Even in our Christian lives an attitude of carrying a cross that fits us best, can be all too common; we want what we want and we dont want to do things that are or make us uncomfortable. Carrying our cross should be the focus of our lives. Jesus says Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple (Luke 14:27). And that, If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me (Matt 16:24). Jesus says we must deny ourselves and do what He wants. This can be the opposite of everything culture and society tells us. Tonight were going to discuss what it means to pick up our cross, deny ourselves, and follow after Jesus. Lets look at some people who carried their crosses well.
1) Caleb (Numbers 13) Caleb was willing to do what others were not.
2) Jonathan (1 Samuel 14) Jonathan knew what had to be done and was willing to say YES to God and follow His leading.
3) The Widow (Luke 21) God does not love more the people who give the most. God wants us to give all of what we have.
4) Ananias (Acts 9)
5) Paul (Acts 14) Paul followed God wherever He asked; the personal cost to him did not matter.
6) Disciples (Matt 4) The disciples said YES immediately when asked to follow.
7) Jesus (John 19) Jesus is the ultimate example of bearing the cross. He said YES to His call even when He knew it was leading to
death on the cross.
These men and women knew how to carry the cross of Christ. All the greatest followers of Christ said YES to the call of God. Some needed a push, but they all listened and obeyed when the Lord asked them to do something.
This attitude of immediate obedience is one of the main differences between a new believer and a long time follower of Christ. A mature, long time believer says yes to God many times in his/her journey with Christ. A younger believer has had less opportunity to say YES. I know that Pastor Steve has said yes to Jesus more times than I have; I want to know what sustains his YES-saying. I feel confident following Pastor Steve because he has said YES so many times.
- Talk to Him
- Read the word
- Be around people who love Him
Bearing our cross for Christ is simply, but not always easily, saying yes to God over and over again.
1) God is calling us to give all that we have for Him to do His will. It can be big or small, but whatever it is, God is calling us to take the
2) God is asking some of us to step out in faith. To say YES to His call no matter how difficult the calling. Maybe a call to ministry,
missions, youth (God help us), life-groups, or something else thats crazy to us. I cannot promise it will be easy, but I know your
steps are prepared beforehand and God will take care of you.
3) Some here have never said YES to God. Tonight He is asking, will you come and follow me? Will you be my disciple?