Summary: Denying Self - Following Jesus
Discipleship – Deny Yourself!
When you hear the word discipleship, what comes to mind? (Old guys in robes from a long time ago)
*Relate the word “discipleship” to discipline – a quality taught in military boot camps.
Eleven General Orders
1. To take charge of this post and all government property in view.
2. To walk my post in a military manner, keeping always on the alert, and observing everything that takes place within sight or hearing.
3. To report all violations of orders I am instructed to enforce.
4. To repeat all calls from posts more distant from the guard house than my own.
5. To quit my post only when properly relieved.
6. To receive, obey, and pass on to the sentry who relieves me all orders from the commanding officer, field officer of the day, officer of the day, and officers and non-commissioned officers of the watch.
7. To talk to no one except in line of duty.
8. To give the alarm in case of fire or disorder.
9. To call the officer of the watch in any case not covered by instructions.
10. To salute all officers and all colors and standards not cased.
11. To be especially watchful at night, and during the time for challenging, to challenge all persons on or near my post, and to allow no one to pass without proper authority.
*Speak of our need to disciple new believers by relating the following:
Do you remember...
• …being recruited for a job
• …accepting that job
• …given a job to do
• …and then not being told how to do it!
*To many times, we get people to the alter, and then leave it to them - forgetting to teach them about living the Christian life.
Discipleship is the process of becoming more like Christ and living for Him in all areas of life. Today’s message will help us understand how we can be examples of mature discipleship in our church – so that we may disciple others.
Read Luke 9:23-24:
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, according to this passage, is the process that is required of anyone who seeks to be a disciple of Christ?
1.) deny self
2 Timothy 3:12-15 – In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
2.) take up your cross daily
Titus 2:11-12 – For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…
3.) follow Jesus
1 Corinthians 15:30-31 – And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? I die every day – I mean that, brothers – just as surely as I glory over you in Christ Jesus our Lord.
*Ask congregation to consider the following:
• areas of life in which they have denied themselves
• excuses people give for not denying themselves
• “deny yourself” – disown yourself
A mark of maturity is the willingness to deny ourselves certain things. This is the essence of discipline. We often think of discipline as punishment – something we do to children – but discipline is also for adults. When we learn to discipline ourselves through training and denial, we don’t have to be disciplined by someone else. Discipleship requires this same discipline. Discipleship is a process of learning from Christ about how we should live and then following what we’ve learned.
To whom do these verses apply?
How do difficulties in life, which some people describe as their “cross to bear,” differ from Jesus’ meaning of taking up the cross?
*Jesus’ words here about saving and losing life are contrary to human wisdom! - Have you really "decided to follow Jesus?"