Summary: A sermon used before communion. Like the disciples at the Last Supper, we can talk the talk about the Christian life. But Jesus wants to know who will walk the walk with him.
Can you walk the walk?
Purpose: To challenge those who call themselves Christians to obey God’s commands.
1. You’ve heard the phrase, "You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk."
· NCAA Basketball Tournament (this sermon was preached during the tournament): I can talk a pretty good game. I can tell you about the University of Illinois backcourt. I can tell you about the speed of Oklahoma State. We can talk about the strength of the ACC. I watch basketball with the best of them … but don’t make me play. I’m awful.
· It’s a lot easier to talk about basketball than play basketball.
2. Backdrop of the Last Supper. Read John 13:1-9, 12-15, 34-35.
· It’s easy to say, "I love you," isn’t it? It’s easy to say, but much harder to put into action.
· 13:34 To love others was not a new commandment, but to love others as much as Christ loved others was revolutionary. Now we are to love others based on Jesus’ sacrificial love for us. Such love will not only bring unbelievers to Christ; it will also keep believers strong and united in a world hostile to God. Jesus was a living example of God’s love, as we are to be living examples of Jesus’ love. (Life Application Bible note)
3. Love: easy to say, harder to back up.
· Teenage boyfriends and girlfriends might say the words, but rarely do they back it up with actions. Immature love is about what you can get, not what you can give.
· Self-denial is not an easy thing to handle without true love. Hard times separate the "men from the boys" relationships.
4. Read Matthew 7:21-23 (the things you did were "unauthorized" or "unlawful")
· Most of America would call themselves Christians this morning. Easy to say that we’re Christians. Easy to say that we love Jesus. Much harder to obey his commands. Especially when it costs something.
· Some people are like those who can "talk the talk." They’re like me with NCAA basketball. I can sit all day long and second-guess teams like Kansas and Syracuse and Wake Forrest. They were awesome top seeds in the tournament and now they’re on airplanes headed home. I can tell you why they lost. I can nit-pick their game.
· But I can’t "walk the walk." Get me out on the floor with the worst player in the tournament and I’d be embarrassed. I can shoot my mouth off, but not shoot a basketball.
5. Jesus lays it on the line: Love God = Obey God.
· Where is the disobedience in your life? What are you withholding? What are you dragging your feet on? Do you love God? Then Jesus says, "Obey God."
6. Jesus goes further by commanding us: Love Others = Put others first.
· We won’t change the world, or even make a dent in Portland, with great programming. They don’t care. They need love. They need the love of Jesus. If you have the love of Jesus, give it to them. That’s what will change the world.
7. My love for Dana can’t end in the words, "I love you." That’s cheap. To be valuable, it has to cost me something.
· Your love for God is the same. Don’t just sit back and say, "God I love ya. You and me, Lord, you and me." That’s talking the talk.
8. At the Last Supper, just hours before his betrayal and crucifixion, he implored his disciples, "Walk the walk. Give love as I have given you love. That’s the only thing that will change the world."