Summary: This is the first sermon of the series "Discipleship". What is the disciple’s motto?
Sunday Evening September 2, 2001 Bel Aire Baptist Church, Hobbs, New Mexico
Series: Discipleship #1
STARTING AT “SQUARE-ONE”
1. Each of you has been given 4 slips of paper. On each slip of paper is a word. The words are: Family, Work, Possessions, and Health.
a. I want you to take the slip of paper that has the word on it that you could live without, hold it up in the air, and then tear it in half.
b. O.K. Now you have 3 slips of paper. Do the same thing.
c. Now you have 2 slips of paper. Do the same thing.
d. Now you have 1 slip of paper. You have already had to give up 3 things. Could you ever give up that last thing in your life?
2. Now I realize you would not want to lose all of these things, but if you did, would there be anything left in your life worth living for?
3. As you hold up your last slip of paper, if you can say, “Yes, I could make it because there is something left in my life”, then I want you to tear it in half.
4. I can only speak for myself, but if I lost everything, I would still have Jesus. How about you?
5. Tonight, amongst the faithful attendees, I want to begin a study on being a disciple of Christ. As the title states, we need to begin at “square-one”.
6. Turn with me to Luke 9:57-62 as we learn that the disciple’s motto should be “First Things First”.
7. Let’s look at the emphasis of “First Things First” in the Scripture from four different perspectives.
I. Decisions (Luke 9:57-58)
A. Verses 57 and 58 deal with several decisions. (Let’s read Luke 9:57-58).
1. The man speaking had heard Jesus’ invitation to follow Him and had said, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
2. This sounds great, but let’s ask some questions at this point.
a) When we agreed to follow Jesus, did we agree to forsake father or mother or brother or sister, house and land for His name’s sake?
b) That is what this man said.
3. Also notice that at this time, Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem to be crucified (verse 51).
B. We must all evaluate our commitment to Christ.
1. Did we mean it when we said, “I will follow you wherever you go”?
2. The Christian life is much more than just coming to church or being a member.
3. There are many so-called Disciples of Christ who, in evaluating their commitment would say, “Yes, I am a follower of Christ, but…”
4. This is why Christ wants us to understand our commitment.
C. Have you evaluated the Lord’s caution (verse 58)?
1. Jesus cautioned His disciples about loneliness. Are you willing to stand alone?
2. Jesus never belonged. He was always an outsider.
3. Jesus was going to the place where He knew He was going to die but He never allowed anything to stop that because God was always first.
4. Is God first in your life, no matter what?
II. Delay (Luke 9:59-60)
A. Here a second would-be follower of Christ desires to postpone his commitment to a future date.
1. Delay or procrastination in regard to salvation is extremely dangerous.
2. Before you do anything else, you better secure your salvation. Be sure!
3. Procrastination in regard to service leads to barrenness.
4. The greatest problem with Christians today is the phrase, “I’ll follow the Lord but first…”
5. God must be first, even over family.
B. Here another follower is delaying by trying to rationalize what is happening (verse 61).
1. “I’ll follow the Lord, but FIRST I need to go home and be with my family and friends.”
2. Do we allow other things to delay following Christ?
3. For example: “Yes, I’ll tithe, but first let me pay my bills”.
4. Or, “Yes, I’ll teach, but first let me learn more about the Bible.”
5. What should be the first things? The things that pertain to the Kingdom of God.
III. Determination (Luke 9:62)
A. The difference in following Him and falling along the wayside is determination.
1. You have to be determined to “stick with it”.
2. If we are willing to turn everything over to Him and follow Him, there cannot be, “But first Lord, let me…”
B. Jesus looked beyond the hatred of Jerusalem.
1. Jesus saw the New Jerusalem.
2. We must be determined to read this height of dedication and put first things first.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
1) Are you following without hesitation and with determination?