Summary: Passionately pursue full devotion to Jesus.
A DIFFICULT PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE: WE NOW FOLLOW JESUS EXCLUSIVELY
S: Following Jesus
Th: Never the Same Again
Pr: PASSIONATELY PURSUE FULL DEVOTION TO JESUS.
?: How? How do we do it?
TS: We will find in Matthew 16 three instructions that show us how to pursue full devotion to Jesus.
CV: “We will passionately pursue full devotion to Jesus Christ.”
I. LAY DOWN
II. LIFT UP
III. LIVE OUT
PA: How is the change to be observed?
• Follow Him – He is the Lord!
• Fulfill the mission!
• Focus on giving the opportunity.
RMBC 07 September 08 AM
I was in a church yesterday performing a wedding for someone outside our church.
And one of their pamphlets caught my attention.
They were advertizing “lite church.”
Not light, but lite.
It reminded me of a cartoon I once saw…
ILL Commitment (H)
"The LITE CHURCH: 24% fewer commitments, home of the 7½% tithe, 15 minute sermons, 45 minute services; we have only 8 commandments — your choice, and we have an 800 year millennium. Next week’s exciting text is the story of the feeding of the 500. Everything you’ve wanted in a church … and less.
We may find that humorous, but the concept of making things “liter” is not all that funny.
And it does reveal a truth to us…
The Christian faith is not meant to be casual, convenient, or comfortable.
If we come to church on Sunday morning, looking for and getting an experience with God, that is a good thing.
But let me tell you, if there is no commitment to Jesus on Monday morning, there is a huge disconnect that has taken place.
Worship is not meant for us, but for God.
It is an opportunity for us to get our hearts right with God.
It is an opportunity to connect with what we were made for.
ILL Apathy (S)
Ronald Meredith, in his book Hurryin’ Big for Little Reasons, describes one quiet night in early spring:
Suddenly out of the night came the sound of wild geese flying. I ran to the house and breathlessly announced the excitement I felt. What is to compare with wild geese across the moon?
It might have ended there except for the sight of our tame mallards on the pond. They heard the wild call they had once known. The honking out of the night sent little arrows of prompt¬ing deep into their wild yes¬terdays. Their wings flut¬tered a feeble response. The urge to fly - to take their place in the sky for which God made them - was sounding in their feath¬ered breasts, but they never raised from the water.
The matter had been set¬tled long ago. The corn of the barnyard was too tempt¬ing! Now their desire to fly only made them uncomfort¬able.
Like the ducks, we are made to fly, as well as swim in the pond.
If it is our desire to live casually, conveniently, and comfortably, we will end up with something less than what we are made for.
We are going to miss the exhilaration of flight.
In the same way…
When we decide to follow Jesus, it is “never the same again.”
That is our theme for discipleship emphasis, and you are seeing it on posters all about the church.
The theme is reflective of the familiar verse, II Corinthians 5.17:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
When we experience God’s grace, He brings change to our lives.
We become “in Christ.”
And the new life we receive revolutionizes us.
It is never the same again.
In fact, the change continues.
There is a continuing renewal of the new nature as it works to give the old self last place.
We play a role in this renewal.
We keep letting go of the old and grabbing onto the new, because we are made to fly.
Let me put this concept into an exhortation…
PASSIONATELY PURSUE FULL DEVOTION TO JESUS.
So how do we do that?
That’s the question we want to answer.
And we are going to Matthew 16 to find it where there are three instructions that show us how to pursue full devotion to Jesus.
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
Did that sound easy?
No, it does not.
It is not supposed to sound easy.
It is not supposed to sound easy, because it is not easy.
The plan is difficult.