World More Like Jesus? Greatness

“At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” Matthew 18:1-5

“Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must become your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:25-28

Greatness? What does that look like today? Athletes are the first people that come to my mind. Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Walter Payton, and Babe Ruth are all legends from sports. People enjoy debating on who the greatest of all time is in their particular sport. Then there’s Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Warren Buffet who represent some of the greatest business people in the world. Actors and actresses are heroes to many people.

Then there are the popular slogans that lead us to the greatness that is inside of us. One soccer t-shirt says “Greatness has been found.” Another shirt says, “Dream big, Play hard, live strong.” Other slogans that I found are: “Girl Almighty”, “Eat Sleep Yoga Repeat”, “Skilled in Every Position”, “Just Do It, “The One and Only.”

All over the place is how you can be the best you can be, and most of it is focusing on self. Christ came to serve, not to be served. Paul wrote often about placing the interests of others above yourself. Jesus and others said to love your neighbor as yourself. He also told us to be like little children in our faith.

How does that compare to the popular slogans of our day? Think of little children. Think of yourself when you were a child. For most boys, their dad is their hero. If not their dad, it was someone else. When we were small, we trusted these people. What they said was always right at least before we became teenagers. That’s the trust and faith that Jesus is saying that we should have in God. The same faith that a young child has in their hero.

Today’s slogans, especially in sports and fitness, typically focus on self. How to get 6-pack abs. How to get those biceps you’ve always wanted. Billions of dollars are spent every year on gym memberships, DVDs for home workouts, fitness equipment, supplements, and many other things that are designed to make us look better. Am I saying that you shouldn’t workout? Absolutely not! I have been exercising consistently for over 13 years, and Lord willing, I will continue, (James 4:15). But I also know that my health and fitness can disappear in the blink of an eye. Despite that one day I will be completely fit.

Jesus came to serve and he is our example. He didn’t have to because he is God’s to Son. He could have struck those Roman soldiers down at any moment, but he chose not to because he loves us so much that his sacrifice gave us hope and the Way to salvation.

Are you blessed financially? Is that so you can “get what you deserve” or can that be used to help others?

Are you blessed with health? Is that so you can like what you see in the mirror, or can you use your health to help others who aren’t healthy?

We are all blessed with something. We can use that blessing to serve others or we can serve ourselves. Christ chose to serve others. So, does the world need more Jesus?

World Need More Jesus? Adultery

“You have heard it said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28

I’m just looking at the menu, I’m not ordering. I’ve never cheated on my wife or my husband, but Jesus says I can cheat by what I think? I can’t speak for women, but I can speak as a married man, by Jesus’ standard, I am guilty. For most married men, following this definition of adultery will be a challenge for the rest of their lives.

Thoughts are the unseen if no action is ever taken. The problem with thoughts is if we think those same thoughts for too long, they may very well lead to action. Imagine if your husband, wife, or best friend knew your every thought. What about your mom or dad? Or, the attractive man or woman that you just walked by on the street? They can’t, but there is one that can, God!

In our world, it is increasingly more difficult to have pure thoughts when it comes to the opposite sex. You can’t watch a sporting event on television without seeing at least one commercial about erectile dysfunction, usually with an attractive woman talking in a seductive tone. Click onto almost any website, and somewhere on that site is an advertisement about something sexual. “Sex sells” is not just a slogan.

How is it possible to go through the rest of our lives without having an impure thought? It probably isn’t possible which is why we need a savior, but there are steps that each of us can take. Jesus went on to say Matthew 5:29-30, “If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body do go to hell.”

Jesus is saying, whatever causes you to have those thoughts, get rid of it or don’t do it. If you can’t control yourself on the internet, get rid of it. What about Facebook or other social media websites? Unfortunately, through Facebook, I almost made the worst mistake of my life. By the Grace of God I didn’t. I’m still on Facebook, no longer do I entertain anything close to what almost happened.

Some will say that Jesus really didn’t mean to cut your hand off of gouge your eye out. I personally believe he meant it. He was saying whatever it is that causes you to stumble, get rid of it.

If going to a bar tempts you, don’t go! If your customer wants to go to a strip club, refuse. Even if it means losing the account or even your job. Is the sale or your job worth your soul? Try to never go somewhere alone with someone of the opposite sex that isn’t your spouse. If you are tempted by someone via social media, unfriend them. If that isn’t enough, get rid of it.

We all know where and who brings temptation. Avoid those places and those people if possible. Pray constantly for God to purify everything in your life, especially your thoughts. While everyone can see your actions, God can see your thoughts. People think they know you because of what they can see, whether what they see is real or not. You may be able to fool those around you, but you can never fool God. He know who you really are and here’s the most awesome thing. He loves you anyway! He knows we are going to struggle. Turn your thoughts towards him because he promises, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” Matthew 7:7