Summary: Risk and reward of the radical life, sacrifice, death.
LIVING WHEN DYING IS GAIN
(THE RISK AND THE REWARD OF THE RADICAL LIFE)
Matt 10:39 (p 688) Oct. 23, 2011
INTRODUCTION: If someone asked you “what does being a follower of Christ mean to you? “ And I suppose I’m asking those individuals who have made the decision public…If you have not done so I might pose this question…”what have you seen in individuals that persuades you this person is a follower of Christ.”
What answers would you give…they go to the church a lot….they pray….they read the Bible…they do good stuff….they give…they’re nice….
Would that definition be different in China…or Syria…would that definition be different in first century…34AD Jerusalem?
My question is really an honest and sincere one…”what does it mean to be a follower of Jesus Christ.”
Does it mean something different now than it did then? Has time, location, culture, politics, changed this definition? It is my firm belief that what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ has not changed…
Its radical…it’s extremely risky…it’s costly and sometimes painful and lonely…
Jesus says to those who would be His followers…
“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
You see most of us would like to add Jesus to our lives…kind of attach Him like training wheels on a bicycle…Help me learn to ride…keep me from eaten the pavement…give me security and safety…and then when we get it figured out…we take him off and ride on our own.
But Jesus said, “anyone who follows me risk their safety, they risk worldly security, they give up all the things that use to give them satisfaction…However…following me leads to a radical reward…not just heaven when you die…but real abundant life now…”you think your losing your life following me? Nope...Following me is when you’ll fine real life….I AM that life.
What did he tell His disciples to remember as they sought to fulfill this call?
I LOSE YOURSELF IN THE NEEDS OF OTHERS:
This challenge in Matt 10:39 comes at the end of a startling speech Jesus gave to his disciples.
He is sending them out into the world…and he shares the risks they will have undertake in following him
He says, you’ll be surrounded by great need….His instructions “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with Leprosy, drive out demons.”
Jesus is saying these are the people you will encounter…the diseased, the dying, the despised and the dangerous…
Lose yourself among these people…show them me.
Walk into the hepatitis soup of New Orleans, and clean out that house and rebuild it for Shavian and her little girl...leave your white collar microwave security for the dirty streets of Haiti and hold that baby in your arms…Head to Joplin Mo…to the trash and rebel of peoples’ lives and seek to rebuild more than a building.