Summary: We examine Christ’s command to give up everything... even if that includes our home.
We all know the motto of New York City. It is on every single T-shirt in the city. I HEART NY.
And since then, there have been about a million people who have stolen this idea and design. Everything from God to monkeys. If somebody loves it, there is probably a shirt that says I HEART _________.
But the original comes from New York. And to be honest, I have only been to New York once and I wouldn’t say that I loved it.
I enjoyed most of my time there. I enjoy big cities. But, I haven’t spent enough time there to know whether I heart New York or not.
I can say for sure that I heart Chicago. Chicago is a great city. I would wear a shirt that says I HEART Chicago, even though I think it’s a rip-off to use someone else’s slogan and just add your product.
So, this week I want to start a serious in Sunday School called I HEART. We are going to be talking about things that we love and things that are difficult to sacrifice.
And what we are going to do is look at some of the weirdest passages in Scripture. We are going to see people with a desire to follow Jesus… and what Jesus’ response to them ALWAYS is.
And over the next few weeks, we are going to be talking about things that we love. And my prayer is that through this series, we all realize how much God has given us and realize that 99% of what we have is temporary.
When you think of things people love about New York, what are some of the things people love about it? Broadway, Times Square, parades, parties, Wall Street, Statue of Liberty, home
I think that the biggest thing that people love about New York is that it is their home. There are a lot of tourists that come to New York and love it, but they don’t love it enough to live there.
The people of New York love New York, because it is their home. In the same way that I love Michigan, they love New York. I have lived in Delaware for a year and a half almost, but I still consider Michigan home… because home is where the heart is… and I love Michigan more than Delaware.
What do you consider home? Maybe it is your house, maybe your street, maybe your family… whatever it is that you consider home. That is what I HEART NY is all about.
People love their home. I love my home. You love your home. Home isn’t necessarily where you live. Home is where you find comfort.
I can remember the summer after my senior year of high school; I was on a mission’s trip to Humboldt Park… which is in the inner-city of Chicago. It was our second year going there.
And when we pulled up to Roberto Clemente High School (in the middle of the ghetto), it just felt right. I literally got out of the van and said, “It feels good to be home.” In the middle of the ghetto, I was in a place that I love… a place that felt like home.
So, let’s turn to Luke 9:57… As they were walking along the road, a man said to Him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” He said to another man, “Follow me.” But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another said, “I will follow you, LORD; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
I told you… we are going to see Jesus being really weird for the next couple weeks.
3 guys walk up to Jesus and want to follow Him, and Jesus tells them all to go away. Or at least, Jesus gives them good reasons to not follow Him.
And I am pretty sure that this is ALWAYS how Jesus dealt with people. Because almost every time you see someone wanting to join Jesus, He is telling them to go away.
So what does this mean? Does it mean that Jesus doesn’t want followers? No. I think it means that Jesus wants dedicated followers… not half-hearted followers.
Guy number one walks up to Jesus… and I think that he thinks that he is doing Jesus a favor by following Him. All these men seem to want to follow Jesus and think that Jesus should WANT them on His side.