Summary: We can still follow the footsteps of Jesus. God's Word shows us how. 1. We must repent (vs. 17). 2. We must respond to God's call (vs. 18-19). 3. We must be re-created by God (vs. 19). 4. We must rely on God for the catch (vs. 19-22).
Follow the Steps of Our Savior Jesus Christ
The Gospel of Matthew
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - February 13, 2013
(Revised November 26, 2020)
*Over the years, I have known maybe 15 or 20 people who got to visit the Holy Land. They all said what a blessing it was to walk in the footsteps of Jesus.
*Most of us can only imagine what it would be like to sail on the Sea of Galilee or climb the Mount of Olives. But we can all follow the footsteps of Jesus today! This fact is sure because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the gift of God's Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. It's sure because in Hebrews 13:5 Jesus said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you," and it's sure because in Matthew 18:20 Jesus promised, "Where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."
*Even if we never leave Caldwell Parish, we can still follow the steps of our Savior Jesus Christ. Tonight's Scripture shows us how.
1. AND FIRST: WE MUST REPENT.
*We see this truth in vs. 17 where Matthew wrote: "From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'"
*Here God gives us an emphatic call to repent. It's the same call given by John the Baptist back in Matthew 3:2: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" It's the same command our Risen Savior gave to most of the churches in Revelation 2 and 3: "Repent!"
*It's the same cry heard down through the ages as men of God called people back to the Lord: "Repent!" -- But what does it mean to repent? It basically means to change your mind, think differently, change your mind for the better.
*Paul Decker tells us that "repentance means that we have a necessary change of mind. Our views change. Our values and goals change. The way we live changes. Repentance means that we turn away from sin and turn to God." (1)
*Gordon MacDonald explained that "repentance is not basically a religious word. It comes from a culture where people were mostly nomads, constantly on the move. And they lived in a world with no maps or street signs. It is easy to get lost walking through the desert. Then you become aware that the countryside is strange. You finally say to yourself, 'I'm going in the wrong direction.'
*That's the first act of repentance, and the second act of repentance is to GO in a different direction. We start going in the right direction." (2)
 AND EVERYBODY NEEDS TO MAKE A FIRST TURN.
*Peter Marshall was one of the great preachers of the last century, and he once explained repentance with these words: "Now, if you were walking down the street, and someone came up behind you and tapped you on the shoulder. What would you do? Naturally, you would turn around. Well, that is exactly what happens in the spiritual world.
*A man walks through life with the eternal call of God ringing in his ears, but with no response stirring in his heart. And then suddenly, without any warning, the Holy Spirit taps him on the shoulder. What happens? He turns around. The word 'repentance' means 'turning around.' He repents and believes and is saved." (3)
*Everybody needs to make that first turn. If you haven't already done it, you need to turn away from sin and selfishness, and turn to Jesus Christ.
*He loves you! He died on the cross for you, and He rose again from the dead! If you open your heart to believe in Jesus and receive Him and your Lord and Savior, He will forgive all of your sins and give you eternal life.
*Scott Mathews helped us understand what the Lord did for us. In March of 1997, Scott was a Youth Minister in Carthage, Missouri, and he wanted to help his students understand the love of God.
*The theme for the youth group that month was "The Cross," so they built a 500 pound, 8-foot by 14-foot redwood cross. It took 10 students to move it. Why was it so big? Scott wanted to illustrate how spiritually heavy the Lord's cross was.
*One night at church, when the cross was on the platform, Scott told the students that each of them deserved to experience the cross. But because of His love, God sent His Son to die on the cross for us. Scott needed another way to help the youth understand the cost of the cross, and he thought of Minette.
*That godly, young mother was one of the sponsors. That night, she was on the back row watching her children. Scott asked her to come up. And on the way, she started to give her newborn baby, Hudson to a friend.