Delivered on 5/28/17
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat: this is My body which is broken[b] for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
The Lord’s Supper not only looks back at Christ’s sacrifice and gives Him praise for His willing obedience to the Father, but also looks ahead to the day when we will see Him again and reign with Him in power.
We set aside time in America each year to remember some of the important dates of our history. Tomorrow is one of those days: Memorial Day. On May 30, 1868, our country observed the first day memorializing those who had fallen in battle during the Civil War. It was called “Decoration Day” at that time. In the few short years following the Civil War dozens of local observances honoring fallen Civil War soldiers had sprung up in communities across the country. Most were done by decorating gravesites with flowers.
The term “Memorial Day” was first used in 1882 and the observances were expanded to include all who had been lost in the time of war. The day became more widely observed following World War II and was declared a national holiday in 1967. The National Holiday Act of 1971 moved the official observance of Memorial Day to the last Monday in May.
So, today… tomorrow in particular, thousands of Americans will make pilgrimages to cemeteries to remember loved ones lost and decorate graves with flowers. There are those who say that remembering should be a common spiritual exercise in the Christian life and in looking to the Word of God I would have to agree.
Time and again the people of God are exhorted and commanded to remember. More than once God has instituted memorials so His people would remember Him and what He has done. For example…
16 The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”
13 Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. 14 ‘So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.
The Stones From the Jordan River:
Joshua 4:2-3 to 7
2 “Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from every tribe, 3 and command them, saying, ‘Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood firm. You shall carry them over with you and leave them in the lodging place where you lodge tonight.’”
7 Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.”
And of course, the Lords Supper, from our text. Numerous rituals and sacrifices, all given with the element of remembrance.
Memorial Day is a day that we set aside to remember the price that was paid for our Freedom here in the United States. It has been set aside for those men and women who have given their lives for this country. It’s a day for us to remember the price that these men and women paid for our freedom. They died for our country so that we can have the freedom to live, freedom to make our own decisions, and most importantly, freedom to worship.
Tomorrow as we celebrate Memorial Day I want us to remember more than just those soldiers I want tomorrow to also be a reminder of what Jesus did for us. The Greatest Hero, who made the ultimate sacrifice. I want it tomorrow to be a reminder to us of the cost of freedom for our Christian life. If you are free from sin today it’s because a Man named Jesus became one of us and gave His life so we could have ours spared.
If you are saved, you owe it to your Lord to give Him glory and praise for what He did for you. If you are not, cry out to God for mercy, and be saved. Make today, a day you will remember.
Don’t take for granted the great salvation that we have today!
36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
If you were to look up the word Memorial we would see that it means, an object being placed to serve as a memory of something, usually a person or an event. Church this afternoon, I would like for us to leave here, understanding… when God sent His son Jesus. Jesus became that Memorial for us. “This do in remembrance of Me”
Jesus’ life here, on this earth serves as a memory to us of how much God loved us and that memory of the life of Jesus does 3 things that we should never forget.
The life of Jesus, reminds us of the past. This Memorial Day you and I need to remember what Jesus did for us over 2000 years ago. He left His home in heaven to come and live on this earth just so He could suffer and die a cruel death on the cross so that you and I could have eternal life. So that you and I could have a way to get into heaven. Because without Him there is no other way into the gates of Heaven. This Memorial Day should remind us what Jesus did for us in the past, which was dying in our place. He took upon Himself our punishment.
It’s a shame how many live their lives today when it comes to God. Sadly…many have forgotten about God. As if He never existed. Many often live their lives, as if He is not worthy to be praised. This is one of the main reasons why the lost have no need for our God. Many don’t want to go to hell…they want to be saved, and that has become the main focus. Many has forgotten the One who made the sacrifice. The Father, who gave His only begotten Son.
Take the Israelites for example, remember what God had done for them by delivering them from Pharoah. However, later… on the Israelites had forgotten what God had done for them and they began to live as if God was dead.
The Israelites began to live as the gentiles and when they began to forget how great their God was and what He had done for them they began serving false gods. Often just as we do. Many of us have begun to live like the world and for the world and we have forgotten what Jesus Christ did for us. No different from the Israelites.
Every time we come to church to worship, or read our Bible or pray we need to remember how lost we were and how the Lord saved us. And if we do that… then it won’t be so hard to praise Him and to live for Him, each and everyday. “This do in remembrance of Me”
Secondly… the life of Jesus reminds us of the reward for the present. If Jesus had not done what He did in the past we would have no present.
Without Jesus dying on the cross over 2000 years ago there would be no salvation for you & I today. There would be no forgiveness of sin for you & I today. Without any past there would be no present. When we begin to look back on what Jesus did for us, how Jesus died to set us free, it’s then that we begin to gain courage and faith to trust Him for today’s needs.
Church…it is now and has always been the time to believe that we serve the same God as Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Peter, James, Paul and John and just as God led, guided and directed them in their days He will do the same for us if we just seek and trust Him.
Our God isn’t some weakling that can’t come through for us. He is the I Am, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Savior, Author and finisher of our faith, the chief Cornerstone, the Almighty, the everlasting Father, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Anchor and last, but not least, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. God will now and always come through for us if you and I will just seek and trust in Him.
The reason so many of us live so defeated in the present, the here and now, is because we fail to remember the past. In our passage of scripture this ceremony, the Lord’s Supper, was set aside by God himself to remind us of how AWESOME our God is and How much God loved us.
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
In my opinion, there are too many “Just In Case Christians” in churches today. They go to church just in case the preacher is right so they will have something to tell God one day when they stand before the judgment seat. Church… listen to me it’s a privilege and an honor for you and I to worship and praise and serve our God and the day that it becomes a job and pain is the day you need to find a God you will serve. DON’T SERVE HIM BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO! SERVE HIM BECAUSE YOU LONG TO… BECAUSE YOU WANT TO, BECAUSE YOU WERE CHOSEN TO. Because of what Jesus has done for us in the past, it makes our present… the here and now worth living.
Thirdly, His life reminds us of his promises. Need I remind you, that Jesus didn’t just go through all that suffering, nor did He die on the cross to save us, and just to leave us to fend for ourselves for the rest of our lives! The death and resurrection of Jesus was His promise to us that He will never leave us nor forsake us.
The death and resurrection of Jesus promised us that if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins. He is not a liar., His death, His forgiveness, is for all eternity.
29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
Did we forget, to Whom we belong to? “this do in remembrance of Me”. And the list of promises keeps going and going and going and because God has made so many promises to us we often need a memorial to remind us of those promises that God has made. That memorial is this book right here called The Bible. You want a Memorial Day? open the Bible everyday. “this do in remembrance of Me”. Remember Me, everyday!!! ( Jesus )
When you pray and read your Bible let it be a reminder to you of what your God did for you as well as what God can and will continue to do for you. Let it be a reminder to you of all the promises that God made for His children. Don’t take His pain for granted. Don’t take His sacrifice for granted. Don’t forget His promises. SERVE HIM WITH ALL YOU HAVE. HE IS WORTH SERVING, ESPECIALLY AFTER ALL HE HAS DONE!!!
Both freedom and life never comes without a price. The blood of many fine soldiers paid for the freedom that we have today, just as the blood of the tiny lamb of the Passover paid for the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israelites. A price has to be paid for freedom and life, and that price is the death of another. Jesus had to die, in order that we may live.
Our country’s soldiers died that we might have a life of freedom, and Jesus died that we might have life eternal. In the story of the Passover, the blood of a lamb was marked on the doorposts and this caused the destroyer to pass over the households that were marked, thus granting them life. This represented the cross of Jesus Christ upon which the very Lamb of God would give his own life that we might live forever in God’s kingdom.
13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
Jesus paid for our spiritual freedom and gave us a crown in heaven when he died on the cross. There is no freedom without the shedding of blood. We should never forget our many soldiers who died for our freedom here in America, and most importantly we must never forget our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave his own life on a cross that we might have eternal life.
“THIS DO IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME”
Our last verse for this evening…REMEMBER!!!
10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
Delivered on 5/21/17
44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
Due to the corruption that human beings inherit by virtue of the original sin, all people, except Jesus, who was not born in Adam, are born with a moral inability to receive the Gospel faith.
This inability must be overcome by the Holy Spirit in His work of regeneration. Since the fall, human beings born in Adam are inclined against the things of God, and they will not and cannot place saving faith in the Gospel message unless the Lord Jesus first changes their hearts. God must give fallen people the ability to believe, and He does that only by His Will.
15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.”
This afternoon, we will look into the life of a well-known tax collector named, Zacchaeus.
Zacchaeus was no common tax collector, he was the boss, the head tax collector. Here we see a sinner who was curious to know…who is this Jesus Christ? Why are so many people following Him?
Was it in his best interest to know who Jesus is? Or was Zacchaeus being drawn to Jesus?
Let’s read the story, shall we…
19 Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 6 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. 7 But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” 8 Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
“fourfold”, meaning four times. “I will restore four times the amount.”
As you recall… if you are familiar with the story? When Jesus was approaching Jericho, he had an encounter with a blind man named Bartimaeus, a poor beggar from the lowest social class. Now, as we look at Luke 19:1, we see that Jesus is passing through Jericho on his final trip to Jerusalem, and comes in contact with Zacchaeus, a very wealthy government man, Chief tax collector!
From our text, let us look at three major facts.
1: A lost sinner 2: A Savior 3: Salvation
Let’s break down these passage, and look at each category:
19 Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way.
In verse two, we see that Zacchaeus was a man of some importance. His name in Hebrew means, “pure and righteous,” but he was not thought of as being anywhere close to righteous because of the job he had. As a tax collector, he worked for Rome and was considered a traitor by the Jewish people. The fact that he worked for the Roman IRS indicated to others that he was more interested in money than anything else.
Zacchaeus was more than just an IRS agent. He was a “chief” tax collector. He was incharge of all the agents and was able to take a “cut” of commission from those who collected taxes for him. He stood on top of the collection pyramid, stuffing his pockets with shekels before he sent the required taxes to Rome. If Rome charged a 5% tax, Zacchaeus may have collected 10% from the people. Because of that…from the last part of verse 2, he was wealthy.
Zacchaeus was a renegade in the eyes of the religious people. He would have been thought of as a high-level drug dealer today. In fact, in the minds of the people, tax collectors were often linked with murderers, adulterers, thieves, and other sinners. He was rich at the expense of others.
In verse 3 we notice that while Zacchaeus is a very wealthy and successful man, by the world’s standards, he knew something was missing. Even people today, if they are honest, will eventually admit that there’s more to life than just trying to make money and obtain possessions.
In our mindset, we think that the rich have it all. If their car breaks down, just buy a new one. They’ve grown tired of their house. Buy another one. Anything money can buy, they can, and will.
Do you remember a famous actor named Robin Williams? He was well known, great actor, one of my favorite, made everyone laugh, puts a smile on everyone’s face. Of-course…since he was famous, he was also rich! He can buy anything, except happiness, contentment, and more importantly…Jesus ( Salvation )
Robin Williams died by hanging himself in his home. Toxicology reports reveal antidepressants, caffeine, and levodopa, a drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease. Battled depression for many years. A man who can make us laugh, but deep inside he was miserable. Something was missing…or Someone was missing. I guess it’s true…money can’t buy happiness!
Anyway… Zacchaeus wanted to see who Jesus was. He wanted to figure out what it was that made Jesus different from everyone else. He was drawn to this Man who had just given sight to the blind beggar on the outskirts of Jericho. Now this healer was walking through his town. He may not have fully understood what was going on in his heart, but Zacchaeus had a desperate need to get to Jesus. He probably couldn’t even explain what drew him to see who Jesus was.
Zacchaeus just knew in his heart that he needed to see Jesus, and nothing…not the crowd was going to stop him.
Zacchaeus had at least two problems that day. The first was that he was a short man. I can relate, I hate going to concerts, and end up sitting behind a man who’s six feet tall. Great! I paid $30 dollars to see the back of his head. Or even in the movies, that’s why we always go to Imax, it doesn’t matter how big the person is in front of you… you’ll still get to see the movie clearly.
Zacchaeus was probably bouncing up and down on his tippy toes, trying to see above the taller guys in front of him. With all the crowds pressing in, there was no way for him to get close enough to Jesus. Everyone there had one goal, and that is to see Jesus.
His second problem was spiritual his sins were keeping him from Jesus…
But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.
Not only was Zacchaeus of short stature, he…like us, was not able to measure up to God’s standards. He came up short in a spiritual sense of ever entering into a relationship with God. He was short on integrity and tall on sin. A lot like you and I at one point!
Again… Zacchaeus was drawn…he was in Gods mission. God had a hold on Zacchaeus, and he could not fight it. Zacchaeus may be short, but he was smart, resourceful, and fast. Look at what he does…
4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way.
Zacchaeus was short, but he wasn’t slow! He ran ahead of the crowd, looking for a way that he could see Jesus. This picture is a bit funny, isn’t it? First of all, it would have been considered undignified for a rich man to run. Secondly, I don’t know about you, but it seems funny to me that this wealthy man would climb up a tree to see Jesus.
He probably snagged his cloak on some branches but it didn’t slow him down. Maybe he fell a couple times. ( No shoes, just sandals ) He was determined to see Jesus and didn’t care what others thought of his running or his climbing. Zacchaeus, wanted Jesus, and Jesus wanted him.
Zachaeus did not allow anything, not the crowd or his condition, to stand between him and his desire to see the Lord Jesus. What about you? Do you care enough about the condition of your soul to pay whatever price is necessary to be right with God? Are you willing to turn from that little pet sin? Are you ready to walk away from the crowd, in order to see Jesus? Are you ready to run to Him?
Now…let us look at The Savior, Our Lord Jesus Christ. This is it!!! The sinner meets his Savior. In our minds, we think it’s just Zacchaeus that’s doing the searching. Jesus was also looking for him…
5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”
Jesus took note of Zacchaeus, although we are not told why. He stopped, looked up, called him by name, was there another account that they met before? Jesus called him by name! And told him that He must come to his house. Again…we see that while Jesus was on His way toward the Cross, he stops and ministers to a searching sinner. He knew where Zacchaeus was because He knew all about him and He was filled with compassion toward him.
This is how it always happens. Jesus makes the first move by coming to the dead sinner and offering life through Himself. We would never be able to come to Jesus unless we were drawn to Him first. “You did not choose Me, but I chose you”. ( John 15:16 ) And again, from our opening verse, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (John 6:44)
He then gives Zacchaeus a two-fold command. “Make haste and come down”.Get out of the tree, Zacchaeus. Right now. “for today, I must stay at your house” There’s always a sense of urgency about following Christ.
2 Corinthians 6:2
2 For He says:
“In an acceptable time, I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.”
Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
Can you imagine, what must have been going through the minds of those who were walking with Jesus that day? How did Jesus know his name? Why did Jesus stop under that tree? Why did Jesus want this sinner to come down right away? Why Zacchaeus?
Why did Jesus express the necessity of going to the house of Zacchaeus? Why the “must”? The Pharisees and religious leaders would say that because Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector he was a “sinner.” Such a person should never be invited to your home.
Notice that Jesus invited Himself to dinner! This is the only instance in the 4 Gospels where we read of Jesus inviting Himself to someone’s home for a meal. Jesus must stay at his house because it pictures what His ministry is all about. He came to save sinners from their sins.
Now… the sinner, meets the Savior, or the Savior calls the sinner. Salvation is here. Zacchaeus will stand before Jesus, and will come to realize his sins, and needs to be forgiven.
After Jesus calls to him, Zacchaeus didn’t waste any time getting out of that tree. He was noticed, he was recognized by the Savior.
6 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.
Zacchaeus didn’t waste any time getting out of the tree. Verse 6 tells us. He came down right away and welcomed Jesus joyfully and with great excitement. He got way more than he asked for… he just wanted to get a closer look at the Savior but now He was coming over for dinner! He was overwhelmed with joy! All the hard work of jumping up and down, running, climbing a tree, Zacchaeus was now in the presence of Jesus.
Of course, when someone gets saved, opposition comes along with it. Jealousy, confusion, why Zacchaeus, his a chief tax collector, a sinner, why him?
7 But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”
The crowd was confused about why Jesus was even talking to Zacchaeus, they now complain, when they figure out that Jesus has invited himself to dinner at Zacchaeus’s house. Notice that it wasn’t just some of the crowd. The text say’s “they all saw it, they all complained”. It may have even included the disciples. Keep in mind, many were following Jesus at this point.
Since we have just read the story, and know the story, do we also respond in a similar way?
What I mean is, if we were there…keep in mind we’re all sinners saved by grace. If we were in that same crowd, and Jesus called out someone from the Catholic faith to come, how would we feel. Or someone from a Pentecostal church, Seventh day, Presbyterian church and so on. Will we also feel the same way? I mean to their belief they also will go to heaven, will receive forgiveness.
Let’s be honest here, every church that I had just mentioned, our church included thinks were right. Our belief is right, theirs is wrong. To them, their right, we’re wrong. But one thing remains to be true. Only Jesus can save. We cannot decide who that will be. That’s how the crowd looked at Zacchaeus, even the disciples. Why him? Why me? Why you?
Let’s continue with the story, Zacchaeus will now see who he really is. Zacchaeus was greatly impacted by the call on his life. Because of what he is about to say, I think we can safely conclude that Zacchaeus was converted during that visit. He knew he was a sinner and had come to the Savior for salvation. His conversion is clear because of the life-change we see.
8 Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”
Luke 19:8 (NIV)
8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
Zacchaeus was not trying to negotiate a contract with Jesus or just trying to slide by the sins that he has committed. He was fully sold out to Christ. Zacchaeus was standing in front of Perfection. He knew who he was, and what he has done. Jesus had changed his heart and now he wanted to demonstrate that change through his actions. His decision was voluntary and flowed out of a heart of gratitude for what Christ had done for him. Whenever Jesus meets someone there is change. If you’ve never changed, it may be because you haven’t truly been saved. Change is the proof of a saved…forgiven life. Not what church you go to.
Zacchaeus, basically stood in front of everybody, called Jesus Lord! “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” That is the voice of one who wants to repent!
Zacchaeus public confession shows the sincerity of his repentance and was his way of living out Romans 10:10…
10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
As part of his repentance, Zacchaeus wants to right his wrong. Biblical repentance always goes hand-in-hand with restitution because conversion is a radical life-changing event. He’s now a different man, a changed man, so he declares that he will give half of his possessions to the poor and will make restitution at four times the amount he swindled. The man who had felt small his whole life, and had treated others as if they were small, suddenly becomes a “big” man.
The mark of Zacchaeus transformation and conversion was his staggering generosity. He learned the truth quickly that it is impossible to serve both God and money. Before he met Jesus his money was everything to him. After his conversion, money, possession took a back seat and became something to be given away.
Albert Schweitzer, A Lutheran, French-German Theologian once said…
“If you own something that you cannot give away, then you don’t own it, it owns you.”
( Add To Powerpoint )
Zacchaeus recognized his sins, and was willing to let them go. He was forgiven, he didn’t want to hold on to the thing that made him sin. He was a changed man! He knew who he was, the sins he committed, he knew Who this person was, that was standing in front of him, (Jesus) and He was forgiven, SAVED!
9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
The mission of Jesus is very clear: He came to seek and save what was lost. Jesus is still on a search and save mission. He is seeking out people who need to be saved. If you’ve never been saved from your sins, you need to know that Jesus is pursuing you even if you are not pursuing Him. He wants to have a relationship with you. If you have been saved, and you’re still holding on to your sins, be like Zacchaeus and let it go. That is how you will know that you’ve truly been saved. Continue to be changed, don’t keep holding on to your sins, Christ died for you, to save you!
From the story of Zacchaeus, we can see four things that he went through that may have an impact in our lives today.
1: He was curious. He wanted to know who Jesus was.
2: He considered the claims about Jesus to be true. He was drawn to Jesus.
3: He was converted, He saw his sins, and the Savior saved, and forgave him.
4: His life radically changed, and redirected by the Savior.
We all go through these, at one point or another. That’s why Jesus came, to seek, to save, to forgive, to change your life, my life, and make it new. Is Jesus living within you or do you just let Him visit once in a while? If He has taken up residence, have you been denying Him access to some of the areas in your life? Or are you fully surrendered? It’s hard, I know, but it has to start somewhere, and needs to continue. Going back is not an option.
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
God decides, God chooses, and those He chose, He bought by the blood of His Son.
Delivered on 5/14/17
Ministry Of Motherhood
Proverbs 31:10-12 = 25-31
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
The term “mother” is indicative of one who is more than merely a parent. In fact, “The most common among women is that having children makes one a mother—which is as absurd as believing that having a piano makes one a musician”.
That’s because it takes a special kind of woman to be what the Bible defines as a mother. As we have just read from our text. A biblical description of a wife, and a mother.
The biblical word translated “mother” is the Hebrew word “AME” (pronounced “ah-may”), and means, “the bond of the family”. The word also signifies a force that strengthens and holds things together. Though I don’t wish to diminish the importance of the father’s role in the family, I think we must confess today, that mom is really the glue that holds the family together. We acknowledge that fact far too seldom.
It is without question that mothers are a special gift from God. We would do well to recognize that reality. Some of our most famous American leaders recognized the value of their mothers.
“My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her” (George Washington).
“By the blessings of heaven I mean to live and die, please God, in the faith of my mother” (William McKinley).
“From my mother I learned the value of prayer, how to have dreams and believe I could make them come true” (Ronald Reagan).
“Mothers are central to the success of the American family. Their love, dedication, and wisdom touch countless lives every day in every community throughout our land. And their love and guidance of children help to develop healthy and spiritually sound families.
President John Quincy Adams once said, “All that I am my mother made me.” President Abraham Lincoln believed, “All that I am or hope to be I owe to my angel mother. I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”
( George W. Bush )
( ADD TO POWERPOINT )
As we celebrate the gift of mothers today, I want to point out some of the qualities that make them so special. Let’s examine them together shall we…
Let us first look at what it means to love, the biblical definition of love. This is not just for the mothers, but it is safe to say that they carry these in their hearts when it comes to their children.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13, is probably the most widely quoted passage in the world. We recognize that Jesus demonstrated sacrificial love for us by dying for our sins, making possible our forgiveness and restoring our fellowship with our Heavenly Father.
Yet… at times we often fail to realize that Christ’s love goes even beyond the cross. Everything that we do, or don’t do, face, or don’t face is touched by His continuing love. Everything about us hinges on love because God… who is love created us in His image. Because of His great love, and we feel this love that comes from above. We can now share them with others.
Dad’s, kids… I am sure that everything that is written in that verse has been displayed by your wife…by your mom! Add the word mom on each sentence. “my mom is patient, my mom is kind, my mom does not envy, and so on.
The last part of the verse… “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres”.
Mom’s and Dad’s should always protect their children no matter what. A Christian mom, and dad has learned that sacrificial love from above. They would give their life for their children, no matter what the cost!
For example… You remember this story of a king who requested wisdom? ( King Solomon )
1 Kings 3:23-27
23 The king said, “This one says, ‘My son is alive and your son is dead,’ while that one says, ‘No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.’”
24 Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king. 25 He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.”
26 The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved out of love for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!”
But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!”
27 Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother.”
This is an example of a God given love…sacrificial love. A God given love for her child. That kind of love often moves her to do some pretty heroic things in order to protect them.
About 6:00 A.M. on a Wednesday morning James Lawson of Running Springs, California (in the San Bernardino mountains) left home to apply for a job. About an hour later his thirty-six-year-old wife, Patsy left for her fifth grade teaching job down the mountain in Riverside, accompanied by her two children, five-year-old Susan and two-year-old Gerald, to be dropped off at the babysitter’s. Unfortunately, they never got that far. Eight and a half hours later the man found his wife and daughter dead in their wrecked car, upside down in a cold mountain stream. His two-year-old son was just barely alive in the forty-eight degree water. But in that death the character of a mother was revealed in a most dramatic and heart-rending way. For when the father scrambled down the cliff to what he was sure were the cries of his dying wife, he found her locked in death, holding her little boy’s head just above water in the submerged car. For eight and a half hours Patsy Lawson had held her beloved toddler afloat and had finally died, her body almost frozen in death in that position of self-giving love, holding her baby up to breathe. She died that another might live. That’s the essence of a mother’s love.
A mothers love also provides for her children…
Proverbs 31:14-15 = 27
14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Someone has said, “A mother is a person who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie”
Funny thing about moms: They may do without, but their kids won’t, if they can help it. Moms will often go until they can’t go anymore. When that happens, the rest of the family seems to be helpless. Moms are strong, powerful, especially when they need to be. God made them that way. Especially in those times when the dads are not doing their part in the household. Sadly… that is now true in the times that we live in. The fathers forget that they are the leaders of the household.
That is when moms…become supermoms! They do job that the fathers fail to do.
A fifteen-year-old boy came bounding into the house and found his mom in bed. He asked if she were sick or something. He was truly concerned. Mom replied that, as a matter of fact, she didn’t feel too well. The son replied, “Well, don’t worry a bit about dinner. I’ll be happy to carry you down to the stove.
Another example of a mother’s love for her child…
22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”
23 But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.”24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”
26 But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”27 And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
I just really love seeing those words, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! If ever you are going through some storms in life, that is the perfect cry for help. “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David!
Anyway… A mama knows her children. She knows their strengths and their weaknesses. When their children have a problem, if they can fix it, they will, even if it means doing it themselves.
Let me ask you a question, who do you think is better, Thomas Edison or his mom?
If you are not familiar with who Thomas Edison is… he invented many things that we, because of him are still using today. He invented the phonograph, it’s a recording device for sounds. The lightbulb. Motion picture cameras and so on… So, who do you think is smarter, Thomas A. Edison, or his mom?
When he was a young lad his teacher sent him home with a note which said, “Your child is dumb. We can’t do anything for him.” Mrs. Edison wrote back, “You do not understand my boy. I will teach him myself.” And she did, with results that are well known today. (POWERPOINT)
Thomas A. Edison, became a well- known inventor with the help and guidance of his mom.
A mother will always want what’s best for her child…
20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him. 21 And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to Him, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.” 22 But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”
They said to Him, “We are able.”
23 So He said to them, “You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father.”
A simple mom request, right? To sit beside Jesus… she had to try, she was proud of her sons. Her sons were called by God, why wouldn’t she make such a request. A mom’s concern is for her child. She wants what is best for them. Sometimes they may take it a little too far, but you have to give them credit for good intentions. It’s kind of like this mom.
A letter to the college president:
My son has been accepted for admission to your college and soon he will be leaving me. I am writing to ask that you give your personal attention to the selection of his roommate. I want to be sure that his roommate is not the kind of person who uses foul language, or tells off-color jokes, smokes, drinks, or chases after girls.
I hope you will understand why I am appealing to you directly. You see, this is the first time my son will be away from home, except for his three years in the Marine Corps.”
Three years in the Marine Corps, and she’s worried about his roommates.
A mom will always be a mom, regardless of how old, how mature their children are.
The best moms are the ones that will always tell their children…talk to them…teach them about Jesus Christ.
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Again… this a job for both moms and dads. But if you are a single mom, this is still a command for your children. Scripture has a lot of single moms who trained their children in following the commands of the Lord. Here’s an example:
2 Timothy 1:5
when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.
2 Timothy 3:14
14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Timothy learned about salvation and living for God from a godly mother and grandmother. Mom’s don’t neglect your children’s spiritual life when it comes to training. Your influence is greater than you can imagine. Sir Winston Churchill once said, “If we want to change our nation, begin by enlisting the mothers.” Sadly… Sir Winston Churchill’s comment can be true. Some of the men in household of faith forget, or neglect their spiritual duties to their family. Single moms, I applaud you… you are doing the work of two.
The One Who Follows Me.
A careful mother I ought to be, A little one is following me.
I do not dare to go astray, For fear she’ll go the selfsame way.
I cannot once escape her eyes, Whatever she sees me do, she tries.
Like me she says she’s going to be, That little one who follows me.
She thinks that I am good and fine, Believes in every word of mine.
The base in me she must not see, That little one who follows me.
I must remember as I go, Through summer’s sun and winter’s snow
I am building for the years to be. That little one who follows me.
Mothers, part of your job is to instill a respect for the Bible, another responsibility is to instill an authentic faith. But these two elements are only preliminary for the most important job you have of instilling within your children a desire to minister. Our kids are to learn the Bible and grow in their faith so that they can become difference-makers in their world. So, they can share their faith with others. So, they can minister in the church and in their school. So, they can serve those who are hurting. So, they can identify their spiritual gifts and use them on a regular basis. The truth of the matter is this, we are saved in order to serve. We are to be disciples so that we can disciple others. And that all starts at home.
A command from the Lord!
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise-up.
Moms… it is never too early to start teaching the Bible to your children and, it’s never too late to start if you haven’t already. There is nothing that can replace your role in your child’s life. God wants to use you to instill within your children a respect for the Bible. I know for a fact that the moms…and dads of the Fil-Am church reads their Bibles. Or a devotional. Now, how hard is it to share what you have read to your children?
I would like to end this message with another poem, written for moms:
Your love, I know—I’ve seen your tears; You’ve given to me my life.
You’ve walked through hours and days and years, of heartache, toil and strife. To see that I could have the best. That you could give to me, You gave up needs and often rest, You viewed eternity.
To do His will my highest call. And by your special care.
I stood and walked and did not fall, You held me up in prayer.
Though strands of gray may brush your hair, And miles divide our way,
I know that by your quiet prayer. You’ve helped me day by day.
You’ve shown me how to give, to share. To put my own needs last. You’ve helped me see and be aware. That life is so soon past.
To spite your love I would not dare, For there’s not another
Who spreads her gentle love and care…Like you, My Loving Mother.
Have all the moms stand:
On behalf of all the men…dads, children of the Fil-Am Baptist Mission Church. We applaud you moms today. Happy mothers day!
Proverbs 31:30 says that, “a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” We praise God for these mothers who worship and adore the Lord and who pass this legacy on to their children.
delivered on 5/7//2017
Luke 9:57-62 The Cost Of Discipleship
57 Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”59 Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”61 And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.”
62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Oswald Chambers, (My Utmost for His Highest) explains self-denial as “Surrender for Devotion”: “The surrender here is of myself to Jesus, with His rest at the heart of my being. He says, ‘If you want to be My disciple, you must give up your right to yourself to Me.’ And once this is done, the remainder of your life will exhibit nothing but the evidence of this surrender, and you never need to be concerned again with what the future may hold for you. Whatever your circumstances may be, Jesus is totally sufficient”
After hearing the Gospel….receiving this new life in Christ, many still today refuse to surrender to the Lordship of Christ. Whenever we choose to disobey Christ, we get hurt, we get confused, we get frustrated of the outcome. From our text, a certain man refuses to surrender his life to Jesus for salvation. Till this day, there are some who claim to have given their life to Christ, but refuse to surrender to Jesus’ direction in their lives, some still want some control in their lives.
A common phrase in the church today is “I am going to commit my life to Jesus”. You have heard it and I have said it! “Give your life to Jesus, Or who wants to receive Christ as their Savior?” Savior, but not Lord. Having Jesus as Lord means that we have to submit to His will. But when you really look at the words, ( commit, give, receive.) you will find that those words doesn’t go far enough. At times, it may not have any meaning, other than words being spoken.
Adrian Rogers, Pastor, televangelist, tells a story about a conversation he had with a man from Romania named “Josef T’son. They were talking about the difference between “Commitment” & “Surrender” T’son said, “When you make a commitment, you are still in control no matter how noble the thing you commit to. One can commit to pray, study the Bible, give his money, to make automobile payments, or to lose weight. Whatever he or she chooses to do, they commit to it. “Surrender is different. If someone holds a gun and asks you to lift your hands in the air as a token of surrender, you don’t tell that individual what you are committed to. You simply surrender and do as you are told.” But the key word is surrender. We are to be the slaves of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
So… if someone was to ask you, are committed to Jesus, or are you surrendered to Jesus? What would your answer be?
Let us see what we can learn from our text today, let us hear what Jesus has to say when it comes to those who wants to commit, but fail in surrender.
Submission to Jesus is a must. Look at verse 57-58. “Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
We see a certain wanting to make a commitment in following Jesus. It’s clear on what was said right? “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” Clear correct?
In Matthew’s account of this event we are told that this man was a Scribe…
19 Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.”
20 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
Same event correct! In Luke’s account, “someone said to Him”. Here on Matthew, “a certain scribe”. Same event, non the less. A scribe was a “teacher of religious law” This event takes place shortly after Peter’s Mother in Law was healed. After this we read that “That evening many demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. He cast out the evil spirits with a simple command, and he healed all the sick”
So… this scribe saw something in Jesus, he just witnessed God’s power through His Son. He is probably saying to himself, hmmm… I will follow this Man! It is possible that this “scribe” was among the great crowd that was with Jesus as He healed many. He comes to Jesus and says… “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” Keep in mind, you and I at one point or another, had said the very same thing,
Notice Jesus' reply - “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”
Jesus wasn’t turning this man away, He was explaining to him the “cost of being a disciple” He makes it clear to the scribe that there was more to following Jesus than meets the eye. It will take more than just mere words. Many time’s you will find many who get caught up in the excitement of others. They see God moving and great things happening and they want in on it! They need help and they think that Jesus is the answer… And of course we know that Jesus is the answer, but the problem is that many want to make a commitment instead of surrendering to Jesus.
Webster’s defines- “Surrender” as - the action of yielding one's person or giving up the possession of something especially into the power of another.
Surrender is illustrated in the actions of Simon, Andrew, James & John after Jesus called them to be His disciples:
16 And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 17 Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
19 When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets. 20 And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him.
Wow!!! Just like that, Jesus called, and they followed. No questions asked…Who are you Lord? Why should we follow You? We have never seen you before, why should we follow you? Again… no questions asked, they just followed, and obeyed! Their lives were changed forever, just by meeting Jesus.
They left their home, their family, their job, their life as they knew it to follow Christ. When Jesus calls your name you must SUBMIT to Him! You are to live a life of complete surrender to the Savior! James, John, Peter, Andrew, Matthew and the others did not begin following Jesus and then go back to their regular life. They didn’t go back to fishing or collecting taxes… they followed Jesus until the day they died for Jesus!!
What about you? Have you fully surrendered your life to Christ or have you made a half hearted commitment? Have you given your all to Jesus and followed Him faithfully Or did you walk His way for a while and then return to what you were before? Can we easily…also put our names there, where the Disciples names are mentioned? Point to the …(Powerpoint)
The biggest problem for many, when it comes to “Surrendering” to Jesus is that they are too concerned with the things of this world. At times following Jesus, may come with a condition…
59 Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”
The response is quite different from the Apostles, the apostles just dropped everything and followed Jesus. Here we see a different response. Jesus now offers a man the opportunity to “Follow Him”. What a great privilege this man received. The same words Jesus said to the Peter, James, John, Andrew, Matthew, Thomas, and others He said to follow Him. And Jesus is still calling men and women to “follow Him” today.
Jesus gave this man an invitation and the man wanted to accept it, but he had something that was important to him that he wanted to attend to. He said “Lord, let me go and bury my Father and then I am yours” This man’s Father was either dead or at the point of death. There was a custom for the Jew that if he had duty to perform concerning the dead he was exempt from any other responsibility or duty. We still do that today, whenever we have a family member that dies, what do we do? We ask for time off at work, and when it comes to death, they are willing to apply to the request. This may sound like an honorable request but the greater point is found in Jesus’ response to this man’s request.
Jesus is telling this man to let the spiritually dead bury the natural dead. Jesus is offering eternal life, would you take it, would you follow Him? And if you have, are you still totally surrendered today? What would hinder you from surrendering all to Jesus today?
Could it be that, there are still thing you would like to do, or accomplish? Maybe you are still happy with the way your life is now, and you are in no need of a savior.
Show Pic: Spurgeon Pic
There are some things in this life that we just want to accomplish. This applies to the saved and the lost. The problem is we will never “Surrender All” if we let our personal aspirations get between us and God. there are places you want to go. Things you want to see... goals you want to reach, and because of these things many refuse to surrender ALL to Christ! We like the idea of peace and joy and eternal life but we still want to live this life for ourselves… THAT IS NOT HOW IT WORKS!!
If it’s not about yourself, goals, accomplishment, places to see. Is it a family thing? (Obligations, traditions, and so on)
From our text, we can understand where this man is coming from. His father has passed away or close to death and he wanted to go and bury him. The problem is not that he wanted to bury his Father. The problem is that he was giving Jesus a postponed commitment instead of complete surrender! Wait-wait-wait, Lord, I just got to do this one thing, then I’m all yours.
So many people today put their family in front of Jesus. They can’t serve or honor their responsibilities in the church because their children have so much going on. They can’t do Kingdom work because they put their relationship with their spouse first before their relationship with Jesus! My mom and dad does not believe in Jesus that way, they’re more in tradition. Jesus makes it clear that if you are going to be His disciple your family CANNOT COME BETWEEN YOU AND HIM.
26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
I can’t go to church today, my husbands too tired. This is my only day, and I would like to spend it with my family. My son has a game today, I’ll see you next week. You name, it goes on and on.
Church…Jesus understands what situation you are in. If you have to leave town for a weekend, for whatever reason, He knows, He understands. If it’s work that is hindering you from church, let Him change your schedule…if that is really the desire of heart. If you are to make a mental calendar…in your head make a count, a tally if you will, on how many times in a year you were involved in God’s work, more than your personal life. (Career, job family) Keep in mind, we’re not just talking about Sunday’s here. You’re a Christian seven days a week.
If you have that answer in your head, then this is what God is saying to you today. (Poweroint)
Going back to our text. Is following Jesus…will it ruin your reputation, whatever it is? Will your friends and family think that you are weird, or think differently of you because you are following Jesus? I wonder if this man thought to himself “what will my friends and neighbors think if I don’t bury my father?” Too many people today are concerned with what the world is going to think about them if they get saved. Too many Christians are worried about what the world will think if they “Surrender All” to the Lord. If you seek to SURRENDER ALL to Jesus …This world, your family, your aspirations and desires cannot come before Jesus.
Listen to what the Apostle John had to say…
1 John 2:15-17
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
This is not just talking about Sundays here church! This is our everyday life. Do you still remember the joke that I always tell my wife whenever we go out of town? “Oooh, I’m gonna get drunk here, I’m gonna pig out, I’m not a pastor here, nobody knows me here, I won’t stumble anybody.” “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”. We’re called Christians where ever we go. Because it is God that made that call. This verse is for you and I, each and every day!
Eyes fixed on Jesus at all times. Kingdom mentality.
61 And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” 62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
After submitting to the Lord and denying the world then our lives will be Christ’s not our own. Remember what Paul said in…
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
“And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” This man gives Jesus a promise that came with some conditions. He say’s “Jesus I will follow you after I tell everyone goodbye” He wanted to set his affairs in order.
This is a common issue in the lives of many today… MISPLACED PRIORITIES!! Our priorities must be in order or we will never be where God wants us to be. We can never be used by God, until we come to the reality that we His.
So many lost people have the mindset that they will surrender to Jesus when they feel the time is right... when they finish sowing their wild oats...sort a say. After they have taken care of certain things or until they "clean themselves up". I have to clean up my life first, then I’ll go to Jesus. Newsflash!!! We cannot do that alone…not by ourselves. Jesus wants you…come as you are, and I will make you new! So many Christians fail to give their all because their priorities are NOT IN ORDER! Honestly… it will never be in order unless Jesus is first in your life.
When plowing, a farmer has to keep his eye on the work at hand. If he were to turn his eyes away, the field would be ruined instantly. This “looking back” that Jesus is speaking of refers to
Going back to our old selves, our old habits. A life focused on self rather than God. So many have put their hand to the plow and then turned and looked back. Lives were never made new. They were just going through the motion. I’m saved under my conditions!
From a devotion that I read about a Pastor named Bruce Larson tells…
How he helped people struggling to surrender their lives to Christ: For many years I worked in New York City and counseled at my office any number of people who were wrestling with this yes-or-no decision. Often I would suggest they walk with me from my office down to the RCA Building on Fifth Avenue. In the entrance of that building is a gigantic statue of Atlas, a beautifully proportioned man who, with all his muscles straining, is holding the world upon his shoulders.
There he is, the most powerfully built man in the world, and he can barely stand up under this burden. 'Now that's one way to live,' I would point out to my companion, 'trying to carry the world on your shoulders. But now come across the street with me.' "On the other side of Fifth Avenue is Saint Patrick's Cathedral, and there behind the high altar is a little shrine of the boy Jesus, perhaps eight or nine years old, and with no effort he is holding the world in one hand.
My point was illustrated graphically. "We have a choice. We can carry the world on our shoulders, or we can say, 'I give up, Lord; here's my life. I give you my world, the whole world.
Please… I am in no way promoting idolatry with these pictures. These were just the statues that Pastor Bruce Larson showed the people that he was trying to help.
The “Cost of Following Jesus”, will cost you your life. Not much else was mentioned in regards to our text. But Jesus is clear on what it would take, or what it will cost you! If you are here today, God is giving you that same command. “Follow Me”. The question is, will you drop everything like the Apostles and follow Him, or are you like the men in our text that still have conditions to deal with before they follow, and obey?
John 6:66-69 (NIV)
66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
It is not by accident that those who turned their backs on Jesus ended with that verse number.
They never belonged to Him! They have their priorities, and it was not Jesus!
Pastor Richard Santos
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