Summary: Servanthood through Jesus’ leadership in our lives
Focus on Jesus
Wednesday night changes:
- Dinners begin on March 5 – every other week
- Bible Study / Sunday school class – Cross-talk and discipleship
- Growths happens when we share experiences
- It is time to grow, by being honest and encouraging one another
Tonight’s focus is on servanthood through Jesus’ leadership in our lives
It’s so easy to panic and jump ship when things get tough, only to find ourselves in deeper trouble than had we stayed and seen the journey through.
Consider Jonah for a moment – had he not ran from God, he might have not had to spend three days in total darkness in the belly of a whale!
Consider Judas for a moment – had he been submissive he would have not had to deal with the guilt of turning in Jesus to the authorities.
Let’s look at a passage that encourages us to stay the course in submission to Christ.
Turn to Hebrews 12:1-13
Paul gives us some very unique perspectives on Christian leadership and tonight I want to see if we can explore and discuss some of them together.
It is very important as Christians that we understand where God is moving, that we see where God has called us, and that (most importantly) we are faithful to obey and follow the Master.
Let’s explore the concept of “going the distance” and “going with discipline” and see where and how God would speak to each of us.
Point 1 – Go the distance (read v1-3)
The most important principle in running a race is to keep our eyes on Christ.
Paul is stating as fact that we must remember that we are surrounded, constantly, by a great cloud of witnesses. These are the Saints in whose footsteps we are following.
This is not following after just any-old people, but Paul uses the word specifically here – he calls them “witnesses”.
Question: What is a witness? How would you describe a witness to another? What is your witness tonight to Jesus?
Verse 2 says that we must fix our eyes on Jesus.
Going the distance requires a proper focus. It means you die to yourself and look to the one who finished your faith for all of life’s needs.
Some would say that Jesus should be the only thing in our focus, but we don’t always live that way, do we?
Question: What is the importance of looking toward Jesus in this life?
Paul reminds us that we should consider him (Jesus) who endured opposition at the hands of sinful men. We should consider the life Jesus led and the death He died and be very mindful of that example in our own life, not just on Sun/Wed.
When we spend time focusing on ourselves, Jesus is no longer Lord.
When we spend time ensuring that what we have to say or do is more important than worship – Jesus is not Lord.
When He calls and we don’t answer – Jesus is not Lord.
When our own family does not see Jesus in you – Jesus is not Lord.
We need to take encouragement from the fact that He was (and is) real! That He lived a life so that we could gain strength from it – and not to spend time wrapped inside of our own worldly needs.
Jesus came to this Earth to teach repentance and forgiveness, and not to be wrapped up in our own sinful ways. This happens all over the place from Sunday morning to Sat night – we feel that we have it down and I am here to confess that even I don’t have it all down.
Question: Can you be honest right now, and admit where you have struggled?
Let me see if I can encourage you to be honest with one another.
Question: Can you admit (and possibly share) where you have failed to keep Him at the center and thought of taking care of things yourself?
Application: Jesus has given us a model to follow, because He wants us to live better than we currently live – to live honestly and upright – rather than defeated and with our heads down between our legs. This is the devil’s plan for us – so who wins in your life is your decision.
Point 2 – Go with discipline (read v4-13)
Staying the course requires the discipline of God in our lives. It means that there is more to following Jesus than lip-service – it means there is a devotion required. Take the example of the runner trying to win the race, doesn’t he practice? Doesn’t he train? Isn’t he prepared to run and go the distance?
In order to win life’s race you have to be involved in the preparations.