Dieing To Live
At a party a woman said this: “My husband and I managed to be happy together for 20 years. I guess this is because we’re both in love with the same person.”
The husband of this marriage is a picture of the self absorbed and self-centered society we have today . The wife even in jest was showing the extreme self denial that it takes to make marriage work today.
Why do you suppose somone would say what this woman said.
We live in a self centered world.
I moved from that church because they didn’t meet my needs
Commitment today means to oneself, ones dreams, ones hopes.
David Jeremiah in his Giving to God study says
“Unfortunately, this philosophy has crept into the church and begun to influence the lives of God’s people. People leave churches because they can’t find what they want.”
We cannot praise God and be self-centered. One cannot praise God without relinquishing his occupation with himself.
But Church was never about what I want or you want but about what God wants!
So today let us look at Jesus’ words about true discipleship.
Matthew 16.24 (read)
I. Discipleship means Denying ones self.
A) Radical thought.
1) Todays mentality , me , myself, I
2) Jesus Mentality: The Father, Others, Me
3) If Jesus taught in our day.
1) As a pastor He’d be fired
2) As an evangelist nobody would want to hear him.
3) People would ask
a) Where did He go to school?
b) who does He think He is?
c) If a church doesn’t take care of my needs there just not a church
4) Slowly surely The World is creeping into our churches.
5) Jesus taught deny yourself.
a) We teach reach your highest potential
b) Be all you can be
6) Jesus told of agape love
1) seeking the best for others
2) we teach self love
a) seeking our own self interests.
b) looking out for number 1
7) Selfishness caused
a) Adam and Eve to disobey God and cause the fall
b) David to Kill another man
c) Jonah to be swallowed by a big fish
d) The nation of Israel to be scattered
e) Annanias and Sapiarah to lie to HS and be killed.
B) Jesus said Deny yourself
1) Turn away from the World
2) Don’t let the world fool you into thinking life is all about you.
3) Jesus said we must deny ourself.
1) Means To forget oneself
2) to Loose sight of oneself and ones own vision.
b) I have taught and preached you must have a vision of God.
We all need a vision of God. So that we can loose sight of our self.
Denial of self can only lead to one thing Death.
II. Discipleship means Taking up ones cross.
A) What does that statement mean?
1) To the people of the time.
b) Anyone who picked up the cross was headed toward death
2) Jesus in the Garden
a) Denied himself and asked God’s will be done
b) When He picked up the Cross he died.
3) Picking up our cross is not carrying some burden.
a) Jesus already said He would carry our burdens if we would let Him.
b) Jesus says in verse 25
Those that will live must die.
c) To die to oneself is to open the door to the abudant life Jesus talked about in John 10:10.
4) Jesus is calling for your funeral today.
5) To become a Newborn, to rise from the dead to walk in newness of life.
6) To come to a personal realtionship w/ God through Jesus.
7) Are you ready for that radical step today?
Death is the doorway to follow Jesus.
III. Discipleship means Following Jesus.
A) No matter where He leads I’ll Go
1) What if that means selling your house
2) Giving all you have to the church or somone in need?
3) Changing everything about your lifestyle.
4) All to Jesus I surrender.
a) can you sing that song
b) have you really surrendered it all or is there just a little corner of yourself you want to hold on to.
5) Will you follow Jesus even to death on a Cross
b) pain and suffering
B) Jesus leads people to The Father
1) How many people follow Him today?
2) Jesus leads us to
a) The homeless
b) Drug addicts
3) Where do we follow Jesus
a) only to the church house
b) Wherever He leads I’ll Go
What about you?
Have you denied yourself, moved from self-centeredness to God Centeredness?
Have you died?
Are you following Jesus?