Summary: The life of a disciple calls us the "Shift’ our priorities - this is the 4th in a series; LIFE.COM
INTRODUCTION, On my computer it is the second key from the bottom – it is simply titled “SHIFT” The shift key has only one function – to change things
• Press the SHIFT key on any letter and you quickly go from lower case to upper case letters
• Press the SHIFT key with a number and you go from a number to a symbol.
SHIFT – the changing of something of to something else
The Bible is full of people who made a shift.
• Moses – the Prince of Egypt – became the leaders of God’s people – SHIFT
• David – a shepherd boy – Becomes the King of Israel – SHIFT
• Saul – A Persecutor of the Church – Becomes the greatest missionary of the church – SHIFT.
QUESTION DO YOU NEED TO USE THE SHIFT KEY IN YOUR LIFE TODAY?
Are there things you desire to change in your life?
If so, you need to make a SHIFT in your life.
In the gospels, there is a time in the ministry of Jesus where he makes a shift in His ministry – which from that point on defines his purpose and ministry. The SHIFT is found in Mark 8:31-32, He (Jesus) then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this.
Did you catch it – Did you see the Shift in Focus?
• Jesus was a master teacher
• Jesus was a great miracle worker
• Jesus was a compassionate man
• BUT THE SHIFT – THE CHANGE IN HIS MINISTRY IS ABOUT TO OCCUR
The Son of Man must suffer, be rejected killed – but will rise in 3 days.
We are in a series called LIFE.COM we are looking our lives through the lens of certainties. Today I want us to look at what it means to Shift your priorities. Our Lord has much to say about making that kind of Shift in our text today.
READ MARK 8:34-38
I want to make a couple of Observations about what Jesus says when it comes to making a shift in your life.
1. First, there is the startling honesty of Jesus. We can never say that we are following Jesus under false pretenses. Jesus never tries to bribe us by the offer of an easy life. The honesty of great leaders has always been one of their great characteristics.
In the early days of WW2, as Winston Churchill took over the leadership of England, all that he offered his people was "blood, sweat & tears." His honest approach rallied England to a hard fought victory. In the same way, Jesus lets us know up front what is required to be a disciple.
2. Secondly, Jesus never calls upon men to do or face anything that He was not prepared to do or face Himself. Jesus was not the kind of leader who sat in isolation playing with the lives of men like expendable pawns. What He asks us to face, He has already faced. Jesus has a right to call on us to take up a cross, for He, Himself, first bore one for us.
That goes against the grain of what the world teaches, does it not? The world teaches us that success is measured by how much wealth we hold, by how convenient & easy life is for us. Anything that differs from that definition of success, anything that bothers us or becomes difficult, we should avoid.
Sadly, the modern church has adopted some of that attitude. So churches are advertised as places offering all kinds of fringe benefits to their members. And many people go shopping for the church that offers the most. The “what’s in it for me” mindset has taken over as people no longer desire to serve but be served.
That is the way the world has conditioned us to think. We have been taught that everybody ought to cater to us, & all our needs ought to be met & all our wants & desires ought to be taken care of. When that doesn’t happen, then we become unhappy. And yet, Jesus said, "If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself & take up his cross & follow me."
This morning I would like to challenge all of us to thhnk about the shift we must make in our life, by observing the shift Jesus made in his life.
I. Note the Call
A. All inclusive
Mark 8:34, Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me.
We like to be included in things. No one likes isolation. We want to be included in the circle, in on the joke, be part of the in crowd.