In 1943 Abraham Maslow lay the groundwork for understanding the motivations of people. Maslow developed what we refer to as the hierarchy of needs. His theory stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs in life and that some needs take precedence over other needs.
First level of the pyramid are physical needs. We need food, water, warmth, rest.
Then the next level are safety needs, we need security and safety.
Once those needs are met, we have love needs. We need intimate relationships and friendships.
Then esteem needs: prestige and feelings of accomplishment.
At the very top of the pyramid for Maslow, in other words, to reach our highest level of fulfillment is that he came up with is self-actualization needs, in other words achieving one’s full potential.
This has been a major tool used in psychology courses for many decades. As psychologist have studied humanity they’ve now added three other levels in the pyramid.
Psychology now says the greatest need in this world that we can meet. The one at the very top of the pyramid which used to be self-actualization.
They have called them transcendence needs. In other words, once you have achieved your highest potential, self-actualization. The thing that will bring us fulfillment is actually when we help others reach their highest potential.
That’s the highest level of fulfillment you can have in this world. Helping someone else achieve their potential.
Nothing fulfills us more than serving!
Nothing fulfills us more than serving!
But the deception of the world is that if we have more, consume more, gain more, then we will be happy. How many people have you read about, who “had it all” and decided to take their own life? Many of us probably achieved adult hood imagining how great life would be when I have...
Only to find that even when you had put all the things together that should bring you joy…it was empty, and shallow.
Joy does not come from within. It comes from without.
We live in a culture of consumption that struggles with contribution.
Our mindset of being consumers has even infiltrated our approach toward God. “Whats in it for me?” is the subtle question everyone of us begin coming to God with, sadly religion has played right along.
The answer being salvation, or to be blessed. In a prosperity gospel it’s that God will prosper you.
But the real call of God to all people who would follow him is a call to service - serving others.
Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
The priority is placed upon the men to be caught, not upon the fishermen. How many times have you sat in a seafood restaurant and forked a nice piece of salmon into your mouth and thought… “this fish is so good, kudos to the fisherman who caught this. Their expertise in fishing techniques no doubt made this some of the best salmon I have ever had.” We never think about the fisherman, it is the unseen thankless job.
Jesus call to them was one of fulfilling a higher purpose.
We have been made by God to serve and to live for something bigger than ourself.
In John chapter 4 we have the incident with the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus intentionally goes to an area Jews avoided. He crosses cultural divides to reach for a woman who had been in multiple marriages, five, that is a high number even today. After the woman goes away into the city telling everyone they needed to come see Jesus.
The disciples had missed the conversation. They had went into the city to get some food. Bringing it back to Jesus they urge him to eat.
In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.
Food is the thing that gives you energy and strength to keep going.
Jesus was saying when I do the will of God, when I serve the people that are coming here to see the work He is doing. That sustains me, that gives me energy to keep going, that is the strength that I need.
There is greater fulfillment in contribution than there is in consumption.
Serving has always been God’s plan.
There was an article sometime back, an interview with Will Smith the actor from some well known Movies. In the interview he stated that he moved from Philadelphia to L.A. at the age of 21. He had a goal to become one of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood. A lot of people go to Hollywood with that goal.
Will Smith had a goal and a plan. He had done research on the top ten grossing films. He stated that he noticed a pattern for nine out of the ten.
Each one had special effects and creatures in the film. Eight out of the nine had special effects, creatures and a love story.
So Will Smith determined that he would do movies with those common things.
Look at his top grossing movies:
Independence Day 817 million
Suicide Squad 746 million
Hancock 624 million
Men in Black 3 624 million
Men in Black 589 million
I am Legend 585 million
Will Smith had a plan based on what works.
God has a plan. God sticks with the plan.
It has always been His plan that His people would be a representation of Him.
‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”
A priest is a representative of the one who has called them into service.
He called them specifically to represent Him for the sake of the rest of the world, not at the expense of the rest of the world.
His plan has not changed.
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
He calls you and I, His royal priesthood. We are meant to be the intermediaries between Him and the people he is trying to reach.
An intermediary sacrifices so that the work can be accomplished.
Prepare altar music
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
You and I are the plan. There is no other plan.
We are powerless to save ourselves, but we can help in saving someone else. We can point people to Jesus, and tell them all that he has for them.
Elena hosting a mid day Bible study on the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The people might never have an opportunity to experience what God has for them except that Elena sacrifice time and energy to host this study.
Every one of us have gifts that can bless the Kingdom of God. Every one of us have something we can contribute to Branches Church growing and reaching more people.
You might think “I don’t know where to start”. Today after service in the back there are opportunities for you to look at, places where right now you can get involved in serving.
Join something, it is not a lifetime commitment, unless you are really awesome at it. Then we may never let you go!
Every area of service is serving that person that will walk thru the door and experience Branches for the first time. Experience the presence of God for the first time.
God is doing amazing things in this church. We don’t even always see it all. This church is going to have a big impact in our community and in the world. This church is going to send out preachers, missionaries, pastors, teachers, apostles, prophets.
God invites everyone of us into a life of purpose and meaning, it only takes our sacrificing something of ourselves to become servants.