Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: A look at Jesus' difficult (and frequently ignored) teaching that "whoever lose his life for me will find it." What does that mean? What does it look like to live that out?

WHAT DOES "LOSE YOUR LIFE TO FIND IT" MEAN ANYWAY? It means to pursue Jesus’ path even at the expense of my desires.

- Matthew 10:39; Matthew 16:25; Mark 8:35; Luke 9:24; Luke 17:33; John 12:25.

- This is a foreign concept to many Christians. In the American church we largely ignore this teaching. I don’t recall hearing a lot of sermons down through the years on it.

- I feel like we have to explain the idea itself before we can move on.

- The idea is something like this: there are a bundle of desires that fill up my heart – a whole host of things that I want.

- Career issues: “I want to be a doctor.” “I want to be a model.”

- Media choices: “I want to watch that new Seth MacFarlane show.” “I want to listen to that new Train CD.”

- Life choices: “I want to marry Isabella.” “I want to move to South Carolina.”

- Sex choices: “I want to sleep with my girlfriend.” “I want to watch porn.”

- Emotional choices: “I am at peace over this decision.” “I am worried about my job security.”

- Religious choices: “I like what Buddha has to say.” “I believe in heaven but I don’t like the idea of hell.”

- And on and on.

- Some of the things I’ve listed above might be good choices that God would endorse. Others might be things that we really want but God says no to.

- But the big decision is to acknowledge that I’m going to trust Jesus’ wisdom over my wisdom. I am going to pursue His path over the path one that I might want to right now.

- We’re holding what we want in one hand and what God instructs in the other. “Losing your life” means committing to pursuing what God instructs when there is a conflict between the two choices.

- Now, let me acknowledge that sometimes the two will be in unity. What I want to do and what God instructs me to do are in harmony. Those are easy choices to make. But when they’re not in harmony, God has the final say.

- This is a foreign idea to the American mind.

- We say that you have to follow your dreams. We say that you have to listen to your heart. We say that you have to love yourself first.

- All of those are lies.

- Jesus says that we are to deny ourselves and be willing to lose our life.

- This is radical. It’s also Jesus repeated a lot. It’s in all four gospels – in two of them it’s in there twice.

- Do the math: my desires < Jesus’ teaching.

- We shift from “The most important thing is figuring out what you want” to “The most important thing is figuring out where God is leading.”

WHY WOULD JESUS ASK THAT? Because Jesus’ path is not a one-degree course correction, but a 180-degree change.

- Too many people think of what Jesus taught as being “be a nice person.” If that’s true, then all that’s expected of us is to just keep doing what we’ve been doing, but just be a little easier to get along with.

- That’s wrong.

- Jesus’ path is radically different from business as usual. Those who think that Jesus’ instruction is basically just “be nice” are people who have never actually read the Bible.

- One example: the American Dream.

- We’re surrounded by a culture that put money first.

- Jesus said, “One’s life does not consist in the abundance of your possessions.” He said, “Be on guard against greed.”

- He’s standing radically against the materialistic culture we live in.

- Another example: what you do is what matters.

- Jesus said, “If you lust after a woman in your heart, you’ve committed adultery.”

- Another example: get revenge.

- Jesus said, “Forgive your enemy.” Jesus said, “Pray for the one who hurts you.”

- Another example: spending your money.

- Jesus said, “Store up treasures in heaven.”

- Another example: denying yourself something good.

- Jesus said, “When you fast. . .”

- Over and over, as you actually read Jesus’ teaching, He’s pointing us to a radically different path than business as usual.

- The word “repent,” which Jesus used quite a bit, means to turn 180 degrees from the direction you were going.

- We like to think of holding onto both our old life and Christ.

- We want to feel safe and secure because we have Jesus in our heart without having to really change much in our life.

- Jesus calls for a choice.

- If you didn’t need a change in direction, then why do we call it “being saved”?

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Eara Roberts

commented on Nov 30, 2017

GM, I was studing and ask a question and I chose your words of encouragement which helped me in my area of slothfulness. Thank you for a timely word, meant for me today. I've repented and recieve His restoration. Now I must continue to daily studying, praying, but most of all...I GOT to push that plate back. God truly have been good to me. I remember when I use to be dedicated to studying the Word of God. Being in his presence was so awesome, I allowed the Holy Spirit to do what was needed in and through me to give God glory.

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