Sermons

Summary: My purpose this morning is to get us to take a fresh look at what it means to give it all over to Jesus, and not just talk about it.

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10-23-04

Christians really living for Christ

Text: Luke 9:18-9:26; 57-62

Introduction

There is a great old chorus that I love to sing.

Maybe you know it.

It goes like this:

“I have decided to follow Jesus,

I have decided to follow Jesus,

I have decided to follow Jesus,

No turning back, no turning back.”

Do you remember it?

There are some other verses.

“The world behind me, the cross before me.”

“Though none go with me, still I will follow.”

You get the picture.

Well, it’s mighty easy to sing that song, but let me ask you a question: are you serious when you sing it?

Are you really ready to follow Jesus, no turning back?

Are you really ready to leave the world behind, to really follow though none go with you?

I ask myself, and quite frankly, I don’t like how I answer it all the time.

We are going to look at the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke this morning as we look at the issue of truly following Christ.

My purpose this morning is to get us to take a fresh look at what it means to give it all over to Jesus, and not just talk about it.

I need to tell you that this is not an easy lesson for me to teach.

I might very well step on some toes today; including my own.

I would rather stand here and teach a nice lesson about love and happiness, or something flowery like that.

But God has laid this on my heart.

No one wants to hear about the costs of discipleship.

We don’t want to hear that it’s not always easy to live for Christ.

We’d rather hear that it’s nothing but a bed of roses.

I know that’s what I would prefer!

I’m a wuss, when it comes right down to it, folks!

But it is not always a bed of roses. It certainly can be at times, but God has not promise it will be that way all the time.

Let’s see what it says in the text for today: Luke 9:18-26.

Once when Jesus was praying in private and His disciples were with Him, He asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?

They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.”

“But what about you?” He asked. “Who do you say I am?”

Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”

Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone.

And He said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and He must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”

Then He said to them all: “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.

What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? If anyone is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”-

Then, let’s skip down to verses 57-62.


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