The Upside Down Kingdom


December 3, 2023

Pastor Terry Fulks

Here are three insights into becoming great. 

36 And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” 37 And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” 38 Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” 39 And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, 40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” 41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. 42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Mark 10:36–45 ESV


1. You wanting to be great is not a sin. 



2. You become great by being a servant. 



3. You follow in the steps of King Jesus. 


Servant-leadership is more than a concept, it is a fact. Any great leader, by which I also mean an ethical leader of any group, will see herself or himself as a servant of that group and will act accordingly.

 ― M. Scott Peck, American psychiatrist and author of The Road Less Traveled


It has generally been my experience that the very top people of truly great organizations are servant-leaders.

― Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

A noble leader answers not to the trumpet calls of self-promotion, but to the hushed whispers of necessity.

― Mollie Marti, psychologist, lawyer, author, and humanitarian


Servant leadership turns traditional leadership, which one might describe as giving orders and taking credit, on its head:

Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge.

— Simon Sinek, author and inspirational speaker

Points to ponder: 

  • Jesus’ way to greatness avoids all the pitfalls of the world’s way. 
  • True greatness is a humbling experience. 
  • Our church, Lake country, our state, and our country need truly great people. 
  • The absolute greatest person to ever walk this earth became a servant in order to serve us on the cross. 
  • The greatest asset that anyone can ever have is an attitude of humility reflected in the action of serving all comers. 
  • One of the best things about serving is it places you in the steps of Jesus. 
  • Would you like to be great? 

Connection Prayer:  Thank you God that you will help be great in the right way.  I now, with what faith I have, confess that you Jesus died on the cross for my sins, were buried, and rose from the dead on the third day. I take you as my Savior, Lord, and Leader. Please forgive me of my sins and thank you for your forgiveness. Help me to follow you all the days of my life. Amen.  

Next steps: 

  1. If you prayed the connection prayer with me:
    1. Read John 3, three times before you go to bed tonight. 
    2. Read the gospel of John all the way through by reading about ten verses a day. 
  2. Read Philippians 2:1-11 three times this week. 
  3. Review the sermon notes three times this week.
  4. Make sure you are reading the advent devotional by Janelle.

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