The Measure of Greatness

All the “Greats”

There have been many people who could be called “great” in history. This distinction is commonly afforded to such men and women due to particular achievements in their lives. The world remembers these grand achievements and places these men and women in high esteem.

Not Where They Expected

Early Church

With the coming of the church with great power on the Day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2, it was inevitable that at some point the apostles and early church would come into conflict with the religious leaders in Jerusalem. These religious leaders had believed they had defeated the followers of Jesus with His crucifixion, but instead an entire new body was being formed in their very city. And this new body was growing, three thousand men on the first day, and more day by day.

Groundhog Day

Since 1887, it has become an American tradition to have our weather forecast for the coming weeks decided by the most unlikely of creatures. Every year on February 2^nd^, people gather in the small town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania (which is about 75 miles NE of Pittsburgh) to see whether a groundhog (named Punxsutawney Phil) will see his shadow. According to the tradition, if Phil sees his shadow (which he “sees” 90% of the time), we will have six more weeks of winter.

Forgetting the Whole Counsel of God

An Important Stop

As the Apostle Paul was journeying back to Jerusalem after his third missionary journey, he stopped in Miletus so that he could have the opportunity to speak to the elders of Ephesus one last time. His words were one of encouragement and of challenge, specifically to “shepherd the church of God” (Acts 20:28, NASU). As an example of how to accomplish this, he reminded those gathered of his own boldness in preaching not just what people wanted to hear, but instead the entire message God had given him: The “whole counsel of God” (20:27) as translated in the KJV.

Better Off Dead

An Incredible Statement

What could possibly cause someone at some point in their life to truly believe that they would be better off dead? The inclination for self-preservation is so natural to all creatures created by God that such a desire must be caused by truly horrific circumstances. Someone who finds themselves in such a mindset would do well to remember the words of Paul:

For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Phil. 1:21 (NASU)