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Luke 9:23 ESV
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
To bet the farm means to risk everything one owns on something one is certain of, such as an idea, investment, business venture or bet.
The origin of this idiom dates back the 1800’s and the wild west. In those days you could risk your entire farm/ranch by signing a piece of paper. In today's parlance this behavior is called going all in.
Those who practice such behavior are often called crazy, radical, insane, and other negative psychological terms. When Jesus called His followers to such an audacious life He was met with the same resistance. Jesus has from the very beginning demanded 100% allegiance. The first commandment is a all in commandment.
Exodus 20:3 (ESV)
“You shall have no other gods before me.
It was inscribed in Exodus 20 yet it was invoked in Genesis 2 . . .
Genesis 2:15 (ESV)
The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
Genesis 2:16 (ESV)
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden,
Genesis 2:17 (ESV)
but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Living all in is not what Christian’s do it’s who we are!
A century ago, a band of brave souls became known as one-way missionaries. They purchased single tickets to the mission field without the return half. And instead of suitcases, they packed their few earthly belongings into coffins. As they sailed out of port, they waved goodbye to everyone they loved, everything they knew. They knew they’d never return home.
A . W . Milne was one of those missionaries. He set sail for the New Hebrides in the South Pacific, knowing that the headhunters who lived there had martyred every missionary before him. Milne did not fear for his life because he had already died to himself. His coffin was packed. For thirty - five years, he lived among that tribe and loved them. When he died, tribe members buried him in the middle of their village and inscribed this epitaph on his tombstone:
When he came, there was no light. When he left, there was no darkness.
When did we start believing God wants to send us to safe places to do easy things? That faithfulness is holding the fort? That playing it safe is safe? That there is any greater privilege than sacrifice? That radical, is anything but normal? Jesus didn’t die to keep us safe. He died to make us dangerous.
Faithfulness is not holding the fort. It’s storming the gates of hell. The will of God is not an insurance plan. It’s a daring plan. The complete surrender of your life to the cause of Christ isn’t radical. It’s normal. It’s time to quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. It’s time to go all in and all out for the All in All. Pack your coffin!
When we are born into this world, the world revolves around us. We’re spoon-fed on the front end and diaper-changed on the back end. It’s as if the entire world exists to meet our every need. And that’s fine if you are a two-month-old baby. If you’re twenty-two, it’s a problem! Newsflash: You are not the center of the universe!
Sinfulness is selfishness.
At its core, sinfulness is selfishness. It’s enthroning yourself — your desires, your needs, your plans — above all else. You may still seek God, but you don’t seek Him first. You seek Him second or third, or seventh. You may sing “ Jesus at the center of it all, ” but what you really want is for people to bow down to you as you bow down to Christ.
It’s less about us serving His purposes and more about Him serving our purposes.
It’s a subtle form of selfishness that masquerades as spirituality, but it’s not Christ-centric. It’s me-centric. It’s less about us serving His purposes and more about Him serving our purposes.
They have invited Jesus to follow them.
Most people in most churches think they are following Jesus, but I’m not so sure. They may think they are following Jesus, but the reality is this: they have invited Jesus to follow them.
They bought in, but they hadn’t sold out.
They call Him Savior , but they’ve never surrendered to Him as Lord. They bought in, but they hadn’t sold out. They were half in and half out .More than a hundred years ago, a British revivalist issued a holy dare that would change a life, a city, and a generation.
The world has yet to see what God will do with and for and through and in and by the man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him.
You are only one decision away from a totally different life.
All bets are off because all bets are on God.
Of course, it will probably be the toughest decision you’ll ever make. But if you have the courage to completely surrender yourself to the lordship of Jesus Christ, there is no telling what God will do. All bets are off because all bets are on God .
Anytime God is about to do something amazing in our lives, He calls us to consecrate ourselves to Him.
That pattern was established right before the Israelites crossed the Jordan River and conquered the Promised Land.
Joshua 3:5 (ESV)
Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.”
Our fundamental problem.
Here’s our fundamental problem: we try to do God’s job for Him. We want to do amazing things for God and that seems noble, but we’ve got it backward. God wants to do amazing things for us. That’s His job, not ours. Our job is consecration. That’s it. And if we do our job, God will most certainly do His .
What it isn’t.
Before I tell you what consecration is, let me tell you what it isn’t. It’s not going to church once a week. It’s not daily devotions, fasting, not keeping the Ten Commandments, sharing your faith with friends, giving God the tithe, volunteering for a ministry, leading a small group, raising your hands in worship, going on a mission trip.
It more than . . .
All of those things are good things, but that isn’t consecration. It’s more than behavior modification. It’s more than conformity to a moral code. It’s more than doing good deeds. It’s something deeper, something truer.
Consecrate means to set yourself apart.
The word consecrate means to set yourself apart. Consecration demands full devotion. It’s dethroning yourself and enthroning Jesus Christ. It’s the complete divestiture of all self-interest. It’s giving God veto power. It’s surrendering all of you to all of Him.
Consecration is going all in and all out for the All in All.
Consecration is an ever-deepening love for Jesus, a childlike trust in the heavenly Father, and blind obedience to the Holy Spirit. Consecration is all that and a thousand things more. But for the sake of simplicity, let me give you my personal definition of consecration. Consecration is going all in and all out for the All in All.
Amazing always begins with consecration.
Stop trying to do God’s job for Him. You don’t have to do amazing things. You can’t do amazing things . Consecration is the catalyst behind every spiritual growth spurt and every revival.
Are you hungry for God?
If you aren’t hungry for God, you are full of yourself.
God asks us to be all in because Jesus Christ he went all in.
God asks us to be all in because Jesus Christ he went all in. When Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins even though he didn't have to, he went all-in. Jesus is a wholehearted Savior who is look for wholehearted followers.
"The Christian landscape is strewn with the wreckage of derelict, half-built towers - the ruins of those who began to build and were unable to finish. For thousands of people still ignore Christ's warning and undertake to follow him without first pausing to reflect on the cost of doing so. The result is the great scandal of Christendom today, so-called 'nominal Christianity'.
In countries to which Christian civilization has spread, large numbers of people have covered themselves with a decent, but thin, veneer of Christianity. They have allowed themselves to become somewhat involved; enough to be respectable but not enough to be uncomfortable. Their religion is a great, soft cushion. It protects them from the hard unpleasantness of life, while changing its place and shape to suit the convenience. no wonder the cynics speak of hypocrites in the church and dismiss religion as escapism."
Jesus calls his followers to go all in for the all in all.
Luke 9:23 ESV
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
I've never met a person that wanted to follow Jesus, but couldn't follow Jesus. I have met people that could have but didn't want to. Why don't people follow Jesus? Jesus answers the question for us;
It's either all me and none of you or all of you and none of me. So you got to make a choice. There is a cost to following me. You got to deny yourself which is the hardest thing you ask anybody to do. Denying self is not the same as self-denial.
Self denial is resisting; denying oneself is relinquishing.
Denying oneself is when you cash everything in. It's when you take everything you have, everything you ever hope to be, everything you ever hope to get, every place you ever hope to go and everything you ever hope to attain and you say, Lord, I'm putting it all on you. I'm surrendering everything to you. I would have become a complete follower of you.
Deify not Deny
And the problem with that is we are living in the wealthiest most materialistic society in the world that tells us just the opposite. It tells us not to deny ourselves but to deify yourself. Glorify Yourself by yourself, advertise yourself, eulogize yourself, admire yourself, self-esteem yourself.
If I had been Jesus's personal advisor, I would have stepped up to him and said, just leave it alone. Don't go any further. Yet Jesus said I'm just getting started. I not only want you to deny yourself I want you to die to yourself.
He says, in verse 23, if anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily. Now that doesn't translate very well to us today. You have to remember the cross back in that day was a symbol of death. We don't see anybody carrying a cross any more. Back in the day when you were being crucified, you had to carry your own cross to where you're going to die today.
In our day Jesus would have said, it's something like this. I want you to take up the electric chair at Daily. I want you to take up the gas chamber, daily.
1 Corinthians 15:31 (ESV)
I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day!
Paul words echos Jesus words. You got to have a funeral every morning when you get up. Every morning when you get up, you take your ego, your desires, your ambition, your goals, you put all of them in a casket, you close the top and you bury it because if you're going to follow Jesus, you got to go to your own personal cross and you got to die to yourself.
Is Jesus asking too much? I thought salvation was free?
Is Jesus asking too much? Let me remind you; Jesus is only asking us to do with him what he has done for us. Look at verses 21-22.
Luke 9:21 ESV
And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one,
Luke 9:22 ESV
saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”
Jesus died for us and now he asks us to die with him. He says you can't die for me but you can die to you. According to verse 24 only when die to ourselves can we live for him?
Luke 9:24 ESV
For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
If you live your life for you and you alone, you're eventually going to lose it, but if you give all of your life to me, you're going to gain it for all eternity. It comes down to 2. choices. You can either keep your life for yourself and eventually lose it or you can lose your life to Jesus and eternally keep it.
Let me modernize it. he's saying that if you keep your life in your pocket and you don't put all of it on the table, you're going to lose the bet. But if you empty your pockets and you go all in your going to win the entire pot.
Jesus said, it's only when you deny yourself and die to yourself that you're really ready to follow me. It's only when you deny yourself and die to yourself that you're willing to take the last step to following Jesus, which is devote yourself.
Luke 9:23 ESV
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
Now, that word follow is a really interesting word. It does not mean to walk behind somebody. It actually come from two words. One word means way our our our our our path, and the other word means, like or saying, and what it literally means is, you walk in the same way, you take the same road.
The idea is not that you're walking behind somebody but that you're walking right beside them. And so you're so close to them when they turn you turn, when they go straight, you go straight. You're just that close. What you're doing is you are submitting yourself totally to the authority of that person. This is what you must do. You got to give up all of your rights?
Because a dead person has no rights as you die to yourself, you have no rights, you give up all your freedom, you give up all your desires, all of your wants, you surrender everything.
1 Corinthians 6:19–20 ESV
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
In Christianity only those who surrender win. Only those who lose win. They way to gain is to give up.
You can only commit two acts with the rest of your life. You're going to waste your life by trying to hold on to it. Are you going to invest your life by surrendering it to Jesus Christ? Hear what Jesus said? If you try to hold on to it, you're going to lose it. But if you lose it, you'll get it.
I am a part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have Holy Spirit power, the die has been cast. I’ve stepped over the line; the decision has been made; I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.
I will not look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still. My past is redeemed; my present makes sense; my future is secure.
I am finished and done with low living, site walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless vision, tamed visions, mundane talking, chinchy giving and dwarf goals.
I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits or popularity.
I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded. I now live by faith, love by patience, live by prayer, and labor by power.
My face is set; my gait is fast; my goal is the heaven. My road is narrow; My way is rough; my companions few; my Guide reliable; my mission clear!
I cannot be bought, compromised, deterred, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed.
I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity; negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, nor meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I will not give up, back up, let up, or shut up until I have prayed up, preached up, stored up, and stayed up the cause of Jesus Christ!
I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I must go until He returns; give until I drop; preach until all know; and work until He comes And when He comes to get His own, He will have no trouble recognizing me; My colors will be clear.
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