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Dare to be … Great?

Carlos Dawson

 

Nimrod: Great grandson of Noah. His name is mentioned four times in the bible; all OT references. Three of the verses about Nimrod give us information such as “he began to be a mighty one in the earth.” (Gen. 10:8); “He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.” (Gen. 10:9); and “And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be mighty upon the earth.” (1 Chr. 1:10). Possibly a king and forerunner of the ancient warrior nation Assyria. Some historians say he was a great man of antiquity. Josephus attributes him with being the leader of the revolt against God that resulted in the Tower of Babel.[1]  But does his “greatness” inform us at all of the concept of greatness contemplated by God for us today?

Major premise: God demands greatness because He is great (an irrepressible attribute)

Exodus 18:10-11King James Version (KJV)

10 And Jethro said, Blessed be the Lord, who hath delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh, who hath delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians.

11 Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly he was above them.

Exodus 19:17-18King James Version (KJV)

17 And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.

18 And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.

Therefore, seeing that greatness is always demonstrated by the expression of God’s will, what are the implications and lessons we must understand?

         I.            Greatness has always been required of God’s people.

Examples:

Noah

Abraham

Moses

Joshua/Caleb

Gideon/300 v. Midianites

Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego (Dan. 3:16)

David

Solomon

Esther: “and so will I go n unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.” Esther 4:16

John the Baptist

James: Killed with the sword

Peter/John

Stephen

Paul

 

       II.            Greatness first requires an attitude of humility.

 

Matthew 18King James Version (KJV)18 

At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,

And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

 

Matthew 23:11King James Version (KJV)

11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

 

     III.            Greatness requires a response to the reality of God.

 

Acts 6:8King James Version (KJV) – Response of Stephen

And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

 

Acts 26:19King James Version (KJV) – Response of Paul

19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:

 

    IV.            We all can be great if we internalize the teaching of Christ. But to do this, we must first realize just how great Jesus is:

 

Luke 1:31-33King James Version (KJV)

31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.

32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

 

Matthew 12:41-43King James Version (KJV)

41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

Matthew 12:5-7King James Version (KJV)

Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?

But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.

1 John 4:4King James Version (KJV)

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.  Jesus: “and low I am with you always, even until the end of the world. Amen.”

So, from this brief discussion it is my hope that we have seen that greatness is an attribute that God is willing to share with us; greatness throughout history has always been required of the people of God; greatness requires an attitude of humility; greatness requires a response from each and every one of us; and that we can all be great if we participate in the greatness of Jesus Christ, the savior of the all mankind.

If you would be great, God has laid out a plan for you to do just that: The gospel of the kingdom of God.

a)       You must hear the gospel: So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Ro 10:17

b)      You must believe the gospel: And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. Ac 16:31

c)       You must repent of your sins: And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained. Ac 30-31

d)      You must confess that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah); the son of God. And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Ac 8:37

e)      You must be baptized for the remission of your sins: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. Ac 2:38



[1] “... but they [descendants of Noah’s sons] imagining the prosperity the enjoyed [after the flood] was no derived from the favor of God, but supposing that their own power was the proper cause of the plentiful condition they were in, did not obey him … Now it was Nimrod who exited them to such an affront and contempt of God. He was the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah – a bold man, and of great strength of hand …. He also gradually change the government into tyranny—seeing no other way of turning men from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence upon his power.” The Complete Works of Flavius Josephus, Book I, Chap. IV, p. 30.