Summary: If we are going to follow Jesus, we are going to have to leave the old life behind. . . but that’s not easy! Here’s how to make a new start... *HANDOUT INCLUDED*

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For a CD of over 100 of sermons by Darrell Stetler II (most complete with handouts), please e-mail

Last week, we talked about the first step. . . preparing to be a follower of Jesus. “Honestly consider Jesus’ claims”. . .

Now, I want this to be a series that’s encouraging to you.

If you’re like me, then you sometimes feel discouraged about your Christian walk. You’ve thought things like:

“Man, I’ve blown it again.”

“I know Jesus wouldn’t act like that. . . maybe I should give up.”

“There is SO much I don’t understand about being a Christian.”

“Will I ever learn my lesson?”

“Can I really be a Christian if I’m so easily tempted?”

Well, guess what? I’VE GOT GOOD NEWS!!!

Jesus never asked anyone to

• get their act together before following Him.

• fix all their past mistakes before following Him.

• Get a theological education before following Him.

• untangle the messes in their life before following Him.

Jesus’ call was always this: Why don’t you start following me today, and then we’ll straighten your life out?

In fact, even the 12 men that he chose as his closest followers didn’t look anything close to perfect. In fact, they were closer to morons! Let me give you some examples of the kind of people that we’re talking about:

1. They were proud.

Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, "What was it you argued among yourselves on the road?" But they kept silent, for on the road they had argued among themselves who would be the greatest. (Mark 9:33-34)

2. They were overconfident.

Peter answered and said to Him, "Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble." (Matthew 26:33, NKJV)

3. They were wimps.

Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled. (Matthew 26:56)

For all the guts that they THOUGHT they had, when the chips were down, and it was going to cost them something to stand up with Jesus, they all ran away.

Sound familiar? Maybe you’ve done that. Pressure is on at work or school or in the family, or at a friend’s house. And suddenly, you make your decision

4. They didn’t understand what Jesus was trying to teach.

Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them. (John 10:6)

But they did not understand. . . and they were afraid to ask Him about this saying. (Luke 9:45)

So they didn’t understand, but they didn’t want to look stupid, so they just kept their mouths’ shut.

Sound familiar? Maybe you’ve felt like you were the only one who didn’t understand that sermon. . . or you didn’t understand something in the Bible. . . or you’re trying to figure out: “What is it that God wants me to do in this situation?” And you think: “I can’t really do this Christian thing. . . I don’t have the education for it.”

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