The text that I used as the first hard saying of Jesus is found in Matthew 16:24-27. Essentially Jesus calls us to deny ourselves and follow Him. Now I know that this is a text that most who call themselves Christian have read before. Yet the bottom line question is are we truly applying it to our lives?
I believe that many sincere Christians follow the ways of Jesus by doing a lot of good things. Yet I would venture to say that most of our churches are lacking one core issue when it comes to following Jesus. That is this: Those who follow Jesus are called His disciples and disciples are to make other disciples!
Perhaps then one of the reasons that we are not seeing more disciples of Jesus in our churches is that we are not really following Jesus as a disciple who makes other disciples. If we claim to follow Jesus then we are called not just to be a disciple but help others become a disciple of Jesus.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer famously stated, "When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.” (Cost of Discipleship pg. 89) Another Christian author by the name of Ellen White once stated, "Love for souls for whom Christ died means crucifixion of self." (Desire of Ages pg. 417)
You see making disciples is something that is not only time consuming but it takes sacrificial time. We'll watch movies for hours or do man other 'things' that are time consuming and be OK with it, but sacrificial time is something else. Yet in this day and age we are also about getting things done quick, fast, and an a hurry. Making disciples is nothing of the like. It's crucifixion of self, period! Everything contrary to what culture implores.
God challenged me with this sermon. It's not rocket science, it's not something, to be honest, that we haven't heard before. Nonetheless it's something that many are not doing. We think either consciously or sub-consciously that if we just come to church, give to church, read the bible, pray a little, and just be good we're following Jesus. Jesus says no, the one who follows me, will BE like Me and help others BECOME like me!
So what say you? Are you being and helping other become?
image by [powerpointsermons]