Sermons

Summary: A sermon for a re-dedication service about focussing on ’taking up your cross’.

“Take up your cross, daily” Lk 9:23-27

Covenant service WBC 4/1/4pm

A Martyr’s Measure of Commitment

"I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have the Holy Spirit’s power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure.

I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colourless dreams, chained visions, worldly talking, cheap living and warped goals.

I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognised, praised, regarded or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean in His presence, walk by patience, am uplifted by prayer, and I labour with power.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven, my read is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the enemy, pander at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won’t give up, shut up or let up until I have prayed up and paid up for the cause of Jesus Christ.

I must go till he comes, give till I drop, preach till everyone knows, work till he stops me. And when He comes for His own, He will have no trouble recognizing me because my banner will have been clear!"

A note found in the office of a young Pastor in Zimbabwe, Africa, following his martyrdom for his faith in Jesus Christ. Found in ’the signature of Jesus’ by Brennan Manning

CONTRADICTIONS

The spiritual life is one of contradictions. …as is tonight’s passage

- Peter has just made a spiritual step forward

o ‘you are the Christ!’’. “well done, peter!”

- then Jesus explains how God’s plans will be achieved (Mt 16:21)

o death. The cross.

o Peter reacts as WE’D expect… we do. Humanly. Naturally

 “No! Never, Lord! This isn’t the way for the Messiah. The way to greatness!”

But he gets a rebuke

- that’s not how service… power… fruit… God’s will is achieved in ‘the Kingdom’

o though it is in THIS world

No- in the Kingdom of God

- greatness is achieved by becoming like a little child

- power is found… seen in weakness

- less is more. Less of me means more of God

Following Jesus is found in denying yourself

- life is found in losing your own

- security with God is found in making yourself vulnerable to others by owning up to Him

- comfort IS found in complete commitment

It’s a complete contradiction. But you must grasp this if you want to find

-freedom. God’s way

CHOICE

In V23 Jesus says ‘if anyone WOULD come after me…’

The implication, here, is that not everybody does

- some think they do.

- But they’re actually not choosing Christ. It’s some other way.

o And what’s the point of that! Either choose the real McCoy… or forget it.

- This is the kind of thing they’re choosing:

I would like to buy $3.00 worth of God, please. Not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine. I don’t want enough of Him to make me love a black man or pick beets with a migrant. I want ecstasy, not transformation; I want the warmth of the womb, not a new birth. I want a pound of the Eternal in a paper sack. I would like to buy $3.00 worth of God, please.

Wilbur Rees, from When I Relax I Feel Guilty by Tim Hansel

Contributed by: Joel Smith on www.sermoncentral.com

I don’t want $3.00 of God. I want His fullness, don’t you?

Here’s the challenge of this passage… Christ… this contradictory Kingdom

- none of this comes naturally! Seems a pleasure! Is done lightly, easily… in one sense because we ‘want to’!

o Brenda Goodine shares a story her friend who decided to talk about to her bright four-year-old son, Benji, about receiving Christ. “Benji,” she asked quietly, “would you like to have Jesus in your heart?” Benji thought for a few minutes and then rolling his blue eyes answered, “No. I don’t think I want the responsibility.” Contributed by: R. Darrel Davis on www.sermoncentral.com

- it’s done as an act of the will. A CHOICE that we must make to live for Jesus, and His way. It’s done because of commitment and the cost He paid for us on the cross

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