness.
James and John, two of Jesus’ disciples desired greatness. More than that, they craved fame and status. Then they boldly said to Jesus: “Teacher, we want for you to do whatever we ask from you. Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory” (Mark 10:35-45).
The arrogant desires of their hearts were obvious. They could’ve asked Jesus for anything. They didn’t ask for more joy or more favour or faith or holiness or whatever. No, James and John wanted something else: they wanted glory and to be exceptional.
We cannot be great on our terms. It is God Who makes a man great. David in 1 Chronicle 29:10-12 reveals the path to greatness,
“Therefore, David blessed the Lord before all the assembly; and David said: “Blessed are You, Lord God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, And You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honour come from You, And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great And to give strength to all” (I Chronicle 29:10-12 NKJV).
David says greatness is in the hand of God. It begins with having a relationship with God. He alone can make a man great. None of us can make himself great; only God Who controls our destinies can make us.
Abraham was a man God made great (Gen.12: 1-3; 13:14-16; 17:5-8).
God said to Abraham, “I will make you…” From Abraham’s experience, we come to the understanding that greatness is one of the covenant blessings. Those who desire to be great must allow God to take them through the process.