Sermons

Summary: Following Jesus, sacrifice, example

AN EXAMPLE TO FOLLOW

1 Peter 2:21-25 (p858) Dec. 12, 2010

INTRODUCTION:

I walked into my bedroom the other day to find Xzavier my three year old grandson putting on my shoes. I said, "Little Toot" …what are you doing? And he said, I'm gonna wear Papaw's shoes…I said, "go for it Xzavier.

And he tried putting on my size 11 heavy blade dress shoes and walking in them…He made it a step or two, but they were way to big and heavy….Someday they'll fit him, someday he'll fill those shoes…He's just not ready yet.

What's my goal…"To live in such a way that he wants to wear those shoes…and help him grow into them."

Albert Schweitzer said, "Example is not the main thing in influencing others--it’s the only thing!"

The Boss says "GO!" - The Leader says. "Let's GO!"

What is the real meaning of Christmas? It's where God said, "Let's Go!"

Christmas is the story of God as "Immanuel"

It's why the angel in Joseph's dream assured him about Mary's pregnancy.

"She will give birth to a Son and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. all this took place fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet." The Virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel---which means, God With Us" (Matt 1:21-23)

God's shoes are always too big and heavy to fill…that is unless you're God.

Christmas is the moment where God says "Let's Go" my son will walk in your human shoes with human feet…those feet will encounter places filled with every temptation and every emotion people experience---and they will never turn aside….they will constantly be headed towards heaven, because God is wearing them.

I'm not just going to tell you how to get there any longer…I'm going to be your leader, your example….Follow me.

I TO THIS WERE YOU CALLED.

When I was little my best friends were the neighbor kids…Johnny Mastmiller, Jeff Barn, Steve Delebar. After school we'd play army, or whiffle ball, or football…I could play

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with them until my Mom called me for supper…she'd come out on the back porch and yell "Ricky….supper's ready….come on home."

The reason I was being called was supper's ready…Dad's home and ready to eat…come on NOW! (If I didn't come…pretty quickly I was gonna get in some serious "Dad type trouble"

1 Peter 2:21 says "To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps."

It is impossible to come home to God unless He calls you!

Every single person who's ever lived has gone off on their own to play. Isaiah 53:6 says "We ALL, like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way"…

God the shepherd told us all…here's the pasture I want you to stay in…Here's the path I want you to take…and every single one of us left his pasture…and every single one of us took our own path.

Christmas is the message of the shepherd calling us back…even more than that…it’s the story of the shepherd searching for his lost sheep until he finds it.

"Peter got it right "You wee like sheep that wondered away."

That decision always causes suffering and requires that.

II THE SHEPHERD BECOMES OUR RESCUER

What if you can't get home because you're trapped? What if you can't get back to God's pasture because you're too far away, and caught in thorns and thistles?

What if the wolf has you cornered? How do you return to the shepherd and overseer of you soul then?

I'll tell you how….the shepherd comes searching for you…calling your name with all his might…he know your name intimately by the way…but to get to where you are he's going to have to walk where you've walked…He's going to have to get cut up, tired and hurt as well…In fact when he gets there he might have to trade his life for yours!

It's exactly what Peter is saying when he wrote "Christ suffered for you…."

All our sinful steps away from god led to one destination…Death. Every single wayward footstep led to suffering and punishment.

We stand before God who judges justly---and the only verdict is "Guilty" You can hear the echo of the Holy Spirit's voice in your heart.

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And then God shows you a perfect set of footprints…they're God shaped and never waver they lead right up a hill…to a place of death called Calvary…And God says follow those footsteps.

He committed no sin and no deceit was found in his mouth…when they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered he made no threats. Instead he entrusted himself to him who judges justly…

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