2010-03-05 - How to be Great
The Qualities and Blessings of Greatness
Based on a sermon from 06/26/2002
There's a movie from the 90's called "A Few Good Men" It's named that because that's what Uncle Sam evidently wants is just a few good men. Most women are happy to find just one good man. An author Melissa Bank once put it "Let's face it. You don't just want a man in your life. You only want a great man in your life." That's exactly what God wants - a few good men, and women, of course. So how are we to be great men or women? Stealing a line from that movie: do you want the truth? Can you handle the truth? Now opinions vary on what it means to be great and on how to achieve that greatness but, as is the case more times than not, we can find our answers in the scriptures.
First let's look at the scriptures as a whole to get a workable definition. Surely we could say that a man who has been approved by God would be a great man. So, a blessed man is truly a great man. The Bible teaches over and over that approval by God is the key to greatness. Look at those whom God has blessed men like Abraham whose seed became a great nation, David who became a great king, and on and on.
Now, how do we become blessed or obtain God's stamp of approval as it were? Well, Psalm 112:1 says "Blessed is the man that fears the Lord." In fact the whole chapter tells us how to be blessed. And what it means to be blessed. So let's look at the qualities, or qualifications, and blessings of greatness.
As we read keep in mind that this is a Hebrew poem. In fact it is an acrostic poem, meaning the lines begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. We cannot see its beauty as a Jew reading the Hebrew sees it but we can still benefit from its wisdom.
Basically it starts with a shout. "Hallelujah!" Happy is the man who reveres the Lord. The phrase "praise the lord" or something very close to it is in the Psalms and elsewhere in many places. Why? Because it is the best advice - praise and worship and seek Him. The best we can do is serve the Lord our God and live for Him.
The 1st quality of a blessed man is that he will fear the Lord. This does not mean cower in fear but a respectful reverence. It does mean we should have a reverent attitude regarding His position in and influence over your life. In other words, know who's in charge. This is the same way I fear my wife!
True greatness comes not by man's acclaim, Nor is it attained by wealth or fame; The fear of the Lord is where it starts, When we obey God and give Him our hearts. -Fitzhugh
The 2nd quality of a great person is that they find delight in His commandments. There are many reasons why we may obey someone:
Psalm 37:4 says to delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Next week we'll look at the next few verses of this passage. Until then...
All scripture references from KJV unless otherwise noted