Summary: There is a true joy in being a follower of Jesus only if we are totally dedicated to Him in all aspects of life
“The Thrill of Discipleship”
Brother Dan Shafer sings a song that says, “When you walk with the Lord you won’t get bored”. I think Brother Dan is right. In the world today there are many misconceptions about Christianity and what it means to be a Christian. Most Americans claim to be Christians, but few claim to go to church. Most Americans claim to be Christians, but few claim to spend time in prayer and the study of God’s Word. Many people claim to be a Christian, but very few live the life that Jesus called people to live. As you look across the world and see the way people act you can see the world is far from a Christian place. To many people, and maybe even to some here Christianity may seem boring. Perhaps you today think of being a Christian as a boring life. Many people have the misconception that when you become a Christian you can’t have fun, and that you sit in a monastery all the time and don’t talk. The reason that many people see Christianity as a boring life to live is because they have not surrendered everything to Jesus; it is because there are many people in the world who live their lives halfway committed to Jesus. Many people honor Jesus with their lips, but their hearts are far away. I am here this morning to suggest only when we sell out to Jesus can being a Christian be a true thrill.
When I say names like Peter, John, Andrew, Judas, James and Thomas you immediately remember Jesus’ twelve disciples. When I say the names Don Maney, Frank Harrison, Todd Graham, Stephanie Cole, Tommy Sawyngim and Billy Jones what do you think of? Perhaps you think of a relation they have to you. Perhaps you think of their occupation, but do you ever think of them as Jesus’ disciples. I hope that above anything you think of those people and me as disciples of Jesus first, and then anything else. I am a Christian first, and husband second and preacher thirdly and the same order applies to you. We today are called to be disciples of Jesus as well. Over these next several weeks I want to look at the importance of being a true disciple of Jesus and how we must give everything to follow Him. Jesus expects more of us than simply coming to Him for the forgiveness of our sins, but he expects our dedication and surrender. He expects us to be His disciples, and to imitate Him. I hope that over these ext several weeks as week look at the idea of being a disciple of Jesus that we will get excited in our faith and begin to take seriously our commitment to follow Jesus. I really believe that the commitment that we made to Jesus is the greatest commitment we have made, and we need to take our faith seriously. It seems that in the church as a whole there are many half way committed believers, and very few disciples. May that never be said of Oak Grove? I pray that we each will be disciples of Jesus. Just think, the world was turned upside down because of the work of twelve disciples. What can us here at Oak Grove do to this community and this world with 75 disciples of Jesus? We can impact the world. There is no reason why we cannot change the world like the early Christians did. We have the same message, the same God, and the same Spirit to empower us. I hope that by the end of this message you will say, I don’t just want to be a Christian, but I want to be a disciple of Jesus. The truth is all Christians are supposed to be disciples. I believe that the Scriptures make it very clear that ever person who is a Christian should be completely and totally sold out and excited in the Lord. Each believer should be dedicated to serving and living like Jesus. Each believer should be committed to sharing their faith and leaving an example. I believe though that there are many lukewarm Christians in the church today, and Satan’s greatest weapon in the part-time Christian. First of all, because there is really no such thing. Those that are not totally sold out to Jesus are not Christians at all, but they are self-deceived. Secondly, because Satan uses those people to discourage the faithful, and hold back the work of the Lord. If you are a part time Christian it is time to take a full-time role. It is time to take seriously serving Jesus. We are not here on this Earth for long, and we are not going to be judged by how much money we make, how successful we were, but we will be judged by what we do for the Lord. Are you ready to see the true thrill of being a disciple of Jesus?