Summary: The first of a real followers series based on Mike Slaughter’s book
Real Followers sacrifice everything, Matt 4:18-22
Eric A. Snyder, Minister Farwell Church of Christ
January 6, 2002
Two Hells’ Angels met a priest who was walking with crutches. They asked him what the problem was. He told them that he had slipped in his bathtub. The "Angels" continued walking until one turned to the other and asked, "What’s a bathtub? The other one answered, "How should I know, I’m not Catholic.’’
Two nuns were driving down a country road when they ran out of gas. They walked to a farmhouse and a farmer gave them some gasoline; but the only container he had was an old bedpan. The nuns were happy to take whatever they were offered and returned to their car.
As they were pouring the gasoline from the bedpan into the tank of their car, a man drove by. He stopped, rolled down his window and said, “Excuse me, sisters. I’m not of your religion, but I couldn’t help admiring your faith!
Sometimes the it appears that the church is out of touch with reality.
People today are looking for real Christianity. They want to be challenged. Churches that can effectively demonstrate that they are aware of what is going on in the world around them and minister to those needs are experiencing dramatic radical growth. Most dynamic churches grow between 27 and 33% a year. Churches that just continue to do what they have always done tend to go 2 directions. Either they grow 2% pew year or they decline gradually until they are small enough to close the doors. Most of these churches either do not realize that they are dying or have decided that they are going down with the ship. Why is there a decline on interest in the church today? Quite simply because the church is not perceived as relevant to the community. When the church can show relevance and meaning in the community the church has broken the mold and begins to turn around. Now before you get confused Relevance means that we still preach and teach the truth of Jesus. But it also means we may have to use modern tools.
But that really is a huge issue that I would like to leave with you for the moment and look at another aspect of real Christianity. The church needs to demonstrate it’s worth by calling people to become real followers of Jesus.
Cheryl Lynn wrote a very popular song
“What you find, What you feel What you know it has all got To be real”
So have you found the real Jesus? There are a number of popular songs today where the artist is looking for a real savior. People, Popular people who influence our culture are looking for real life in something that is larger than themselves. U2 is one group that is looking for truth in Jesus Their song “in the name of love is about Jesus” You don’t have to look very hard to find people wanting to know more about what it means to be a real follower. In the next few weeks we are going to look at different aspects of a real follower’s life.
This morning’s text is Matthew 4:18-22
These guys were real followers committed to go wherever Jesus would take them. My stepfather was one of those guys who had a picture of what a real man was. Well I wonder do we have a good idea of what a real follower is. The guys we are going to read about today are real followers.
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
There was a man who was having trouble with his leg so he went to the doctor.
The doctor said “you have a little gout I suggest you give up smoking and drinking for a while”
The man said what just so I can walk a little better?
The Great Physician knows what is good for us. He wants to help your walk get better.
1. True Followers give up whatever Jesus asks
What has Jesus asked you to give up?
Generally Jesus asks us to give up whatever we are holding onto with both hands.
He will ask you for the one thing that you said you would never give up? Because he knows that it controls you.