Summary: Now that I belong to Jesus, how should that decision and relationship affect the priorities of my life?
• SLIDE #1
• Now I belong to Jesus, WHAT NOW?
• In this series we have been examining some the implications in our life because of our relationship with Jesus.
• Today we examine the area of my priorities. How should my faith and my relationship with Jesus impact my priorities?
• I want you to think about a question for a moment. What is the goal for your life? What is the most important aspect of your life?
• Let that one simmer for a minute.
• Now, that you have the goal for your life in the center of mind, what are you doing to achieve that goal?
• Really, I could ask the question about any of the goals you have for your life. Maybe your goal is a good marriage? How are you arranging your life to make that happen?
• In Jr High, I was on the wrestling team, the basketball team, the track team and the football team and played summer baseball. When I was in High School, I narrowed it down to baseball and football.
• My goal was to be the best I could be and to never sit the bench. I went to a fairly large High School for the area and I was not the biggest or fastest guy on the planet.
• For football we had to come to camp in shape, we had to run a mile in a certain amount of time, so all summer I would run in the late evenings to be ready.?
• I spent a great deal of time in the weight room because I knew for me to succeed, I had to work harder than others did so I set my priorities in such a way that I would reach my goal.
• In baseball, I wanted to be a pitcher, so I worked hard and studied pitching, and practiced as much as I could. When others were goofing off, I was working to make sure I did not sit the bench.
• It is great to have goals, but unless you adjust your priorities you will never reach those goals.
• For those who want to follow Jesus, we must have a change of priorities because if we do not, our goals just become unmet dreams along with living an unfulfilled life.
• Jesus has some startling and difficult things to say concerning priorities, and today we look at one of the predominate passages on the subject together.
• Today we will be in Matthew 16:24-26, we will begin with verse 24.
• This passage takes place after Peter proclaims that Jesus is the Messiah, the son of the Living God.
• Then when Jesus talks about His future death and resurrection, Peter said NO WAY, and Jesus looks at Peter and tells Satan to get behind Him!
• Now Jesus is going to explain what it means to follow Him.
• SLIDE #2
• Matthew 16:24 (CSB) Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.
• SLIDE #3
My priorities should be centered on…
I. Three actions
• As Jerry and I discussed this passage we agreed we could have developed a message from each verse because each verse is so rich, but we will begin with verse 24.
• As Peter has confessed that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God and then Peter tried to tell Jesus how to be the Messiah, Jesus is now going to clue him in as to what it takes to be a follower of Jesus.
• In this verse Jesus lays it on the line.
• “If anyone wants to follow after me
• Jesus then addresses all the disciples and insists that just as he “orients his life around the cross, so the disciples are to orient their lives around the cross.” (NIV College Press Commentary: Matthew)
• Jesus is not going to offer some ambiguous wishy-washy statement, He is going to get right to the point and simply and boldly as possible.
• I love the simplicity of this, it is so simple that not even a religious scholar can mess it up. That is the beauty of simplicity.
• One the other hand, simple does not mean easy! Jesus gives us three actions in verse 24 that are REQUIRED of a follower, a disciple of His!
• This is going to be about one’s priorities as a follower of Jesus!
• First, let him deny himself!
• Does this mean you don’t take a bath? Or that you have no regard for your life?
• In simple terms the statement LET HIM DENY HIMSELF is more about priorities, whose comes first, yours or God’s?