Thursday, September 29, 2011

Good to Great in God's Eyes

Good to Great in God's Eyes by Chip Ingram, proposes that the human desire for greatness is God-given, that God designed us to want greatness.  People want to be great professionals, careers, husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, athletes, scholars, artists, musicians, etc...  Chip writes, "But when  ask believers if they watn to be great Christians, they seem to be afraid to answer the question.  They become unassuming and deferential, concerned that an ambition to be great in this most important aspect of life would seem arrogant.  Yet what's the alternative?  Should we aspire to be mediocre Christians?  Is it prideful to want to honor God with lives of great faith and excellent work?  Even after spending 3 years with Jesus, the disciples didn't seem to think so.  They argued about which of them was the greatest, and though Jesus had to redefine greatness for them, he didn't tell them they were being unspiritual or arrogant because of their...desire to be great.  Instead he laid out a clear but counterintuitive pathway that 11 of the 12 eventually fulfilled.  And their greatness, as they followed that pathway, turned the world upside down in less than a century."

Ingram goes on to suggest God loves it when his people achieve greatness for God's glory and that our purpose of glorifying God "isn't served well by mediocrity." 

He clarifies that "great" Christians aren't more loved by God and that great works have nothing to do with salvation.  "These principles are, however, an opportunity to fulfill the highest and best purposes God has for your life.  Great athletes don't spend years practicing because they have to; they do it because they have a dream.  Christians who want to live the average Christian life can do so almost by default.  None of the practices in this book are required for that.  But those who dream of eternal impact in the kingdom of God, who envision crossing the finish line as one of God's great saints, are motivated to do whatever it takes to be used powerfully by God... If the honest desire of your heart is to stand before God one day and, like Jesus, tell him, "I have brought you glory here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do" (John 17:4), these 10 practices will make a huge difference in your life."

The chapters are set up to work well with small group discussion, although I read it on my own and really gained a lot from it.  If you read it, let me know what you think!

Desiring greatness for God's glory,

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