How To Be Great

How To Be Great

Sermon Notes

Key Thought:
Jesus had a certain definition of greatness. And this kind of greatness is attainable for us. But there is a catch. We must be willing to change our ideas about greatness and re-form them into Jesus’ ideas. Along the way we will see that the people who have been great in our lives have often followed this similar path.

Matthew’s Themes: 

  • Jesus is the King 
  • We are Part of Jesus’ New Kingdom
  • Jesus Teaches Us How to Live in this Kingdom

Discussion Time:

  •  What or who comes to mind when you hear the word- G.O.A.T.?
    •  Discuss the difference between someone who is great at something (really excels in a certain category)  and someone who is a great person (has a great soul a brings you joy).
    • Which category of person has had the biggest impact on your personal life?

Consider This: We tend to over emphasize those people who are personally great at something; and we tend to under emphasize the people who have had the greatest personal impact. You can be great, but there is a catch. You must recognize that:
Small people are important, and your personal sin is serious.

Key Verse- Matthew 18:1-6
1. Small People (children especially) are important– Matthew 18:1-4

  • They don’t offer a whole lot
  • They can be seen as an interruption
    • The disciples displayed a poor understanding of children in God’s plan. – Matthew 19:13-15
    • How do we recognize small people? We receive them. (meaning, we invite them in, welcome them to the circle)

2. Your personal sin is serious. – Matthew 18:6-9

  • Your sin has the ability to effect others 
  • Your sin is your personal responsibility
  • Your sin must be dealt with severely

Application:  Know that Jesus sees your greatness.  Take responsibility for your personal sin.

Discussion Questions

TALK IT OUT:

1. Jesus’ definition of greatness is often at odds with what people typically think of when they reflect on greatness. Why do you think Jesus says those who humble themselves like children are the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

 2. Pastor Rusty makes the point that there is a difference between someone who is great at something and someone who is a great person. Who has had the greatest impact on your life, those who are talented, or those who are actually great people?

 3. Reflect upon this statement by Pastor Rusty, “We tend to over emphasize those people who are personally great at something. And we tend to under emphasize the people who have had the greatest personal impact.” How can we adopt Jesus’ view of greatness instead of unthinkingly accepting today’s focus on becoming a celebrity? 

4. According to Jesus, small people (especially children) are important. Why is it hard to see small people as important? 

5. One step in the process of becoming great, is acknowledging our sin. Why do you think confessing our sin is foundational to greatness? 

6. How can we recognize and accept small people? What might that kind of loving acceptance mean to those who feel they have little or nothing to offer?

 7. Pastor Rusty makes the point that our sin negatively impacts others and is our personal responsibility. Some forget God can forgive sin while others view sin so casually that they never consider the fact that they need to be forgiven. Do you view your sin the way God does?

LIVE IT OUT:

  • What sin do you need to confess to God? Ask God for forgiveness right now. 
  • Is there anyone you have unthinkingly ignored and treated as a “small person”? Ask God to help you see those who appear small the way He does. 
  •  Ask God to make you great by helping you becoming more humble and loving toward those our culture tends to write off.
  • Pastor Rusty suggested that our shot at greatness involves welcoming people into our lives who cannot offer us much, who might be viewed as an interruption. Who does God want you to invite into your circle of friends? Come up with a plan for how you are going to do that this week. Ask God to help you make this practice a part of your life moving forward.