Summary: Sermon Preached in April 2000 as part of our discipleship focus month.
Text: Luke 9:23-24
Theme: When Talk Just Is Not Enough
Luke 9:23-24 Then he said to all, "Anyone who wants to follow me must put aside his own desires and conveniences and carry his cross with him every day and keep close to me! 24Whoever loses his life for my sake will save it, but whoever insists on keeping his life will lose it;
Many of us want God to work mightily through us. We want God to accomplish great things through our lives. Some even pray " God use me for your glory" Unfortunately, many of us have no idea what we ask. If God must use my life He must have my life. If God must have my life, my life must be adjusted to His way of living; to His way of thinking; to his way of being. I must make all the adjustments. Once the adjustments are made, God can use me to accomplish his purposes through me.
Last week we discussed the first of two turning points necessary in order to do the will of God.
1. To believe that what God says, he will do.
2. A call to action. Action involves making adjustments.
John 8:31 Jesus said to them, "You are truly my disciples if you live as I tell you to,
Once we adjust, we are now in a position to obey. Adjustment simply prepares you for obedience. You cannot stay where you are, and go with God at the same time.
Noah could not continue life as usual and build an ark at the same time.
Abraham could not stay in Ur and father a nation in Canaan.
Moses could not stay and enjoy the comforts of the desert yet stand before Pharaoh at the same time.
David had to leave the sheep to become king.
Peter, Andrew, James and John all had to leave their positions as fishermen to follow Jesus.
Even Jesus had to make adjustments in order to follow His father’s will
2 Cor. 8:9 You know how full of love and kindness our Lord Jesus was: though he was so very rich, yet to help you he became so very poor, so that by being poor he could make you rich.
I. The Rich young ruler refused to adjust
Luke 18:18-27 Once a Jewish religious leader asked him this question: "Good sir, what shall I do to get to heaven?" 19"Do you realize what you are saying when you call me ’good’?" Jesus asked him. "Only God is truly good, and no one else. 20"But as to your question, you know what the Ten Commandments say--don’t commit adultery, don’t murder, don’t steal, don’t lie, honor your parents, and so on." 21The man replied, "I’ve obeyed every one of these laws since I was a small child." 22"There is still one thing you lack," Jesus said. "Sell all you have and give the money to the poor--it will become treasure for you in heaven--and come, follow me." 23But when the man heard this he went sadly away, for he was very rich. 24Jesus watched him go and then said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God." 26Those who heard him say this exclaimed, "If it is that hard, how can anyone be saved?" 27He replied, "God can do what men can’t!"
The issue here was that this man made his money his god
His money and his wealth were more important to him.
So many today are willing to gamble with the most precious thing on earth, their souls. The attraction and the call of things so blind them and deafen them to the call of God.
Matthew 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
2 Peter 3:10 The day of the Lord is surely coming, as unexpectedly as a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the heavenly bodies will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be burned up.
Matthew 6:24 "You cannot serve two masters: God and money. For you will hate one and love the other, or else the other way around.
II. Elisha made the major adjustments.
1 Kings 19:19-21 So Elijah went and found Elisha who was plowing a field with eleven other teams ahead of him; he was at the end of the line with the last team. Elijah went over to him and threw his coat across his shoulders and walked away again. 20Elisha left the oxen standing there and ran after Elijah and said to him, "First let me go and say good-bye to my father and mother, and then I’ll go with you!" Elijah replied, "Go on back! Why all the excitement?" 21Elisha then returned to his oxen, killed them, and used wood from the plow to build a fire to roast their flesh. He passed around the meat to the other plowmen, and they all had a great feast. Then he went with Elijah, as his assistant.