Summary: Jesus never hid from his disciples what it would cost to follow him. To follow Jesus we need a transformed mind, a transformed heart, and a transformed lifestyle.
Sermon preached 4/05
THE TRANSFORMED LIFE OF A DISCIPLE
by Pastor Byron K. Maynard
Jesus never hid from his disciples what it would cost to follow him. The Apostle Paul also testified of this when he said, What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ Phil 3:8 NIV
I know this as a personal fact in my own life, when I received Christ as my personal Savior several years ago, I SPENT THE FIRST 20 YEARS OF MY LIFE TRYING TO FIND MYSELF. SINCE COMING TO JESUS MANY YEARS AGO, NOW I’M TRYING TO GET OVER MYSELF. I know that it’s only through the transforming power of the Word of God working through me that I can become a true disciple of Christ.
Being a disciple means to walk as Jesus walked. I John 2:5-6. When we walk as Jesus walked we will experience transformational changes in our lives. We will experience:
1) A DISCIPLE HAS A TRANSFORMED MIND.
The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. Rom 8:6 NIV
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind . Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will. Rom 12:2 NIV
I have been a pastor for nearly twenty-five years. During those years, one thing I have noticed in counseling with people, for many, their minds have become garbage dumps. It has become the place where they dump past failures, bad information, broken down relationship experiences, etc. It has become the place where they dump things broken, things failed, things camouflaged in their lives. They can’t become fully devoted disciples of Christ because they won’t allow God to clean up their dump. Yes, they are saved and love by God, but they always seem to be experiencing spiritual defeat. They expect to live lives blessed by God yet they are allowing their minds to remain a "garbage from the past" landfill.
The garbage they keep dumping in their mind is like the baggage they take with them when traveling. Have you ever noticed the amount of baggage some people carry when they travel? It’s no wonder why people are too tired to serve Jesus. Too exhausted to become fully devoted followers of Christ. The baggage is too heavy. The garbage is too much to carry around and they are easily fatigued. For them, serving Jesus is not a joy, it becomes another bad experience, another relationship that has broken-down, another failure they are trying to camouflage. The garbage that God wants to take away is unforgiveness, guilt, discontentment with life, fear of the future, and everything else that restricts them in following him wholeheartedly.
A disciple of Christ realizes how much he or she is hindered by these things, dives into God’s Word, and allows the Holy Spirit to deal with these barrier causing issues. Following Jesus is not a quick fix to your problems. It has taken your whole life to get in the mess where you are. It will take time studing His Word and applying Biblical principles to fix many of your problems. It means spending quality, uninterrupted time with God through prayer. It will take time for God to deal with the baggage issues in your life. In one sense, you will never be fully cleansed from all the mind garbage, at least in this life. On the other hand, God will fully cleanse you and will make you "whiter than snow" in a heart sense. When God cleanses you, your mind will no longer become a garbage dump. A passionate disciple of Christ will no longer allow his or her mind to become a place where garbage is stored. For a follower of Christ the mind will become the place where the Holy Spirit becomes the housekeeper.
2) A DISCIPLE RECEIVES A TRANSFORMED HEART.
In our society today, I believe too many people have made themselves too busy to wholeheartedly follow Christ. TO FOLLOW JESUS, YOU MUST HAVE THE "HEART" TO FOLLOW. Most people do not want to be followers, they want to become leaders, especially when it comes to following Jesus. They want to take the lead, they want to be the ones in charge of their lives.
The Scripture says, Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matt 11:29-30 NIV