Jesus said in Mark 8.38, “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
* There is no shame in standing with Jesus. There is plenty to be ashamed of in this world. This week in LA a young man was elected prom “queen” at his HS. The news stations applauded him. If people have the courage to live ungodly this openly, how much more should Christians be willing to stand out and live godly for Jesus Christ our Lord. Instead of pointing our fingers at the world, we need to be pointing ourselves and others back to Jesus and His Word.
* This is the worldview we need to think about daily. We need to view our culture, government, people through the lens of the Word of God. Are you ashamed Jesus said marriage is between one male and female? Are you ashamed that Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through Me?”
*Looking back, I am ashamed of the words I spoke to my baseball teammates in high school. Instead of building them up, many times I tore them down. Though I considered myself a Christian, I wasn’t living the life. There wasn’t much a difference between my life and a non Christian.
A great turn off to the unbelieving world is the way Christians can repeat the words of Christ, but don’t live any different than they do. Why do we do this? Often, we are like Peter in that we are focused more on the what we want over what God wants.
Third, we tend to put the majority of our emphasis on this life, rather than the life to come. Mark 8.36, “For what will it profit a man to gain the whole world, and loses his own soul?”
* In the year 1000, King Charlemagne’s tomb was opened about 180 years after his death. Inside they found the skeletal remains of the king seated on a throne, the crown still resting upon his skull, and a copy of the Gospels lying in his lap with his bony finger resting on this text: “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?”
So what does it mean to be a true disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ?
I. Jesus said to be His disciple you have to deny yourself
Mark 8.34, “When HE had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself…”
When Jesus speaks of denying yourself, He’s not talking about giving up smoking, or certain foods, or saying you have no self worth. He is saying to be His disciple you surrender control of your life to His Person and power. It means that when you face decisions in life, you make those decisions based talking to Him about it first and obeying Him. One pastor said, “Denial of self is placing yourself in the hands of God at all times, no matter where His hands may lead you.”
* Let me be the first to admit, this is not always easy. The natural tendency is self first, others second. It reminds me of the story of the older and younger brothers whose momma was cooking pancakes. Both boys wanted to be first to eat those hot, butter melted pancakes. Seeing a teachable moment, the mother said, ““Now boys, what would Jesus say if he were here?” They stopped, looked a little confused, and then their mother says, “Jesus would say, “My brother, you have the first pancake. I’ll wait.” The older brother looks at the younger brother and says, “Hey John, you be Jesus.”