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Walking with Jesus: The Journey of Honest Disciples  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Jesus shares with the rich young ruler what is important in life and eternity

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Introduction:
(Turn to . Encouraging to see our church family come together…)
Is there something lost people are missing out on? Is there something many Christians are missing out on?
ILL: Let’s Make a Deal! (From Wikipedia) The format of Let's Make a Deal involves selected members of the studio audience, referred to as "traders," making deals with the host. In most cases, a trader will be offered something of value and given a choice of whether to keep it or exchange it for a different item. The program's defining game mechanism is that the other item is hidden from the trader until that choice is made. The trader thus does not know if he or she is getting something of greater value or a prize that is referred to as a "zonk," an item purposely chosen to be of little or no value to the trader.
In our text, Jesus is going to play “Let’s Make a Deal” with a rich young ruler that came to Him.
Stand and read this account from Luke 18:18-30.
ILL: At the game show, “Let’s Make a Deal,” the contestants are exuberant and excited to play the game! (Pictures of contestants…)

1. You Were Created for More

Jesus was making a deal with the rich young ruler— “Sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. I have a world of adventure ahead for you. I want you to be a partner in the mission of building a Heavenly kingdom. Your greatest fulfilment, your greatest purpose will be fulfilled. All you need to do is put down what I have already given you, and I will give you unimaginable treasures.”
The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., ). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
Was his response a very excited one? No, he left sorrowing because he chose the wrong door—he chose the prize that wasn’t.
The call to follow Jesus should be something Christians desire to answer, but many often walk away sorrowing.
The more we have, the harder it is to follow Christ. Perhaps that is why people many turn to Christ when they have nothing left to lose.
Like others shown in and other passages, when Jesus asked them to follow Him, they began to give excuses rather than “deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Him.
Our excuses are rooted deeply in one word: CONTROL. If we are going to let the Lord change our lives and write the story of our lives, we must sign over our rights to let Him do so.
Our excuses are rooted deeply in one word: CONTROL. If we are going to let the Lord change our lives and write the story of our lives, we must sign over our rights to let Him do so.
Like the game show, we are invited to make a deal. Unlike the game show, we know exactly what the choice is. Our invitation is to follow Christ and discover a new purpose and mission in life!
Proposition: Make the deal—Say, “Yes,” to Christ’s invitation!

1. You Were Created for More

ILL: Belle in “Beauty and the Beast.” The story opens with Belle traveling through her town knowing she is different than everyone else. She was educated, beautiful, and creative. She had dreams to be and do more. She lived a life like Henry David Thoreau described when he said, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Belle expresses her desire by singing, “I want much more than this provincial life.”
ILL: Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote “Alas for those that never sing, But die with all their song in them.”
Guess what—you were created for more than just living on earth! God created you and made you a new creation in Him for much more!
2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV 1900
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
expresses Jabez’s desire for God to deliver him from the norm—He wanted God to do something through his life!
1 Chronicles 4:10 KJV 1900
And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.
Let me remind you that as a child of God, there is no difference, not division, no section of your life that is secular while another part is sacred. You are not created to do anything secular—ALL of your LIFE belongs to the LORD!
1 Corinthians 10:31 KJV 1900
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
God invites to be a part. Are you?
Mark 1:15 KJV 1900
And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
God invites you to be and do more for His kingdom. Are you following Him?
John 20:21 KJV 1900
Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
God has definitively and positively created you for His Divine purpose—for you to be a part of the unfolding story of God’s plan to make all things new and to introduce the world to His kingdom. We are His children, and we are made for more!
Matthew 6:33 KJV 1900
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
"God offers us an amazing opportunity to join in this sacred work. We have the great privilege of being the hands and feet of Christ in a hostile and hurting world, and there are countless ways to participate. We can work with joy in the face of difficulty, speak the truth in a place of deceit, choose integrity when corruption is the norm, offer comfort in a time of grief, challenge injustice to protect its victims, and offer forgiveness in the midst of brokenness. God invites us to mentor a young person who needs a role model, visit with a lonely senior citizen, provide food to the hungry and water the thirsty, welcome an immigrant family, comfort the sick and afflicted, bring the good news of the gospel to someone who's never heard it, comfort a coworker going through a crisis, or pray for those in need, who happen to live ten thousand miles away. These are sacred things, privileged things, kingdom things. . . .We were made for more." (Unfinished, p. 115)

2. You Have a Divine Calling

“…Follow me.” We see this invitation repeated many times. We cannot follow God with a U-Haul full of earthly things and desires driving behind us!
Matthew 28:19–20 KJV 1900
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Paul recognized this calling when he testified in .
Acts 20:24 KJV 1900
But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
Acts 20:21 KJV 1900
Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
"I am only one, but I am one; I cannot do everything, But I can do something; What I can do I ought to do, And what I ought to do By God's grace I will do." --Edward Everett Hale
I remind you to think of the Great Commission in .
Matthew 28:19–20 KJV 1900
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Is there a footnote stating that you or anyone else is exempt from participating?
Your life, your career, your paths in life are the GO of the Great Commission—they are the paths and places you are to serve the Lord and share Christ with others—they are not a means unto themselves.
Often, I am asked, “Pastor, how do I find God’s direction for my life?” Let me give you some Bible guidelines.
First, Commit to the Destination.
The rich young ruler said he wanted to follow Jesus, but he wasn’t committed to Jesus and where Jesus was leading Him.
Have you found out that distractions come in life? We can get sidetracked very easily!
I’ve met many people over the years, and I am saddened when I hear things like, “I know God wanted me to serve Him as a missionary, but I got distracted doing _____.”
Luke 9:23–25 KJV 1900
And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?
Think of Abraham. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son as a test of his faith. Identify what your “Isaac” is—the thing that you value most. Today, lay your “Isaac” on the altar, trusting God for where He is leading you.
Second, Pray.
We pray because we communicate with God. His Spirit confirms His work and direction in our lives.
Luke 11:2–3 KJV 1900
And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread.
Luke 11:2–4 KJV 1900
And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
When you pray, you agree that God is the Father.
You agree with His plan. “Thy kingdom come”
You ask for His help. “Give us this day...”
Third, Prepare.
Get into the Bible! Psalm describes the exciting and blessed life we all desire, and the root of it is our “...delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” ()
The Bible will order your steps according to the plan He has in action.
Life is a difficult thing. If you think you can live life successfully without reading, studying, and meditating on the Bible regularly, you are terribly mistaken.
Share life with other Christians. They will guide you and encourage you in God’s truth from their own lives and experiences.
ILL: An old African proverb says, “If you want to run fast, run alone. If you want to run far, run together.”
Fourth, Obey.
Christian, contrary to the mere opinions of some who are but wolves in sheep’s clothing who claim they follow Christ, God is actually very concerned with where you are heading in life and how you are living your life.
When you hear someone say they are a Christian but say something foolish like, “I can live my life any way I want because Jesus saved me,” write it down, that person is a fool.
, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you...”
James 1:22 KJV 1900
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
1 John 2:3–6 KJV 1900
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
I get surprised with Christians who grow discouraged and disappointed when they can’t seem to find their niche and “calling from God” when they haven’t been following the basics commands of Christ!
Remember, before God will call you to do something greater, He needs to trust you with something smaller.
"Have you adopted kingdom values and principles, worked to change your bad habits, forgiven those who have wronged you, been loving to others, been generous with your money, become part of a local church, volunteered at church for the more humble jobs, put others ahead of yourself, and tithed your income? If you have, you are more likely to hear these words from the master, the same words he pronounced to the faithful steward in the parable of the talents: "Well done…" () (Unfinished, p. 138)
Fifth, Act.
This is where we become intentional—where “the rubber meets the road.”
When you see opportunities, seize them!
God cannot steer a parked car. God will open and close doors—Go and use the gifts and talents and experiences and skills God has blessed you with to proclaim His life and Gospel!
Like Abraham’s servant said, “I being in the way, the Lord led me” (Genesis 24:27).
Sixth, Trust.
Do you really believe God is in control?
Ask this question as you go to work, school, shopping, church, bank, restaurant…: “How can I serve the Lord here, today?” knowing He has a purpose for you being there.
Knowing your calling in life comes from two great characteristics: faithfulness and availability. Be faithful and available with what is in front of you, and trust God will lead you.
Conclusion:
For those who follow Christ—you obey Christ—you love others—you avail yourself to Christ—your life is anything but ordinary, is it not?
ILL: Zacchaeus. The contrast to the rich young ruler is found in Zacchaeus. says, “…and he was rich” (v. 2). The difference was that when Jesus invited Zacchaeus to follow Him, Zacchaeus didn’t walk away sorrowful. Jesus made a difference in Zacchaeus’ life and everyone who saw the new purpose and mission Christ gave Zacchaeus’ life. Jesus said it this way: “This day is salvation come to this house…For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (). Zacchaeus answered Jesus’ invitation.
ILL: Richard Stearns, the president of World Vision, an agency that provides relief and help for people around the world, is a man who was very wealthy. He was once the president of Lenox, the company that makes China. He was a Christian content to go to church and attend Bible studies. World Vision called him to see if he would lead the organization. At first, he struggled leaving his lucrative job to lead a ministry, but here’s his testimony: “God had invited me into his vision for human thriving. He had invited me to the front lines of his revolution to change the world, and, thankfully, I had said yes.” (Unfinished, p. 98)
ILL: The president of World Vision, an agency that provides relief and help for people around the world is led by a many who was very wealthy. He was once the president of Lenox, the company that makes China. He was a Christian content to go to church and attend Bible studies. World Vision called him to see if he would lead the organization. At first, he struggled leaving his lucrative job to lead a ministry, but here’s his testimony: “God had invited me into his vision for human thriving. He had invited me to the front lines of his revolution to change the world, and, thankfully, I had said yes.” (Unfinished, p. 98)
How about you? Will you say, “Yes,” to Christ’s invitation today? You won’t regret it!
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