WHAT IS GREATNESS
WHAT IS GREATNESS?
Gleaned and quoted from, Requirements for Greatness by: Lori Wilke
Preached by: Carolyn Sissom
May 18, 2008
“What does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)
Jesus said, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint, anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy and faith: these you ought to have done and not leave the others undone.” (Matt. 23:23)
The Pharisees were men-pleasers who were always “play acting.” That’s what being a hypocrite means. These were the masters of “religion on a stage.” They wanted to look good before men, which really means they didn’t care about what God thought. They sacrificed integrity with God for the popularity of the people. God asks, “How can you even live, how can you exist when you are always looking to please the unstable opinions of men?”(John 5:44)
This kind of inner strength and character will help you face the fire of difficulty and adversity in life. The fiery trials most often come in areas where you must walk on with God, even if nobody else is walking with you.
The Pharisees were insanely jealous of Jesus because He was able to influence the multitudes by the mercy, grace, and love of God. There is no room for condemnation in the heart of God. He says to all, “You may come to Me just the way you are. All are welcome at My table."
The prophet Jeremiah told Baruch, the son of Neriah, “And do you seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them…” (Jer. 45:5)
“I believe God hides His endings in His Beginnings.” This is why the Old Testament is quoted by Jesus and the Apostles all through the New Testament.
The difference between seeking “greatness” and seeking “great things” is summed up in ego. The Lord will require Greatness from us, but it is not for us. If we do that which is Great in the eyes of the Lord, it will be Greatness for the Kingdom of God and not for ourselves. We will always decrease that He may increase.
“When we see Jesus, we see the perfect example of greatness. He evidenced the authority that comes with greatness by driving demon spirits out of people’s lives. He was given such authority because of His submissive, humble obedience to His Father. His act of humbling Himself as God to become human, as well as living in perfect obedience to God’s Word gave Him the authority to rule over and command the ruler of this world and his demons.”
Five Fruits of Justice and Integrity:
- Do your actions and attitudes bring dignity and significance to others?
- Do your actions and attitudes provide others with purpose, hope and a powerful positive future?
- Do your actions and attitudes bring individuality to others? Do they allow others to be creative individuals?
- Do your actions and attitudes give others a sense of safety and protection?
- Do your actions and attitudes cover others’ mistakes releasing them from sin through forgiveness and restoration?
When we esteem others better than ourselves, we can work out anything. It is part of our calling as Christians and our commission as disciples of Jesus Christ to live justly and to deal justly with everyone we encounter. We are required to demonstrate God’s nature of justice and integrity toward people. The apostle John said we were not to “love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” (1 Jn. 3:18)
Justice is part of the very nature of God and a “weightier matter” of God’s Kingdom. Let’s begin to learn how to produce the five fruits of justice in real life, where “true religion” really counts.
One of the fruits of righteousness is justice, and justice refreshes, preserves, protects all who enjoy its fruit—even if they are in a place where justice is rare. Jesus Christ is the “pattern son,” the ultimate measure of perfection for everything in our lives. He is also the “author and finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:2) One of the most important things Jesus did was fulfill prophecy by planting justice in the earth.
“…I will raise unto David, a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.” (Jeremiah 23:5)
“For He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of god in Him”. As the revelation of righteousness grows in our lives, so the fruit of justice prospers and reigns through our lives.
Every time we treat people with dignity and respect, we demonstrate the true meaning of God’s justice. A good man always seeks to make others good.
A just man empowers others to see a future and a hope for themselves. An individual will usually become who you encourage him or her to be. “Treat men and they will be true to you, treat them greatly and they will show themselves great.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
A just man forgives, even if others maliciously or ignorantly hurt him. Jesus planted a gracious nature in you and I that is not evil, malicious, or condemning to other people. A key to forgiveness is knowing how much we have been forgiven. God continues to forgive us moment by moment. When we forgive others, we tear down the walls between us. Forgiveness bring unity.
There is a divine correlation between forgiveness and correction. A forgiving person knows how to receive correction. Some people think that correction means rejection because they have a poor self-image. “He who hates correction will die. (Prov. 15:10) A person who is just likes to be corrected, forgiven, and then released. This is the way the just handles the injustices others do against them. They forgive and release people. Pride can keep us from being a forgiving person.
If the person does not repent and continues in justification of their wrong-doing, we cannot come into agreement with the wrong, but we can forgive them and release them. Forgiveness does not mean to condone or approve of sin or wrongdoing. Nor do we cover it, but we are able to release them from the injustice they have done to us.
Mercy may be late in coming, but it always ends up on top. THE CRY OF every human heart is to be real. God want us to know that mercy makes us real. god emphasized mercy as one of the major matters of life. It was mercy that brought God’s Son to earth. “
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” (Mt. 5:7)
“As I meditated on mercy, it seemed as if I could almost see God smile. the Lord said, “mercy is My smile.” (Lori Wilke)
Faith expresses its power through mercy.
does mercy saturate your thought life when you look at others? Do you feel compassion for them? the Lord jesus had a miracle ministry because it was His nature to love and help people, not because He wanted to prove anything or make a name for Himself.
Mercy is part of the character of god, and we are all partakers of His divine nature. Christ lives within us—that hope of glory.
We should thank God for his mercy every time we make a mistake or blow it.
There are those who have Gift of mercy, but all Christians have the nature of Christ living within us.
Mercy expresses itself thorugh love.
Mercy disarms the enemy.
Mercy is kind, everlasting, and pwoerful. Mercy waits patiently, knowing that God is in charge. Mercy is almost childlike in contrast to attitudes that are hard, forceful and controlling. mercy is very tender. Mercy is not interested so much in itself as it is in what it can do for other people.
Mercy makes you real.
What is real? god extended His mercy to us through Jesus and gave us life and love. His mercy leads us to repentance and makes us soft and tender.
God’s grace produces Greatness. Worldly greatness comes from the outside of what we do. Spiritual greatness comes from the inside or who we are. The apostle Paul said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am”. (1 Cor. 15:10a)
Faithfulness to our gifts and calings never are easy. Everyone wants to change us, betray us, or even crucify us. We need to put down the sword of self-defense and let God’s grace prevail! God knows what He has called us to do and has promised to be faithful to perfect those things in us.
Mercy and Grace from God’s hand are always there to lift us up from the blows of rejection AND CONDEMNATION. His mercy is an absolute spiritual force empowering us to overcome every obstacle blocking our way, whether it is emotional, physical or spiritual.
If we want the power of God in our ministries, if we want to bear a costly anointing in our lvies, then we must get under the authority of God’s Word. His Word must become our final authority, our non-optional instruction, our only blueprint for livng. It is our source of greatness.
Those under unjust attack are protected by God’s mercy. those leveling judgments at others will be exposed—that’s right—exposed to the torments of evil spirits. god lifts His protection unless we show mercy. If we sow judgment, we will reap judgment.
We have enough to do just keeping ourselves submitted to God without having to help others do it too!
In Second chronicles 35, we read about King Josiah, who felt it was his job to get involved with another king’s war. sometimes when we see others fighting or not doing things the way we think they should, we want to straighten them out and solve their problems.
King Josiah found out that getting involved in someoe else’s affairs was the same as meddling with God’s affairs.
(2 Chronicles 35: 20-23) “after all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, necho king of Egypt came up to fight against CARCHEMISH BY Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him. but he sent ambassadors to him saying, What have I to do with you, King of Judah? I come not against you this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me to make haste: forbear you from meddling with God, who is with me, that He destroy you not. Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and hearkend not unto the words of necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo. And the archers shot at king Josiah; and the king said to his servants. Have me away: for I am wounded.” Shortly after this Josiah died.
When we take the role of the Holy Spirit in people’s lives, trying to bring convicition and direction, we have no real authority because it’s not our place to do those things.
God has called us to be restorers of those who fall. The anointing god has give us is to restore those who are weak, not to crucify them.
“Do you wish to be great? Then begin by being humble. do you desire to construct a vast and lofty fabric? think first about the foundation of humility. the higher your structure is to be, the deeper must be its foundation."—St. augustine.
The people of greatness that God is looking for today are those so consumed in seeking the Lord’s face that they no longer foucus on His hand. yes, His hand will always be there to guide, provide, and supply. But this facelss generation has a goal to seek His face above all other things.
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.(2 Corinthians 3:18)
The Psalmist wrote, “Seek the Lord, and His strength: seek His face evermore” (Ps. 105:4). When we stop trying to see so much of ourselves, we will see His face more clearly. If we are concerned about titles, positions or promotions from men, we lose sight of the face of God and His approval.
In this dimension of greatness comes a selfless prayer life of intercession for the lives of other people. They have forgotten about their own needs. They have become dead to the problems that would have caused most well-meaning christians to bail out. they have put their trust in God for the deliverance and restoration they need and go to battle on behalf of their brothers and sisters. These “certain” Christians suffer much, but they seem impervious to the fiery darts of the enemy because they are already dead to the things he can throw at them. They no longer fear death or persecution. They boldly declare, “Whom shall I fear?”
Do these “certain” Christians ever feel dry or deserted? Of course! they are often assigned desert duty in a dry place. they fight through being faithful, and defend their post through their dedication to God’s purpose. Every marked person carries battle scars on his or her body. follow someone who walks with a limp because he or she has been through the battle and has come out fighting. Such people can describe what it is like to be stranded in a dry and empty place. they are never content to just let things happen, though when things get so bad that it looks like there’s no hope, they get fired up even more. They love the part of the story where they get to describe the smell and feel of a soon-coming rain! they love to tell about the moment they plunged themselves into the rich, cool WATER OF the Father’s presence to emerge fully refreshed and anointed once again.
These people rule and reign with God. they are given resources and visions. they are prophets pioneering in unreached areas for Kingdom advancement. They are the ones leading the charge against the devil’s division and deception of our churches and families. they are constantly being repairers of the breach and restorers of the paths to dwell in. they overcome evil with good.
The vessels that God has His eye on are the yielded vessels kneeling in submisssive obedience to God’s every word and whim. These are the ones who bear God’s mark of humility, justice, mercy and greatness. this is His army of intercessors willing to weep before god’s altar on behalf of those under the devil’s deception. they attack the very gates of hell in a holy passion of fire from on high! god says, “I have marked your heart for greatness. You are a chosen vessel on which I have engraved My name. Now is the appointed time for your life to fulfill its true purpose and meaning for existence. You have come into the Kingdom for such a time as this. Take your place in the assembly of the marked ones and begin the work of greatness prepared for you before the foundation of the world.
Carolyn Sissom, pastor
Eastgate Ministries, Inc.
text gleaned and quoted from, “Requirements for Greatness by Lori Wilke”
Scripture quotes from King James Version.