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Summary: Knowing that we cannot make excuses before God and establish our relationship with Him

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GETTING RID OF EXCUSES AND ESTABLISHING PRIORITIES

Mat. 16:24-26

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?

INTRO:

I. EXCUSES THAT ARE A DIRECT “NO”

A. The Parable of the Great Banquet: Luke 14:16-18

1. The First Excuse – vs. 18

i. “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’

ii. His possessions were more important

2. The Second Excuse – vs. 19

i. “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’

ii. His work was more important

3. The Third Excuse – vs. 20

i. “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’

ii. His family was before God

II. EXCUSES THAT ARE INDIRECTLY GIVEN

A. If they have a worldly reward; they will follow

1. Luke 9:57 “As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”

i. It did seem as if he was sincere

ii. Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

iii. One should not follow Jesus for personal benefits

iv. It isn’t: “Well if you give me this , I’ll follow you”

2. When they put other things before the Lord Jesus

i. Luke 9:59 “He said to another man, “Follow me.” But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”

ii. It really wasn’t his father, he was using that as an indirect excuse

iii. It would take probably years for his father to die – what would he do during that time?

iv. Vs. 60Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

3. When they still have their eyes in the things of the past

i. Luke 9:61 “Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.”

ii. When you have made a decision to follow Jesus, nothing else matters

iii. Vs. 62 “Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

iv. We should set our eyes on the Lord Jesus and He will take care of the rest

III. PRIORITIES THAT ESTABLISH A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

A. Be decisive in following Him

1. Mat 16:24 ““If anyone would come after me,…”

B. Put aside your personal desires

1. Mat 16:24 “he must deny himself…”

C. Be willing to suffer for Him

1. Mat. 16:24 “And take up his cross and follow me”

D. Lose to Gain

1. Mat 16:25 “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”

E. Understand that our goals are spiritual and not material

1. Mat.. 16:26 “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?”

CONCLUSION:


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