Summary: There are times when it is very easy to be a Disciple of Christ. there are other times when it is the most difficult thing there can be. This message looks at putting Christ first regardless of how life is.
ARE YOU READY TO BE A DISCIPLE OF CHRIST?
I. IT IS EASY TO BE A DISCIPLE OF CHRIST WHEN JESUS SERVES US, AND LIFE IS GOOD.
1.) It was easy to be a disciple of Christ when he had fed the 5,000.
A.) There was likely never a time that Jesus was as popular as this day, unless it was possibly the day of His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem..
aa.) Jesus just fed the 5,000.
ab.) After such a poweful feeding Jesus was very popular.
2.) It is easy to be a disciple of Christ when we can feel His presence with us.
A.) Today, as Christians, there are times we can really feel the presence of God with us.
B.) There are times when everything seems to be going our ways, and God seems so close.
ba.) When we can feel the closeness of God within our very being it is a relatively easy thing to have faith in God.
bb.) There are times that God is so close, and so much a part of us, that there can be no doubting whatsoever of his closesness.
3.) It is easy to be a disciple of Christ when we are experiencing an abundance of God's blessings.
A.) This is Thanksgiving weekend. A time when we reflect on how God has so richly blessed us.
B.) We have times when we can feel many blessings of God.
ba.) Those times when we can feel and experience readily the blessings of God, it is so easy to have faith in God.
bb.) There is no question of the presence of God, because the blessings from His hand are so abundant, and plentiful.
4.) It is easy to be a disciple of Christ when the answers to prayer are quick and obvious.
A.) As Christians, I am sure that each one of us spend time in prayer.
B.) There have been times when I have prayed, I could almost feel the answer to prayer, and the blessing of God upon me, even as I was praying to Him.
ba.) At times like that it feels good to be a Christian.
bb.) When God is answering my prayers and particularly in the manner in which I feel God should answer my prayers, it is not only easy, but exciting to be a Christian.
C.) But as good and wonderful as it feels when God works that way, that is not always the case.
II. IT IS MUCH HARDER TO BE A DISCIPLE OF CHRIST WHEN JESUS DOES NOT SERVE US, AND LIFE IS HARD.
You see, there are times, and I am sure each person here can testify to those times in your own life when God seems much more distant. There are times that Jesus does not serve us by answering prayer in the time and mannner in which we feel He should answer our prayers. There are times when it seems as though the blessings of God are being withheld from us.
1.)It is harder to be a Disciple of Christ when God teaches us to remember the blessings of yesterday, instead of new ones today.
A.) One difficulty of the Christian life, is that we do not always see the blessings of serving Christ.
aa.) There are those on the tv and radio that preach a health and wealth Gospel.
aa-1.) That if you come to a saving relationship with Christ you will have great wealth, and health, and happiness, and there will be no problems in your life.
aa-2.) That is the kind of salvation, and Gospel Iwant. That is exciting.
aa-3.) As much as that I the salvation package I would like to have, the reality, is that is no where's promised in the Scriptures.
aa-4.) Not only is that not proclaimed in the Scriptures, it is not seen in the lives of the majority of Christians.
B.) There have been many times that I have waited for answered prayer, and blessings from God that I have not received what I was looking for.
ba.) There have been times that God has chosen to allow me to remember the blessings and the answered prayers of yesterday without new blessings or answers for today.
ba-1.) In fact there are times that God chooses to hold back in order to test us and strengthen us in Him.
bb.) Looking back, there have been things that God has not granted me, and prayers that He has not answered, that at later times Iwas very grateful for those dry times, and unanswered prayers.
bc.) But during those times when God was not blessing me, it was much harder to be a Disciple of Christ.
C.) Not only have there been times that God has witheld blessings from me, but there have also been times I have questioned on the presence of God, or if He even cared what was going on in my life.