- Sermon Notes
BE A PERSON OF SPIRITUAL RESPONSIBILITY
Many careers in life offer a culture of “no excuses”.
Employers today have expanded their Employee Handbooks to include many of these zero tolerance behaviors.
As believers we already have our handbook – the Scriptures – so it should come as no surprise to us when Jesus speaks to our lifestyles, our conduct, our love for others and most importantly, our love for Him.
I haven’t found verses yet where being critical of others or complaining about my circumstances is acceptable. Or that the worldview offered provides joy and stability in my life.
So the story in Luke 9 is a personal application to us that following Jesus is the greatest blessing we could have in life.
Jesus is along the road on his way to Jerusalem -a deliberate Jesus who is looking for disciples on the way to the Cross.
He meets 3 men – each has an excuse as to why they couldn’t become disciples.
What excuses get in your way?
Luke 9:57 -62
I.The Shadow of the Cross
Background to vs. 51 and following – When the days drew near he set his face to go to Jerusalem.
On road to Jerusalem – crucifixion awaits him.
Issue paramount in His mind as He travels – “son of man” to be disposed by men…Disciples still can’t comprehend such – Peter even rebuked Him…
Matthew 16:21-24; From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.
Jesus is looking for disciples – those serious about following Him.
A. Disciples Wanted
Walking along the road – not a stroll – on his way to Jerusalem with shadow of the cross looming.
Not interested on this walk to attract casual Christians – Jesus was looking for disciples – serious followers -to join Him.
While on the road, a man said, Lord I will follow you…how little did he know where that was!
Jesus challenges him; the son of man has nowhere to lay His head…consider the cost of discipleship -understand what it means to follow…
Some have lives so cluttered with things they can’t walk with Jesus to the cross – probably things in our lives holding us back from doing the will of the father completely.
We never hear again about this first man.
B. Excuses Steal Our Blessings
2nd man – Jesus says follow me – he says let me go first to bury my father – let the dead bury their own…His excuse was family ties.
Count the cost and decide who’s more important; me or your family.
Jesus said, follow me to this man – the first man volunteered. Jesus calling for commitment – disciple answered him saying, let me first go bury my father…
Common statement in the culture; he was not suggesting his father was already dead – could have been in perfect health – figure of speech…
Sense of urgency. Similarly those of you who do not know Jesus as Lord and Savior and put Him off may not have the opportunity again.If he went home chances are he didn’t go back.
When Jesus calls us, the best reaction is to go, to say yes…not excuses why now is not the best time.It’s a full-time life & life-style commitment – a call from God to serve Him.
ILLUSTRATION – International Custom’s check when traveling…
Man #3 – I will follow you but first let me go home and say goodbye…he would follow but let me first go to my house.
EXAMPLE: 1 Kings 19
He’s going back – To make a statement to his friends -eliminate his ties to the former life – God’s called me to a new life.
He pulls words of Elisha out – but spiritually sounding excuse – this guy going back because he was divided with the old self.
II.I Will Follow You
Summary of our story – each has an excuse
Matthew 6:33; But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Luke 9 – 3 men – Jesus talks to them about the cost of following Him – not a discussion about eternal life, or heaven, not the cost.
Remember the Philippian jailer “what must I do to be saved”; Acts 16:30.
Here Luke 9 talking about a higher issue, being a disciple of the Lord.
Look at what’s happening in our society…
Without being a disciple we won’t be prepared, we won’t have the tools to lead others to Christ.
Making disciples is huge – satan will distract us from the great commission.
In ministry satan tries to keep us so busy we are distracted.
Jesus wants more men to walk with Him, see Him, learn from Him so we can pass on the good news to others – what is more important?
Growing, bible study groups, serving others, asking for wisdom…
The Great Commission
Matthew 28;18-20; And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
B. No Greater Investment
Complete the following sentence
The few, the proud, the ______________. (marines)
Says it cost something to be a marine – it’s a cost not everyone is willing to pay.
You can be citizens of USA- and not be a Marine.
You can be a Christian and not be a disciple.
The Cost is more – sacrifice – this passage is all about the cost of being a disciple.
George Whitfield, 18th Century – one of the founders of the Evangelical movement, died at age 55; quoted; “you know, many may outlive me on earth, but they can’t outlive me in heaven”
C. Trust God – the cost is absolutely worth
Have a heavenly focus – willing to put eternal reward ahead of creature comforts.
Paul: 2 Cor 4:18; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Disciple – must stop living for this world instead of heavenly rewards.
Have an absolute loyalty to Jesus Christ even when other things are at odds.
Matthew 10:37; “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
Matthew 22:27-38; And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment.
This is a Calvary Chapel distinctive; to keep the main thing the main thing.
ILLUSTRATION: young people in college come to christ and want to go on the mission field…
…others may be from another faith and they come to Jesus and then they are dis-fellowshipped from their church…
…a spouse becomes a believer and the other doesn’t and threatens to split the marriage if they don’t make a choice NOT to follow Jesus.
Sometimes these are crossroad decisions one makes in order to follow Jesus as a disciple.
My relationship with Christ is deeper than ever before, my marriage keeps getting better, my relationships with friends are more grounded in eternal things.
•We all start out with Jesus as Lord and over time many start to weigh spiritual responsibility with things like career, fame, power, image, spouse, children, possessions.
•A bridge for all disciples to cross – to remove rivals for Jesus.
Today – Jesus walks down our road…
Luke 9:57-62 NASB
57 As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”59 And He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” 60 But He said to him, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.”61 Another also said, “I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.” 62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”