This message was preached by Colin D Cruz at Word of Grace Church Pune, on the 17th of August 2014. You can listen/download to the audioby clicking here
What do you think of when you wake up the first thing in the morning? Do you look at yourself and have great thoughts about yourself?Lets look at God's Word this morning rather than the mirror to get a right perspective on ourselves.
What if I told you that you are great! On what basis can I say that? What does God's word have to say? It has truths about God and man.
When we think of greatness, we always think in comparison, don't we? So how great are you? What does Jesus say?
Well, He thinks and says that you are great.
John the Baptist was the forerunner of Jesus. Jesus is talking about him that John is the greatest amongst those born of woman. Yet He who is least in the Kingdom of God is greater than John the Baptist. There is so much truth here that it can transform the way we live.
1. John the Baptist was the greatest who ever lived before Jesus - even greater than Moses who saw the glory of God, delivered the Israelites out of slavery,parted the Red Sea. Through out the Old Testament we have great prophets and kings.
Then what makes John the Baptist greater than all these? There is something called progressive revelation. Abraham knew something about God and the Messiah. As time went on the others had more revelation. Adam knew a little ( Gen 3:15). The "He" is Jesus who will crush Satan's head.
Isaiah had greater revelation. He knew that the Messiah would be born from a virgin. Micah knew that Saviour would be born in Bethlehem. Malachi talks bout John the Baptist. This is the last prophet in the Old Testament and after this there is a period of silence for 400years.
And now John the Baptist bursts upon the scene.His greatness was in this- he was chosen to prepare the way. Apart from Mary, John the Baptist had the privilege of knowing and proclaiming the Messiah to the people.
John the Baptist was a bit of an odd character ; dressed inn camel skin and ate wild locusts and honey.He must have been quite a sight! The amazing thing is that from the time of his birth he was filled with the Holy Spirit. Matt 3:2 In spite of his oddness, people from everywhere came to him, confessing their sins and they came to hear him preach. It was a revival time. People came from Jordan, Jerusalem and all over. He did not preach a soft gospel. He called the religious peopled a "you brood of vipers". He had a greater revelation of who Jesus is and of the Holy Spirit.
In God's eyes its not what you do that makes you great but the knowledge of Jesus, and being filled with the Holy Spirit.
John 1:29 Look the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. The Jews understood this language and what John was trying to say. John knew who was i.e the son of God.
Matt11:11 - This is a truth difficult to grasp. Our greatness comes from what God has done for us through Jesus. therefore I am great because of Jesus. I have a destiny because of Jesus. today we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we has scripture. The Old Testament people had the Holy Spirit in seasons and only on special people for specific events.
Col :2 In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Eph 3:8-9
So what should response be? Matt11:12
The Kingdom is advancing and forceful men take hold of it. What does this mean?
1. Where ever the gospel is preached there will be opposition. You preach Jesus is the only way and see the reaction you get. Across the world people have been killed for their faith.
2. As kingdom people there needs to be some energy exerted. We need to be forceful with ourselves, not others.
1Cor 9:27 "I beat my body and make it a slave..." and we have a responsibility to take the gospel forward and we have to do something about it.
We have and belong to the true kingdom, so what are we going to do about it? Its about pushing ourselves beyond what the flesh desires. We need to ask ourselves what we can do to advance the Kingdom of God.
Phil 2:12-13 Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,," Salvation is free because of Jesus.But now that you have it, do something with it. Ask what is it you can do to advance the kingdom. We work in partnership with the Holy Spirit and He enables us.
So let me urge you to find out what you can do because you are great.
Why fear and trembling?
We will face an evaluation of our lives. 1Cor 3:10 Be careful how you build- it will be revealed by fire" Its going to be tested. There are great reward in store for us. No eye has seen what God has in store for us.
We can suffer loss , not salvation . We can forfeit reward that could be ours.
You are great and you have role to play in kingdom advance.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.
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