THE DEFINITION OF GREATNESS
Luke 1:15- For he will be GREAT before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.
As I read Luke 3 this morning I couldn’t help but wonder what if all Christians were like John the Baptist? A man that was bold, outspoken, faithful, and committed to purpose. In Luke 1 an angel approaches Zechariah, his father, and says that John will be great before the Lord. How many Christians, if we examine our lives, would be great before the Lord? I believe that the angel had to clarify the type of greatness that John the Baptist would possess, that’s why he says “BEFORE THE LORD”.
He understood that there were two different perspectives of greatness, one in the eyes of God and the other in the eyes of the world, worldly greatness and kingdom greatness. Many Christians have failed at being kingdom great. One can be great in the eyes of the world and fail to be great in the eyes of the Lord. What the world needs more than ever is Christians that are spiritually great in the kingdom. Are you kingdom great and are you exhibiting the character of one that is spiritually great?
We live in a day and age that tells us to chase the worldly things to be great, like money, education, career, status, fame, and etc. Many of us have forsaken Jesus to chase these things that we feel makes us great, failing to realize that when you make a conscious attempt to be great in the kingdom all else comes. The bible states in Matthew 6:33 “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” We can’t find our greatness in the things of the world, but we must find it in Christ. Once we find our greatness in Christ the rest will come. I am a firm believer in seeking kingdom greatness and purpose first, then all else will come.
I can’t help but to think about the fact that God considered John great before he was born. Why is that? God understood that greatness was determined by purpose. Before John was born God knew he would fulfill his purpose in making the way for Jesus. God had a divine purpose for John that he knew John would carry out. Our greatness, like John, is determined by our commitment in carrying out God’s divine purpose in our lives. Many of us don’t know what that purpose is, therefore we can’t strive to achieve it and miss out on greatness. I once heard Zig Ziglar say “you can’t hit a target or reach a destination if you don’t have goal? What’s your goals in life and is it kingdom focused or world focused? What’s your divine purpose and God’s will over your life? God has designed every single one of us to be great, but many of us refuse to walk in it and choose to walk in what we think is considered great. Kingdom greatness is not a greatness that only benefits the individual, but one that impacts those in the kingdom all over the world and in your direct influence.
The Character of John was like no other in Luke 3. He was only focused and committed to fulfilling his purpose. His purpose and commitment to it defined his greatness. He wasn’t concerned about the latest fashion, the top living quarters, or the best food. Heck scriptures states “John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.” Talk about greatness, lol. Just to give you a little perspective that is comparable to wearing rags and eating only rice all day. Many of us can’t fathom that type of lifestyle. It was easy for John because he was only concerned with his Kingdom purpose and greatness. When you are concerned and focused on Kingdom greatness nothing else matters. His purpose made him great, not his things or social class. What drives you to be great? The approval of man or the approval of Jesus. Let us redefine greatness in our lives today, not modeling greatness after those in the world. The world needs more John the Baptist and not more Kim Kardashians or Warren Buffets. We have plenty of those to last for years. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with wanting those things.
The problem exists when we make things of the world our priority and reason for living, putting Gods desires on the back burner. That’s why God stated that he couldn’t taste wine. He did not want it to misalign his direction and commitment to purpose by being like those in the world.
I want to let you know that it is okay to be different. Those committed to the kingdom is always the minority and never the majority. It is the road less traveled and you will always stick out like a sore thumb in the world. John was different and we are called to be different. Scripture says in Romans 2 to be in the world, but not of it. It is clear that John was in the world, but not of it. Change your perspective of greatness!!! Let your greatness be defined by your desire to please Jesus and not the world. The kingdom needs more Johns and you are the answer. The question to ask yourself today is” are you being great?” We have an opportunity to be great every day, unlike the world that communicates when you get things you will be great. Be committed, focused, faithful, and true. John was now it’s your turn.