enough to know some folks who used to be faithful servants–real disciples–but they have dropped out. Oh, they still attend sometimes, and I suppose they’ll go to heaven when they die, but unless something changes they aren’t going to finish strong. They are like that church building in Locapoka.

The good news is none of you are finished yet. It doesn’t matter what has happened in the past, you still can finish well. The finish line is still ahead. Are you sitting down on the track? Are you going to barely drag yourself across the finish line, or are you going to summon God’s strength so you can sprint across the finish line?

Billy Sunday was the Billy Graham of his generation. He was a former professional baseball player. He once said: “Stopping at third adds no more to the score than striking out. It doesn’t matter how well you start if you fail to finish.” A real disciple finishes strong.


In this image, Jesus describes two kings. One is outnumbered, so he wisely approaches the stronger king and makes peace before the battle ever begins. You and I are one of the kings and God is the other. Guess which one we are? Because we can never win against God, we must surrender to Him. In Jesus’ time a surrendering king could be made into a slave of the opposing king, so it required great humility to bow down and ask for terms of peace. It takes humility today to surrender to Jesus.

You cannot be a disciple unless you are willing to give up control of your life to Jesus. And that’s hard to do. None of us wants to give up.

I once read about a lifeguard on a beach who saw a drowning man. He walked into the surf but didn’t go out to rescue him. People gathered on the beach and yelled and screamed at the lifeguard to go out and rescue the drowning man. The lifeguard waded a little deeper, and kept his eye on the drowning man, but the yells and screams of the onlookers didn’t motivate him to swim out. Just when it seemed the man was going down for the last time, the lifeguard swam out with strong strokes and grabbed the man and brought him back to shore. After some spitting and coughing, the man was conscious. But rather than hailing him as a hero, the onlookers were angry at the lifeguard and said, “You coward! You saw he was drowning, why didn’t you go out sooner?”

The lifeguard patiently explained, “You can see that he is much bigger and stronger than I am.” If I had gone out sooner, he was thrashing and kicked so violently that he would have probably drowned both of us. As long as he was trying to save himself, I couldn’t save him. But when he got tired, and gave up, then I knew I could save him.”

That’s a great lesson about salvation. As long as you think you are strong enough to save yourself, you won’t surrender to Jesus. It’s only when you give up and realize you are hopelessly lost, that Jesus can come and rescue you. Have you ever come to a place in your life where you have surrendered
Jesse Roland
January 23, 2016
,Great message... just that I have never read where Jesus separated evangelism from also being a call to discipleship. He wasn't preaching to just those willing to become disciples but said "If anyone..."
Norman Tate
August 16, 2014
Thank you. I was stumped by verse 26 I knew what Jeus was saying to me, but concerned that those in the congregation would be less than convinced. Preacher I am grateful for you and your message.
Excellent Sermon!
That was no 20 minute lesson! Well written and faithful to the text, it encouraged and inspired me. Thanks for a great message!
Chad Carter
March 1, 2008
great message