TBR Conference 2016 (Washington D.C.) Message 2: Pursue Heavenly Greatness <Mt 18:1-4> <Lk 22:24-27> <Php 2:3,3:14> <1Co 15:10>
We can be discouraged, but no one wants to be compared inferior. God would not want us to suppress competition, but how do we go for the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, yet detect the wrong inclination and intent of the heart? The worldly merited nature of competition draws so much from us, but Jesus had taught the nature of grace.
Is it possible not to compete? It is not possible not to compete for the glory of the kingdom. If you are not in the right competition, you will be found to be in the world with rivalry, conceit and selfishness. We cannot be selfish, but God calls us to notice what is for our self-interest. Compete for greater grace and truth. The grace of God makes us meek and humble, but the grace of God also makes us serve more, love more, sacrifice more, work harder, and when fruits are borne, we do not take credit but point to the grace of Jesus.
The American church tries to know more theology and terminology to pursue greatness, but what if the heart is not changed and matched with it in brokenness? Deliberately wrestle about humbling yourself when challenges come and you get absorbed into self-pity. But it is a reality that you are already in a mess as you are surrounded by sinners – your own family, church and society. Do we always want to be encouraged? Someone has to absorb wounds, insecurities and rants around us. Turn them around into burden-lifters, and deal with all the emotions. Pursue greatness that gives way to the resilient nature in Christ to love and to serve.