Not a Fan Series – Message #1 – LWCC09162012
September 16, 2012
(REMEMBER OUR WEDNESDAY SMALL GROUP STUDY)
Discuss the Children’s Game: Follow the Leader
· The expectation is that whatever the leader does, the followers will do as well
· It’s such a simple thing, and children get it and do it and enjoy it.
· However, as adults in church we don’t seem to have the same mind-set
Discuss the command: “Go, clean your room.”
· The AWANA Child returns: “Dad, I am so excited! I have memorized your command to clean my room! Isn’t that so awesome!”
· The Seminary Child returns: “Dad, I have learned to read and say your command in both Greek and Hebrew! Is that cool? Do you wanna hear it?”
· The Church Child returns: “Dad, I have started a small group to study your command to clean the room. We’re going to meet for several weeks so we can fully understand what you are asking in the context in which you are asking.”
QUESTION: Does the room ever get clean? Is the COMMAND ever followed?
Then there is this possible scenario:
· The Cooperative Program Child returns: “Dad, I have given our neighbor , Sam, some money and he’s going to clean my room instead of me.”
So the room is cleaned, but the one to whom the command is given still has not obeyed the giver of the command.
Now Consider Some of Jesus’ Commands:
- · Jesus commands us: “Be born again.” (John 3.7)
- · Jesus commands us: “Seek FIRST God and His righteousness” (Matt. 6.33)
- · Jesus commands us: “Pray always” (Luke 21.36)
- · Jesus commands us: “Let your light shine before men” (Matt. 5.16)
- · Jesus commands us: “Worship the Father in spirit and truth” (John 4.23-24)
- · Jesus commands us: “Love your neighbor” (Matt. 19.17-19)
- · Jesus command us: “Go, make disciples…” (Matt. 28.19-20)
And are we responding as the child in our illustration? We are doing something, but we are not doing what was commanded. We have all the appearance of obedience without really obeying.
23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
Picking Apart Luke 9.23
· IF – indicates that there is a choice to be made (presupposes a “then” follow-up)
· ANYONE – includes everyone who would make the choice
· WANTS TO – the choice is born from deep desire, not a surface appearance
· FOLLOW/COME – Go where I am going…Do what I am doing…Be like me
· WITH ME – Promise of Jesus’ presence. He is WITH us as we are WITH Him
· HE MUST/LET HIM – No option here. No plan B…These are the conditions
· DENY HIMSELF – The first thing is not the ME THINGS…it’s the HIM things
· TAKE UP HIS CROSS – For each person this will be unique and personal
· DAILY – Every day we make a choice, and each day the choice should be Jesus
· FOLLOW ME – Go where1 I go and do what I do the way that I do it
FOLLOWING IS A CHOICE
· EVERYONE Chooses
o Like in Salvation: Everyone Chooses, but not everyone chooses Christ
o Everyone Chooses, but not everyone chooses to be a committed follower.
· The options
o Choose to be a fan…surface level disciple
o Choose to be a follower…deeply committed disciple
· The Outcome
o Following Christ isn’t a promise of ease and prosperity
o Following Christ is a promise of presence and purpose
FOLLOWING IS A COMMITMENT
· Jesus says that whoever would follow Him “Must…”
o What are some things we are told we must do in life?
o What are the consequences is we don’t do those must-do things?
o Following is a Choice, but IF we choose to follow…then we MUST…
FOLLOWING IS A COURSE
· Like Directions from a GPS, we follow where we are lead.
- Me: “There’s no camp-ground here.”
- Andie: “I told you we passed it back there.”
- She was right AGAIN
· Unlike the Directions from a GPS, Jesus is totally trustworthy.
o In My Life this has Meant…
- Following to Vermont
- Following back to New York
- Following to West Virginia (where I really started following)
- Following to Florida (where I never wanted to go)
- Following to Alabama (where I never thought I’d go)
- Following deeper into Florida (where I never knew existed)
- Following back to Vermont (where I wasn’t sure I would ever return)
Finding the Course Involves Investment
Jeremiah 6:16 (HCSB)
16 This is what the Lord says: STAND by the roadways and LOOK. ASK about the ancient paths: Which is the way to what is good? Then TAKE IT and find rest for yourselves.
- Time spent in Prayer…ask for directions
- Time spent in Bible…consult the Atlas
- Time spent in Worship…look to the hills, that’s where your help is
- Time spent in Fellowship…talk to the fellow travelers
- Time spent in Reflection…where you’ve been…where you’re going
Oh, there is an Alternative:
· Jeremiah 6.16 continues: BUT they protested: We won’t!
· The Result of this decision:
o Jeremiah 6.19: Listen, earth! I am about to bring DISASTER on these people, the fruit of their own plotting, for they have paid no attention to My word. They have rejected My instruction
· Make the Choice – become a follower of Christ
· Get Committed – be ready to go the distance with Jesus
· Follow the Course – Jesus has the perfect plan for your life, follow Him
to be continued…
(Next Sunday: “Nick at Night: Moving From Fan to Follower”)