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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Greatness

I just got back from our Church men's retreat at Skamania Lodge with teachings by Gayle Erwin and it was amazing. There was nothing profound about it, it simply stated the simple message of the Gospels by focusing on the nature of Jesus.

We have cartoonized Jesus, God, Satan, Heaven, and Hell so much that Christianity is often not recognized anymore and the true purpose of why Jesus came is not understood.

Last night we started by talking about what it meas to be great and first. The Disciples are seen fighting often over who was the greatest among them. They would bicker and argue like children but quickly shut their mouths when Jesus would ask what they were talking about. He knew but I guess He figured it would be fun to see how they would respond. After asking, He would break into a little mini sermon on what it meant to be great in the Kingdom of God. He told them if you want to be great then you must become a servant, or a slave, to others. Servants exist to make life better for others. This is the exact opposite of human nature. We are told to have high self-esteem. We are told to take care of ourselves first before we can take care of others but Jesus turned that around. We are to be other-centered and have high others-esteem by putting their needs ahead of ours.

True satisfaction comes in others-centered service to others. We often like to act like we are serving others but our attitudes after that "service" gives away our intentions. Often we are upset about something after we help others out because we are expecting something in return.

Jesus was our perfect example of selfless service. He came down to earth, had no home, had no money, was born as a baby in a dirty barn, he grew up in a region that was considered a hick town. The book of Isaiah tells us there was nothing special about His appearance. He lived a perfect life and died one of the most brutal deaths a person could suffer. If He was God, why did He go through all of this? He didn't have to but He lived as an example for us. He didn't just tell us to serve others, He showed us how to serve others by becoming a servant. He showed us how to love unconditionally by loving us unconditionally. He had his pick of anyone in the world to make His Disciples and He chose a bunch of uneducated losers who never understood what He was talking about, denied knowing Him, argued over who was the best among the group, betrayed Him, and doubted His promises.

Today we talked about humility. Humility is not a strength of people. Even in our humility, we are often prideful. We look at ourselves and say, "look how humble I am." Gayle explained that humility is having an honest and accurate view of ourselves and presenting that view of ourselves in an honest open way to others. When we are truly humble and honest, people are not left guessing the intentions of our actions. They can trust us and the relationship can thrive. There is such a huge problem in America now with the breakdown of relationships because we can't trust anyone.

The entire retreat was narrowed down to one simple thing. If you want to be great, put others ahead of yourselves. Jesus was our perfect example on how to do this.

4 comments:

J Weiss said...

Glad you posted this since I couldn't make it.

I'll let you start serving others by buying me a latte at Stumptown or Ugly Mug.

GrannyZee said...

Hi, I came here to find your Mac theme for Firefox and found Jesus and the way to greatness in this world. VERY REFRESHING. Gotta go now but I'll be back.

GrannyZee said...

Hi, I came here to find your Mac theme for Firefox and found Jesus and the way to greatness in this world. VERY REFRESHING. Gotta go now but I'll be back.

GrannyZee said...

Hi, I came here to find your Mac theme for Firefox and found Jesus and the way to greatness in this world. VERY REFRESHING. Gotta go now but I'll be back.