Redefining Greatness

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Why would a man worth $3.6 billion give one thought to the kid across the train tracks living in government housing?

Paul Tudor Jones, one of America’s richest people, started the Robin Hood Foundation in 1988. Since then more than $1.25 billion has been given by the organization to help impoverished residents of New York City. His approach to fighting poverty: invest like Wall Street. What does that mean? In short, whatever does not produce results loses investment and vice versa. After a quarter-century of this poverty-fighting strategy, Jones and Robin Hood have found the stock that produces the best dividends: the next generation.

This guy could do anything with his time and money. A few ideas I would have: spend a few years in the Alaskan outdoors, move to LA and hang out with Kobe Bryant, or invest in financial stock and build more wealth. However, Jones says this: “You cannot have significance in this life if it’s all about you, you get your significance… you find your joy in life through service and sacrifice.”

God Planned Greatness

For many of you in college, I bet that you have realized life is much better when you are living for something greater than yourself, which is why you are willing to join a fraternity, root for the basketball team with a few thousand other students, or watch Pretty Little Liars, not by yourself, but with twenty-four other girls on your floor. Things are just better when they don’t revolve around you.

Be fruitful and multiply.” Translation: “This is way bigger than you!

This idea of living for something greater than yourself is not new; in fact, it comes from the very beginning. The very first words of God to humans in Genesis chapter one were, “Be fruitful and multiply.” Translation: “This is way bigger than you!” What if the first humans hadn’t made any sacrifices for the good of their children? The entire human race would have ceased to exist. But God had a greater plan, a plan that humans would have babies and they would take care of them from one generation to the next until, as the next phrase in the verse says, they would “fill the earth.”

Jesus Proved Greatness

So God from the very beginning instilled within us a desire to live for something greater than ourselves in order to carry out His plan. Still within this plan, God had a greater plan. Two-thousand years ago Jesus was born in Bethlehem. As the Bible describes it, “when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman.” (Galatians 4:4) In the exact time within the plan of God, the Son of God was born as a man. Jesus lived for about thirty-three years and said things like “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:24) Staying true to his words of sacrifice, Jesus goes to the city of Jerusalem and dies the horrific death of crucifixion.

He was made to live for something greater than himself. And so were you.

Why would the Son of God choose to die? Fortunately for us, the Bible let us know the answer about 700 years before Jesus: “It was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring.” (Isaiah 53:10) So it was God’s plan to crush His Son, and in so doing, Jesus would take away our sin and guilt! Jesus sacrificed himself for two things: fulfilling the plan of God and saving generations of people from sin.

You Can Live for Greatness

The answer to why billionaire Paul Jones does what he does: he was made to live for something greater than himself. And so were you. God made us to live for something greater, namely Jesus and others. As God’s plan says, “he shall see his offspring.” Don’t live for yourself, live as the beneficiary of Jesus.