Summary: Pentecost 18(B) - Be great in God’s kingdom! This happens when you seek God’s truth. After learning God’s truth you will be eager to serve.
BE GREAT IN GOD’S KINGDOM (Outline)
September 14, 2008 --
PENTECOST 18 --
INTRO: In this life there is a lot of emphasis place on being important. The Olympics have just finished. The gold medal winners are the important ones. The fall football season continues. The winning teams are the great teams. The losers are not so important or great. As believers you and I are to look at greatness with our eyes of faith. The world measures greatness in wealth, power, honor, and winning at all costs. Christians consider greatness in light of God’s word. It is not always who is important but what. The message of Christ is of the utmost importance. This message of Christ is the greatest message that always needs to be championed by the Christian church on earth. Paul reveals the importance of Christ. "But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice" (PHILIPPIANS 1:18).
BE GREAT IN GOD’S KINGDOM.
I. Seek God’s truth.
II. Be eager to serve.
I. SEEK GOD’S TRUTH
A. Verse 30a opens by telling of Jesus traveling with his disciples. They are far north of Jerusalem.
1. Galilee is the region west of the Sea of Galilee. Not many Jews lived in this area.
2. That was part of Jesus’ plan, verse 30b, 31a. Jesus would soon enter Jerusalem.
3. Jesus would enter with praises on Palm Sunday and be crucified on Good Friday.
B. The disciples were in great need of personal, intense teaching and training from Jesus.
1. Jesus tells the disciples the truth, verse 31b. Only Jesus in the NT used “Son of Man”.
2. Old Testament prophets referred to “son of man” who would come to suffer as a substitute.
3. Jesus would be betrayed into the hands of men, specifically Judas. Jesus would also rise.
C. Verse 32. The disciples did not understand. Amazingly they were afraid to ask Jesus questions.
D. No one should be afraid of the truth. Yet we may act like the disciples and be quiet rather than speak to God. God is not scary. At times our pride stands in the way of asking. Our pride stops us from finding out what we really, honestly need to know. We have inherited this sinful, prideful nature from Adam and Eve. They listened to Satan and sinned. They did not speak with God even though God walked and talked with the day after day. It is vitally important that we always seek God’s truth. God’s word is truth. "Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’"(JOHN 8:31,32). The life and death and resurrection of Jesus, our Savior, has freely set us free from the power of sin, Satan, and even death. This is God’s truth that all need to know.
E. We struggle in this life with seeking God’s truth and then applying it in our lives. This world tries to distract us from God wants us to have. Jesus told the parable of the sower and the seed. Some seed fell on hard ground, grew, and died when the sun came out. It had no root. Jesus continues. "The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature"(LUKE 8:14). At times the worries of this life take away the joy of salvation that is ours. The world would have us focus on riches and pleasures, or the lack of them, more than forgiveness and eternity. Eternal salvation is important in the truth of God’s kingdom.
F. Our encouragement this morning and every day is to seek God’s truth. It is God’s truth that makes all the difference in the world. Without forgiveness there is no eternal life. Without eternal life everything else means absolutely nothing. The simple truth of God’s word has not changed. Jesus Christ is the Way and the Truth and the Life. Many may reject Christ. Others deny Christ. By grace we believe in Christ. "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us"(1 JOHN 5:13,14). We can ask God anything with boldness and confidence.
BE GREAT IN GOD’S KINGDOM.
When you seek the truth you discover how much God loves you.
II. BE EAGER TO SERVE
A. Verse 33a. Jesus and his disciples are back in the coastal town that served as Jesus’ headquarters.