If all we do is recycle old ideas and attitudes, and do the same old things we’ve always done, we’ll get the same results we’ve always gotten. So as we begin this brand new decade, we’re going to be talking about the anatomy of greatness. To pursue it, to aspire, to dream, to do great things to honor God and help people is not only noble, but necessary.
As we began our new series today, we talked about the core issue of not only greatness, but all of life itself. And that is the condition of our heart. Jesus said to love God with all your heart, soul, and strength, was the greatest commandment. The second was close, and that is to use the love you experience in that endeavor to love your neighbor.
We talked about, first of all, how God defines greatness:
- The genesis of greatness is honesty. You can’t start building anything of substance with a spongy or rotten foundation. Getting honest with God, ourselves, and others is the genesis. It’s where greatness starts.
- The growth of greatness is humility; always humbling ourselves before God, understanding that we always are dependent upon His promises, power, and provision.
- The guts of greatness is hope. Hope is the thing that gives you courage, gets you up in the morning, and gets you going when the circumstances say otherwise.
- The glory of greatness is high aim. Jesus said he was going away to be with The Father and that we would do even greater things than he has done. I am not sure I understand all that means; I do know it means far more than just settling for a mediocre life.
We talked about 4 reasons why your passion is indeed the ultimate power; the only power you really need. With it you can gain everything else. Without it, you’ll lose everything you’ve gained.
- Only passion frees the heart. The promise of the gospel is that we would have a new heart and a new spirit; that God would take away the stony heart and give us a heart of flesh, putting His spirit in us and giving us the motivation to do the right thing.
- Only passion fuels the mind. We are not feeling, acting, thinking individuals. Nor are we acting, feeling, thinking individuals. We are created by God as thinking, acting, feeling image-bearers. Our mind leads the way. Our actions and our feelings are always brought into submission to truth.
- Only passion fires the soul. With the passion of God in our heart we will love what God loves. And God loves people: fractured, broken, human people of ultimate worth to Him.
- Only passion pays the price. We’re told in Hebrews that Jesus endured the suffering of the cross for the joy that was to come. And that is the redemption of those He loved. We are also warned that when we are tempted to give up, we simply consider his sacrifice and not grow weary.
Here is the bottom line. You can be the most enthusiastic, excited person at your work or in your family. It doesn’t cost you an extra dime or a day in college. It’s simply a decision. At the very core of my life is a heart fueled by the love and the passion of God for me and for the world in which I am living.