Summary: Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow Me.” How determined are you to follow Jesus Christ? How did these young Christians become the kind of people who would choose to suffer for Christ?
Purpose: To show the importance of following the Lord whole heartedly.
Aim: I want the listener to determine to follow Christ regardless of the cost.
Vs.32-35 I. Remember What Your Faith in Christ has Cost You
Vs.32-33a A. Remember what you have suffered for Christ "you endured a great conflict of sufferings"
Vs.33b-34 B. Remember how you helped others who suffered for Christ "sharers with those"
Vs.35 C. Value your faith in God’s rewards "your confidence"
Compare verses 19 & 22
INTRODUCTION: Jesus said, "Take up your cross and follow Me." How determined are you to follow Jesus Christ? How did these young Christians become the kind of people who would choose to suffer for Christ? Not only did they suffer for the cause of Christ they did it "joyfully" (Vs. 34). Many of them were willing leave their own comfort and security and risk everything they had in order to be faithful to Jesus Christ. Look again at verse 24. This is what love and good deeds are.
What is the difference between someone who only says they believe in Jesus and the person who really does believe in Jesus?
Vs.36-37 II. Remember and Trust in God’s Promises
The Christians who first read this letter had gone through many difficult trials, but some of them had not received Jesus Christ as their savior.
"They knew the promises, rejoiced in the promises, and even suffered for the promises. But they had not received the promises." John MacArthur 
Someone who is in love with Jesus Christ CANNOT stay away from Him for very long. False believers follow the Lord only part of the way. Matt 10:22 All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. (NIV) This is why Jesus said, (Luke 14:33, NAS) "So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up [claim to] all his own possessions"
If we really believe in God’s promises we will do two things:
Vs.36a A. Believers will be active for God "you have done the will of God"
If we really believe what God has told us in the Bible we will be energized to do anything that pleases Him.
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us (NAS)
If we believe God’s promises then we will be motivated to obey Him. "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments" (John 14:15 NAU). "For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother" (Mark 3:35 NAU).
Instead of just wondering what you can do for the Lord, be doing what you know you can do for the Lord! You can pray, learn more about the Bible, and look for ways to encourage other believers.
Vs.36b-37 B. Believers anticipate Christ’s coming "He who is coming will come"
Look back at verse 34 where it talks about "a better possession and a lasting one." What is that possession?
"What is this "better possession and abiding one"? .... It’s the triumph of Jesus over death (2:15), and the final rest for the saints in the age to come (4:9), and the subduing of all our enemies (10:13) and the perfect purification of our conscience (9:14), and the removal and forgetting of all our sins (8:12), all of which is aimed at the ultimate and greatest reward of all, namely, that we shall be "near to God" (7:19, 25) and know God (8:11) and that he will be our God (8:10) forever."