Summary: While much of the world was unaware that anything special had taken place, when Jesus Christ rose from the dead it was more than just another Sunday. Because of that day we have a Savior Worth Serving. He requires selflessness, sacrifice, and service.
NOT JUST ANOTHER SUNDAY
A Savior Worth Serving
A. While much of the world was completely unaware that anything special or unique had taken place, when Jesus Christ rose from the grave, the world as a whole changed dramatically
1. You see, when the stone was rolled away it was more than just another Sunday
a. When Jesus Christ rose from the grave, it was more than just another Sunday
b. That day proved that Jesus Christ was who He said He was
c. That day proved that it was possible for us to be free from our sins
d. It proved that we can have the hope of an eternal future with God in heaven.
e. That day reminds us that we have a Savior worth serving
B. The question that I want each of us to answer this morning is this: "How am I serving Jesus Christ right now?"
ILL> Kay has been working at Bennington Glen for just over a year now and one of her responsibilities is to do evaluations of all her staff. (I’m sure that a lot of you have been through something like that in your jobs.) Performance evaluations.
1. How would we do if we had to stand before God every 3 months, 6 months, or once and year and be evaluated on our Christian performance
a. What would God say to you?
b. Do you think you’d get a great review, or do you think He’d say there are a few areas you need to work on?
2. You see, becoming a Christian a fairly simple
a. God has done the hard work by sending His Son into the world to die for our sins
b. Through Jesus Christ God extends to us His gift of grace and forgiveness–we simply need to be willing to accept His gift the same way that people did 2000 years ago
3. Becoming a Christian is fairly simple, but living the Christian life is difficult
4. The result is that the Church is full of "casual Christians"
a. Casual Christians want to be considered as part of the flock, but they could care less about following the Shepherd
b. They want the Savior without the sacrifice
c. They want eternity without effort
5. However, Jesus never said the Christian life would be easy–as a matter of fact He said just the opposite
a. Matthew 10:22 (NIV)
All men will hate you because of me,
b. Matthew 5:11 (NIV)
"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
6. Casual Christians like those warm, fuzzy moments on Sunday mornings
a. They like to talk about God’s grace
b. However, they don’t like to hear about what God expects
c. They offer no commitment to God during the week
d. In short, they want the crown without the cross
7. Becoming a Christian is fairly simple, but living the Christian life requires selflessness, service, and sacrifice
a. READ: Matthew 16:21-27
I> SERVING CHRIST REQUIRES SELFLESSNESS - Deny
ILL> For the past 6 ½ weeks a lot of people in our community and around the world have been observing what is known as Lent. During the 40 days prior to Easter (not counting Sundays) people are to deny themselves something.
You may wonder why we do not observe Lent. The main reason is because Jesus, nor His disciples observed Lent. It is never mentioned in the Bible. It’s not a bad thing–it’s just extra.
God has not called us to deny ourselves for 40 days. He has called us to live a life of sacrifice and denial.
A. VS 24 - If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself
ILL> I am constantly amazed at how many things happen around our house that no one is responsible for–things just happen.
Who left the door open?
"It wasn’t me, I went out, but I made sure the door was shut."
"It wasn’t me, I didn’t use that door."
"It wasn’t me, I haven’t been outside since yesterday."
Who left the water running in the bathroom?
"It wasn’t me, I made sure the water was turned off."
"It wasn’t me, I didn’t use that bathroom."
"It wasn’t me, I haven’t used the bathroom since yesterday."
1. VS 24 - If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself
a. You have to put your wants and desires in the box and pull God desires out
b. You need to take off the clothing of your wants and put on the clothing of God’s Spirit
c. It’s relatively easy to become a Christian–it’s difficult to live the Christian life
B. That word "deny" means–to disown, to refuse, or to utterly deny having a connection