Summary: To go we have to follow. To follow we have to die. Anyone seen carrying his cross, it was clear he was on his way to die. This word picture describes dying to personal pursuits and following Him completely. This is the key to a successful spiritual life
A person’s last words are very important to us. We listen very carefully to every word.
We seek to understand more of Jesus and to learn what He taught His disciples and what that means for us today. Today, let’s take a look at Jesus’ lasts words written for our instruction.
We are to Go --
what Jesus said when his parents found Him in the Temple: “can’t you see I am about My Father’s business” and so should we be
This is a command—it is His will—that we go.
-- obedient as Spirit leads, even if we can’t see the “why of it”
illus. speak to stranger crying in grocery store; we both lost our mothers
-- share Good News of Jesus and the new life you have found
-- invite to Church
-- teach them what you have learned so they too will grow in Christ
To know Christ more and to make Him known should be our desire. I can’t stress enough the importance of a daily devotional time at Jesus’ feet…in the Word. It is at this time your relationship with your Savior grows the most. It is an intimate time with Him, learning His ways and understanding His love, forgiveness and direction for your life.
Jesus tells us to go. What makes us want to go? What makes us desire to do this?
A close walk with Christ. Abiding with Him. Hanging with Him to know Him more intimately. Think of your closest friends. How did you become such good friends? Spending a good amount of time with them. The more time you spent with them, the stronger your friendship became. So it is with Jesus.
The closer we come to Him the more the living water within us wells up to flow out to others.
But how do we do this? Some of you are saying, “I read, I pray and regularly I am in Church.” To that I say, “That is great!” Still, I see and hear so often with these same people, “Why is life so difficult?” “Why do things never seem to change?” “I just can’t seem to get ahead.” Perhaps we need to look further into God’s Word to understand just how to have the abundant life Jesus spoke of.
Luke 9:23 Jesus used a word picture “take up your cross…daily”
Anyone seen carrying his cross, it was clear he was on his way to die. This word picture describes dying to personal pursuits and following Him completely. This is the key to a successful spiritual life. Letting go of living life our way and going after what He has for us to do. He gave His life to give us life…abundant life, eternal life. Our life was bought and paid for by His blood. Our life is His. We accept Him as our Savior, but, often we ignore to make Him our Lord.
The abundant life is in our yielding to Jesus. His way, not ours. If we invite Him in and then choose to pick our old nature back up and run life as we always had…then how can we expect our lives to be different and filled with joy abundant? We are still in control. Jesus tells us to carry our cross…daily. To remind us that we are to nail to the cross our old carnal nature…every day! Our old spirit man died when we came to Jesus and our spirit became new in Him. As we walk with Him and come to know His ways--we nail daily our old habits, thoughts and actions. This is how we overcome the world through our faith (1 John 5:4). We are overcomers, but, so many of us walk in defeat because we refuse to nail our old selves to the cross.
Jesus came to give you life-- but in the process you must die.
Illus: a seed planted must first die before it can sprout new life
Only in losing our natural life can we find the true life.
Who is willing to die more for Christ? Which of you today is willing to nail your old nature to the cross? Who wants to nail the lying tongue, cheating or stealing or gambling or doubting or coveting or jealousy or gossiping to the cross today? Who wants to nail _________ and you fill in the word.
Are you willing to make part of your daily prayer, "Jesus--be more in me than me!"
If you are ready to nail your old nature to the cross then stand up for Jesus today. By standing you are declaring that you are nailing your old nature of old thoughts, words and actions to your cross. You are giving over the steering wheel of your life to Jesus.
(Pass out a nail to each who stands.)