Message: Key Elements To Following Christ
- Following Christ is a DECISIVE decision.
(Matthew 5:17-21) (NLT)17From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near. 18One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. 19Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 20And they left their nets at once and followed him.
21A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets. And he called them to come, too. 22They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind.
Following Christ is a Decisive Decision that should dictate every other decision.
(Joshua 24:14-15)(NLT) 14 “So fear the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord alone. 15 But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”
- Following Christ is a DETERMINED decision.
(Matthew 26:38-41) (NIV) 38Then Jesus said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 39Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”40Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
(Hebrews 12:1-3) (NLT) 1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.
To keep following Christ you’ve got to pre-determine that come Hell or high water you’re going to follow Jesus.
- Following Christ is a DEVOTED decision.
(Matthew 6:24)(NLT) Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.
(Acts 2:42-47) (NLT) 42ALL THE BELIEVERS DEVOTED THEMSELVES to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. 43A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— 47all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.
Devotion requires your whole heart and leads to total commitment.
- Following Christ is a DIVISIVE decision.
(Matthew 7:13-14)(NLT) Jesus said, 13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.
Choosing to following Christ sets you apart from the majority of society.
(Matthew 10:22)(NIV) Jesus said, “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
(2 Timothy 3:12-15) (NLT) 12Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived. 14But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. 15You have been taught the Holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.
- Following Christ is a DAILY decision.
(Luke 9:23) Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”
Every day you have to choose to DIE TO SELF and
LIVE FOR CHRIST.
Following Christ is not the EASIEST DECISION, but will prove to be the MOST REWARDING.
(James 1:12)(NLT) God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.