Sermons

Summary: A look at a couple of the sayings of Jesus that go against the grain of our natural human desire to “look out for number one”.

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August 27, 2006

Dakota Community Church

Challenging “Me First”

Christianity

Mark 9:33-35

They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, "What were you arguing about on the road?" But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all."

What does it really mean to be a Christian?

The message that I am hearing God speaking to His Church right now is that we need to be moving away from selfishness and toward genuine, compassionate, and sacrificial living.

Jesus challenges “Me First” Christianity by calling us:

1. To prefer others above ourselves.

Romans 9:10-11

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another

Do you prefer your family members above yourself?

Do you prefer fellow church members above yourself?

Do you prefer strangers above yourself?

Read Luke 10: 25-37

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ’Look after him,’ he said, ’and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"

The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."

Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

“He wanted to justify himself” – how often is that the motive for our theological discussions?

Jesus is such a high impact communicator isn’t he?

He may as well have just slapped this guy in the face, his words would have stung that much.

It is so easy to become totally self absorbed in everyday life. To lose sight of what is going on around us.

Illustration:

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Jesus challenges “Me First” Christianity by calling us:

2. To accumulate wealth in heaven.

We all have some family member who is what could best be described as a pack rat. How often do I talk to middle aged children who are wondering how they are going to get rid of “all that crap” when the folks go home to glory, if you know what I mean!

Read Luke 12:13-21

"But God said to him, ’You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

"This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."

Psalm 24:1

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it

We all say that we believe that, but we don’t act like it.

If everything is the Lords why do we hang on to it so tightly?

Illustration:

When the boys were young they had lots of toys that they never used. Until we had company and the visiting kids wanted to play with them.

I bought and gave them those toys. If anything happened to one of them while a friend was using it, I was willing and able to replace it. They did nothing to earn them.

The things we own in this life we own in the same way our children own their bedrooms.

Have you ever had your son order you out of “his room”?

That is how it really is with us. We own "God’s stuff" (Our houses, cars,etc.) the same way our kids own their bedrooms.

1Chronicles 29:14

"But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.

PowerPoint available on request - dcormie@mts.net

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