Summary: Going Along to Get Along

Mark 8:34… Jesus said if anyone want to be my follower, that person must put aside all of their selfish ambition, and then shoulder their cross and follow him.

He said if we try to keep our lives for ourselves, we will lose it. But, if we give up our lives for his sake and for the sake of the good news of the gospel, we will find true life. And how do we benefit if we gain the whole world but lose our on soul in the process? Is anything worth more than our soul? If a person is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, I the Son of Man, will be ashamed of that person when I return in the glory of my father with the holy angles.

Are you ashamed of Jesus?

Do you deny Jesus?

Are you a Follower of Jesus or just a Fan of Jesus?

A follower is someone who seeks to be like the one they follow. Someone who studies under and spends time with the one they are following.

On the other hand a fan is described as an “enthusiastic admirer.”

Now, are you a follower of Jesus or simply a fan of Jesus? Now before you answer that I want you to listen to what I have to say today.

I believe the church has become an arena where we have many fans but very few real followers.

I say this because as I look back at the church when it first began and I see how much we who call ourselves Christians have changed and moved away from the way the church was in the first century –it appears to me that we don’t take church, worship or meeting together as members of the family of God to serious.

All of us will take time out to get with our human families. We will go out of our way and make necessary and unnecessary sacrifices to see to it that our spouses, and our children get everything they want.

But when it comes to our Christian family, unless we really like them we hardly even speak to them on Sunday when we gather for worship, those of us who can find the time to get here.

I’ve always been a little naive and sentimental when it comes to God’s word. I like to think that when I read the scriptures with an open mind and an open heart with a sincere desire to hear what God has to say to me —that God will speak to me through His word.

I’m just naïve enough to think that when Jesus says we are to love one another as he loved us that that is what we should be doing.

I like to think that when Jesus says we are to put aside our selfish ambitions if we want to follow him—that is exactly what he means. Amen.

I’m just naïve enough to believe that if we continue denying Christ and continue seeking after our own selfish ambitions,

That if we continue seeking after the pleasures of the world instead of honestly seeking to develop a closer and more personal relationship with Jesus Christ

we will lose the most important thing in life and that is life itself.

I believe this because Jesus said it. And I am just naïve enough to believe what I read in the bible.

The Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:18: I know very well how foolish the message of the cross sounds to those who are on the road to destruction. But we who are being saved recognize this message as the very power of God. And the scriptures say: “I will destroy human wisdom and discard their most brilliant ideas.”

Paul was trying to get through to the people that the wisdom and knowledge of those who were doing their own thing, those who were perishing because of their refusal to follow Christ was nothing but foolishness!

The teachings of Jesus are hard to accept because it goes against our natural desire to seek after worldly pleasures.

If we are to follow Jesus it means flushing everything we have been taught and believe.

It means we have to establish a whole new set of priorities, and let’s face it folks, there are not too many of us who are willing to do that.

I want to share something with you.

The longer I’m in the ministry the more amazed I am at how God will work with us if we are willing to surrender.

The more I grow in my own relationship with Christ the more I understand what it means to shoulder our cross.

I know what it means to stop seeking after the treasures of this world.

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