Summary: As we consider following Christ, we need to realize that there may be things that hold us back from jumping all in. Until we wrestle with them, we won’t go anywhere!
***Open with skit***
Guy #1: Going on a hike was a great idea man! I love being outside.
Guy #2: Me too, it is a gorgeous day.
Guy #2: What was that?? (Both guys turn and look around, Guy# 1 spots the bear)
Guy #1: It’s a bear!! Quick, run!!!! (the two guys run until they come to a cliff where they stop suddenly)
Guy #2: Oh no! It’s a cliff. How are we going to escape this bear?
Guy #1: We have to jump to the other side. Come on! (Guy #1 takes a couple of steps back, then runs and jumps over the gap. He lands on the other side and rolls. He gets up and brushes off himself) Come on, hurry up!!
Bear (getting closer) Grrrr…..
Guy #2: I can’t jump…
Guy #1: What? Why not?
Guy #2: I don’t want to get dirty. I can’t go home with dirty pants, my Mom will kill me. I got a date when I get back too; with the hottest girl in the school. What would she say if I show up all dirty and stuff? I have to look my best…
Guy #1: You’re not going to look your best if you are eaten by a bear man! You gatta jump!
Bear (getting closer): Grrrr……
Guy #2: I can’t!! What if I don’t make it? The hole seems really big. It looks sort of slippery too! I just can’t jump. I don’t trust the ground or myself.
Guy #1: I made it…so can you! Dude, the bear is getting closer!
Bear (a few feet away now): Grrrrr……..
Guy #2: I can take care of the bear. I have a black belt, I will fight him off!
Guy #1: Dude, you can’t fight a bear!!! You have to jump!
Guy #2: I can do it myself!!!! (The bear jumps on Guy #1 and proceeds to eat him.) THE END
As we talked about last week, our theme this year is ‘Jump!’ Specifically, we are going to be spending our time focusing on jumping into a relationship with Christ and what that looks like. Last week, we looked at three reasons why we are using jump as our theme.
First, jump communicates no turning back! When someone jumps out of plane to skydive, there is no turning back. You are falling to the earth and there is no way to turn back and get back in the plane. You are all in, 100%, no turning back and that is how Christ wants us to be living in a relationship with Him.
Second, jump communicates excitement and fear. We compared this to a zip line on a ropes course. It takes guts to jump off the platform at first but once you have jumped you experience such excitement and joy. That is what it is like to follow Jesus. Sometimes it is hard to obey and follow but when we do, there is nothing like it!
Third, jump communicates something that stands out. To help us with that, we had a random person start stepping from side to side and waited to see how long it took everyone to figure out who it was. It took like five seconds, but then compared that to the one second it took everyone to then figure out the random person jumping. Jumping into a relationship with Christ means living in a way that is notably different to the people around you; God wants to use you to make a difference.
Tonight, we are going to talk about a pretty simple question but yet, a very important one if any of us even want to consider jumping completely into a relationship with Christ. That question is, “What is holding you back?” Christ has presented himself to you and has offered His hand; “Come and follow me,” He says. Standing in front of you is the One True God of the Universe offering you eternal life and an escape from death. He wants to bring you into His own family as a brother and a sister and use you to do amazing things. The life that He offers is better, by far, than anything you could find anywhere else. He wants to have a relationship with you but the choice is yours. Do you jump or do you stay? What is holding you back?
To help us look at this question let’s open our Bibles to Matthew 8:5-13 and look at a remarkable story about a Roman Officer who approaches Jesus. In this story, the Roman Officer could have listed a thousand reasons to not approach Jesus, but he realizes he needs to put all of them behind him because the life that Jesus offers is better than anything else he could turn to.