January 22, 2017

Greatness in the Kingdom

When we selflessly serve the needs of others, we embody God's ministerial authority. Kingdom service is true greatness because behind kingdom service is the omnipotent power of God.

Scripture: Mark 9:30-50

Sermon Notes:

  1. In spite of all the disciples have seen up to now, they don’t understand the mission of Jesus to suffer and die, instead arguing about who is the greatest.
  2. So often we begin to focus on ourselves instead of on the Lord; we begin to feel sorry for ourselves when we do not receive the attention or position we desire.
  3. Advancing the gospel of the Kingdom should be at the center of our desire; not personal gain.
  4. Pride is a subtle sin which we hate in others and fail to identify in ourselves. How well we see the faults in others, how little we see of our own.
  5. We have a God-given desire to exercise power in our areas of responsibility; in God’s world, all authority must be governed and exercised in submission to Him.
  6. Having authority doesn’t make it godly authority. Sinful authority doesn’t serve others but dominates and abuses.
  7. Jesus brings a little child into His arms, demonstrating the servanthood of kingdom in kindness toward a child.
  8. We are to extend the gospel welcome by engaging in service in Christ’s name.
  9. Be able to share the gospel in simple terms; if you can’t explain the gospel to children you probably don’t understand it.
  10. Because all power and authority belongs to Jesus this service in His name is true praise.
  11. Christians are all Christ’s diaconate, His servants who minister in God’s authority.
  12. Ministry is not about meeting our personal needs; but we receive satisfaction in serving the needs of others.
  13. We can get far too preoccupied evaluating what others are doing; but what are we doing in the service of God?
  14. There are always people willing to deliberately plant snares before God’s children; to deliberately lead others to ruin is to plot your own destruction.
  15. Misleading the young to their own ruin is a serious crime in Christ’s kingdom economy.
  16. The modern school system is bringing about the ruin of children and families in their self-conscious revolution against God.
  17. We do not want to see children thrown into ruin. Instead, through work in Christian education, we are raising up godly leaders for the future.
  18. Even giving a cup of water to those who belong to Christ is greatness.
  19. Sin is a destructive force; left unchecked in ourselves it will ruin others, and we are told to put sin to death (Col. 3:5).
  20. We are not only to deal with the causes of sin in our lives; we are to be good salt which has a preserving influence upon others.
  21. The Word of God transforms us into true disciples of Christ.
  22. Kingdom service is true greatness because behind kingdom service is the omnipotent power of God.

Application Questions:

  1. What is pride, and what role does it play in the disciples’ argument?
  2. Does our pride prevent us from associating with the lowly and ministering to their needs?
  3. What is the basis for greatness in the Kingdom?
  4. In what areas of my life am I called to exercise God-given ministerial authority?
  5. What areas of our lives and behavior may be causing others to sin? How can we avoid being a snare to others?
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