OUR ROAD TO VICTORY IN CHRIST
Jesus Walked What He Talked
INTRODUCTION: The times are rare when people today say what they mean, then mean what they say, and finally act on what they mean. Here in the gospel of John, as Jesus walks into Jerusalem on what we celebrate as Palm Sunday, the Lord does just that …..
We see that Jesus:
-- Clearly stating what He means
-- Clearly meaning to do what He has said
-- Clearly doing what He means to do
CHRIST WALKED WHAT HE TALKED
What should be so very evident here is the magnitude of Christ’s love for us! The event of Palm Sunday, as well as those leading up to this Triumphal Entry serve to remind us that Jesus loved us enough to guard and protect us, to walk before us, and to encourage us.
OPENING ILLUSTRATION: Snow Storms
Just getting out of the driveway was a major feat during last year’s snow and ice storms. One co-worker was relating how he used his seven-year-old son’s baseball bat to smash the slick coat of ice on his driveway. He got cold and went inside for a cup of coffee before attempting to clear the car. Several minutes later, his son, who had been outside with him, came in.
“Dad,” he said, “I got the ice off the car.”
“How did you do that?” his father asked.
“Same way you did,” the boy shrugged, “with the baseball bat.”
To have unquestioned reliance upon a pastor or other spiritual leader can lead to embarrassment and even bitter disillusionment.
I was reminded of this recently when I came across an interesting item about President Coolidge. Once he invited some friends from Vermont to dine at the White House. They were worried about their table manners, so they decided to do everything their host did. All went well until coffee was served. Coolidge poured his into the saucer. The guests did the same. The President added sugar and cream. So did the visitors. Then Coolidge leaned over and placed his saucer on the floor for the cat.
TRANSITION: Mark Twain once said, “Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.”
I JESUS LOVED US ENOUGH TO GUARD AND PROTECT US – John 10:11-13
John 10:11-13 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
A Good Shepherds are known by their actions, not their words
Eccles. 5:7 Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God.
Proverbs 10:19 When words are many, sin is not absent,
but he who holds his tongue is wise.
1 Jesus did not and does not run out on us!
2 Jesus was there for more than His own profit
B Good Shepherds are known by their convictions
1 Jesus lays down His life to protect the sheep
2 The focus of Christ was outward – on us!
a Jesus was willing to protect us from harm
b Jesus was willing to put himself in harms way!
SHEEP KNOW WHO THE GOOD SHEPHERD IS!
You sit here today, and you may or may not have made a serious and sincere commitment to Christ, but you cannot legitimately reject the fact that Christ did what he did for you!
II JESUS LOVED US ENOUGH TO GO BEFORE US – John 12:12-13
John 12:12-13 The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, "Hosanna!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Blessed is the King of Israel!"
ILLUSTRATION: “Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it.” Marian Anderson
A Jesus knew that going into Jerusalem meant His death
B Jesus knew that the ovations of the crowd were only momentary
Mark 15:9-13 "Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?" asked Pilate, 10knowing it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. 11But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead. 12"What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?" Pilate asked them. 13"Crucify him!" they shouted.
C Going to Jerusalem provided a choice
1 We can either enter into eternity on his death or our own death
2 The benefit was ours
John 12:27-30 "Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ’Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28Father, glorify your name!"
Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again." 29The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. 30Jesus said, "This voice was for your benefit, not mine.
a Jesus was fully aware of what He was doing
b Are we aware of what we are doing?
JESUS PROVIDED US WITH A MEANINGFUL CHOICE
Have we really taken the time and soberly looked at the path our life is on, who or what we are living for, and who or what is in control. The fact that Jesus would die for our sins, and release us from their control gives us the opportunity to choose differently!
Jesus offers us the meaningful choice of life:
-- LIFE OPPOSITE OF SEPARATION FROM GOD
-- A QUALITY OF LIFE CONSISTENT WITH GOD HIMSELF (Well done good and faithful servant)
-- A LIFE OF SATISFACTION
-- A LIFE OF SECURITY
-- A LIFE OF ENJOYMENT (Our joy is inward focused, not outward dependant!)
III JESUS LOVED US ENOUGH TO ENCOURAGE US – John 12:35-36
John 12:35-36 Then Jesus told them, "You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. 36Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light." When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.
A Make the choice while you still can
B A time will come when you will no longer be able to choose
HEED THE WARNINGS:
1. Unbelief when you know you should believe makes future unbelief easier.
John 12:37 Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him.
2. Hidden belief chokes out conviction.
John 12:42-43 Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.
ILLUSTRATION: When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice. - William James
If there is one, and only one commitment I would ask you to make, it would be in this area of commitment to Christ.
If you sit here today, uncommitted to Christ as your Savior – I am asking, “What is keeping you?” It will never be any easier to invite Jesus into your life than today!
If you are sitting here with Christ as your Savior, yet more interested in the people than in the Lord, your level or commitment, conviction and conquest as a believer will never be any higher than it is right now until your love of God exceeds your love of men.
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