Open your Bible to the Book of Psalm 33:12, 16-20[Opening Song]: He is exalted, the King is exalted
There are two types of greatness. There is greatness in the sight of man and there is greatness in the sight of God. One major characteristics of greatness is that it has to do with what we can see, whether it is greatness in the sight of man or in the sight of God, greatness is something that can be seen.
For greatness to be called greatness, it must be seen by others and all must agree it to be so. Men must acknowledge that the person is great. That is why we all seek to be affirmed for the things we have achieve and attained. We show others our qualifications, academic laurels, awards, honours, our net worth and other visible signs of success like where we live, the brand of cars we ride, who we associate with, where we dine, our groomings, the qualities of the things we wear etc. This is greatness in the sight of man and it is limited greatness.
The tragedy of our world is that this is what everybody is looking for, virtually everybody! We look at celebrities, we look at the cars they ride, we look at their association, we look at where they dine, and we look at their net-worth. We look at the richest men in the world, we read the newspaper, the big babes of Abuja, the big boys of Port Harcourt, the big guys in Lekki. Greatness is seen by men, this is greatness but hereby it is very limited. The problem of the Church is that this is the greatness we are looking at, defining greatness like the gentiles — people who don’t know God.
Then there is this other greatness, greatness in the sight of God. Samuel the great prophet was in the house of Jesse and was to anoint a King in the place of Saul. And he saw Elias, tall, shoulder high, well-built. And he looked at Elias and said this must be God anointed but God said oh prophet, no. Because Prophet Samuel was looking at physical greatness and King Saul was his model, tall, big biceps, great muscle, handsome, huge, and ready for war. But the way God sees is not the way man sees. Man looks at the outside, but God looks at the inside. Men don’t see like God except if God opens their eyes. And its not necessarily bad though. For young people, you’ve prayed and fasted for a life partner but if your grooming is bad, no sister or brother will be interested. Men sees like men only God sees like God. Research has shown the way people receive you is about 56% of the way you appear. You need to “show up” (be presentable).
God does not see like men, He sees what is going on the inside. A Pastor was speaking one day and he said I don’t envy my job because all of you have a boss that cannot see what is going in the heart but I have a Boss that can see right inside my heart and that tends to make my job difficult. But as we’ve heard in this Church, what grace demands, grace can supply. Hallelujah!
Fame, fortune, power are only part of the narrative of greatness, they are not everything. That a man is riding a very nice car doesn’t mean God is with me. Or the he is living in Lekki and has a house in London doesn’t mean God is happy with him. Gain is not godliness for Paul told Timothy, “Godliness with contentment is a great gain”, for we brought nothing into this world and it is certain we are going to leave this place empty. Your neighbour may not like it but tell him/her you are going to leave this place (earth) empty. You will die empty. I think it was Myles Munroe that said “Die Empty” that is everything God has given to you, empty it before you go, don’t take it away to the graveyard because nobody will need it there.
The complete story is centered on divine purpose of all the blessing we’ve received from God. Abraham was called by God (Gen 12:1-2). God called Abraham and said I will make you great. God saw something in the heart of Abraham’s heart; he became a friend of God. With Isaac (Gen 26:14), God reaffirmed the same thing and said “Look, I will make you a great nation”. When He came to Jacob in Gen 46:3 God reaffirmed the same thing; no wonder Israel is a great nation today. One of our brothers sent me a message sometime ago. The message was Benjamin Netanyahu speech on the nation of Israel and he was saying something like, “Empires have come and gone, we are here, we are Israel. The Assyrian empire has gone, gone into history, the Romans, they ruled the world, gone into history, the Greeks ruled the world but gone into history. We are the Bible nation, we are here because God is here”.
Greatness in the sight of God can come in visible material blessing that men can see but it’s much more than that. Abraham was rich in cattle and in silver and gold; he was a wealthy man, and he was still a great man.
Esther is another example of greatness. Mordecai had a perspective that Esther being the queen was for a purpose — maybe this is the reason why you are in the Kingdom. So we are going to drill down to see that Greatness has to do with a purpose. Not how big your agbada is or how dapper your suit is, not the quality of your shoes or which part of town you live, not riding a Prado or an okado…no, that is not greatness. It is about divine purpose. We have a lot of problem in our culture, we almost worship big men. That’s what happened in that town in Anambra. The man from the proceeds of drug built about two churches, gave scholarships, tarred some roads and even brought in the Governor to declare some of these things open. And he’s a youth in his thirties. My wife told me this thing didn’t start today. My mother in-law used to warn her when some of these boys who did not go to school come and say they are going overseas and they come back with a lot of money, she would wonder is it not the same UK, is it not the same Europe that we go and come back, what is it that they are doing there? It took her some time to know that what those boys were doing was drugs. If you are in the house today and you are dealing drugs, God will deliver you in Jesus name.
What is the kingdom agenda for my talent, time, and money? If you don’t have that you are living for nothing, you don’t have a purpose. Friends would ask me what do you run in this place (the speaker runs his own business), are you running a business or a church? And I will answer them, we are running both…this is a church and it is also a business! If you cannot honour God, then you don’t have any business working with me. Sometimes when you see me with my bow tie and my suit, it’s not always all the time I have money in my pocket but there’s something the world cannot take way, in fact I have someone the world cannot take away. I have Christ. He puts springs on my legs, he gives me boldness that tomorrow will be better. If I don’t have today, I’m going to have tomorrow. That makes all the difference, it makes all the difference in your life, business, career, marriage and everything that you do. I’m God’s divine project, I can never be abandoned. A dear brother from US came and spoke to our youth couple of years ago, he said, I trust in God I can never be stranded. You will never be stranded in Jesus name.
Let’s look at Ps 33. What a great nation is not. A great nation is not defined by military might. It is not by sophisticated weapon of war. Isaiah 31:1 – The Bible says woe to those who go to Egypt…the super power country of that time. A nation is nothing more than a collection of people living within a set of geographical expression, physical borders; we can measure the greatness of a nation by the greatness of its people. The greatness of a nation is not the size of the army or weapons of war. The greatness of a nation is when great people are in a nation, and then we have a great nation. Why? The HR people will tell you the greatest resource in the world is human-beings. At the opening of the world, man was created and at the close of the age humans would still be there. Don’t waste your money in things that will not last, invest in people. Invest in human beings it will pay huge dividends if you do it in the spirit of God. We are not running a very large business but we have resolved that we would build men that will build greater enterprise. Sometimes people say there are no jobs. There are jobs waiting for people that would do it. If you are lazing, you won’t get a job. Every time anybody works into my office looking for a job I ask what skill do you have? Because the job of today does not only answer to qualification, it answers to skills.
A nation that honours the Lord is a great nation. A nation where people live in obedience to God’s righteous command is a great nation. The Bible says righteousness exalts a nation, sin is a reproach. Lk 1:13-17 tells the story of John the Baptist – another example of greatness. John knew his purpose, his pedigree was different and when they asked him, “Who are you?”, He said he’s only a voice. John was not ashamed and envious when he pointed his disciples to Jesus as the Lamb of God and his disciples followed Him because he knew his purpose. May God show you your purpose in this nation in Jesus name.
To have a great nation, you need great people. God can use you to change the story of Nigeria. But first you must be a loyal citizen of the kingdom. John was a loyal citizen of the kingdom (Luke 7:28). For you to be great or least, you must be a citizen of the kingdom.