Summary: Here’s Biblical algebra problem for you to solve. S+D+T= The mind of God and everything else. (I had to fill in for our youth pastor and this is what I preached.)

Tonight we are going to do some simple algebra.

Are you going to be a Wednesday night only Christian or are you going to be a sold out and radical one?

How would you define a Wednesday night only Christian?

How would you define a sold and radical Christian?

If you want to get closer to someone or be like someone what do you do? You spend time with that person, you get to know them, you study them, you talk to them.

Does a Wednesday night only Christian read their Bible? Come to church? Pray?

Does a Wednesday night only Christian speak well of others? Always tells the truth? Stops gossip?

If we want to be a sold out and radical Christian then what must we do?

First we must know what the mind of God is.

READ Mark 8:31-38

Wow, that is a powerful text. Jesus called one of His top disciples Satan. Understand that Jesus loved Simon Peter. He used him to build the church in the first century.

What is the mind of God?

How are we going to know the mind of God if we don’t know Him in a really close way?

Ask a couple of friends… Do you know the mind of your friend?

How do you know it?

Why did you want to know it?

Simon Peter was trying to impose his own will in the big scheme of things instead of allowing God’s will to take place.

He had not quite figured it out. Did he ever figure it out? Yes. He went on to be one of the top people responsible for the birth of the church as well as an author of the New Testament.

He realized that God’s way of doing things is the best way. And we need to figure out the same thing.

What is God’s way? Seek Him first and then everything else will be added to you. This is the main Scriptural principle that Jesus taught to mankind. It is found in Matthew 6:33, “But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be you besides.”

We have to be constantly seeking to be closer to God. We have to continually seek to be like Him and understand His mind. We can’t stop. If we do stop we become lukewarm and if we become lukewarm we run the 99.9% chance of spending eternity in hell.

The mind of God is the mind of righteousness. That is His way of doing things and that should be our way of doing things.

So how do we do things God’s way?

Jesus told us in Mark 8:34, He said, that we must “deny yourself & take up your cross daily and follow” him.

I wonder how many people who say that they are Christians have in mind the things of God?

Jesus told us how to do it.

What does it mean to deny? Restrain means to do with out, to keep from indulging in some pleasures, or to refuse something.

What exactly is Jesus saying? Is He saying that we are supposed to stay away from everything? No. He is saying that we must put the things of God above the things of man. If something is more important to us than God, we must deny ourselves that thing.

Anything that we would want or seek that would hinder our doing what God wants us to do and how God wants us to act, that is what we are supposed to deny.

This is so important for all of you to understand today.

We live in a selfish society and generation. Everyone wants more and they want it now. Everyone talks about what they want, what they need, everyone wants to be the center of attention. Me, me, me.

We need to stop worrying so much about ourselves and start worrying about the cross. “Take up your cross and follow me,” Jesus said.

What do you think that means, take up your cross?

The cross is not just a burden. The cross was the cruelest instrument of death ever thought up by mankind. It was an instrument of slow death and total sacrifice.

Jesus told us to take up our cross. Did you know that Jesus carried His own cross to the place they were going to nail Him to it?

Taking up your cross means that you are to give your whole life to God. It means to totally dedicate your life so that you can live for Him.

That doesn’t mean that you will all be pastors. It means that whatever God wants for your life, you are willing to sacrifice your own desires and do what He is asking.

Here’s the algebra problem for you to solve. S+D+T= The mind of God and everything else.

Seeking first His kingdom + denying self + taking up your cross = The mind of God and everything else will be added to you.

Why is this so important for you to understand?

Without this principle at work in your life you will only be a Wednesday night Christian.

You will never grow into the kind of person that God wants you to be and if you never grow into that person eventually you will stop loving God. When you start loving God you have then begun a spiraling journey to hell.

This could be the most important teaching you have ever heard. Because it is the difference between life and death.