Commitment to follow Christ
Doxology: Hymn no 53: “All people that on earth do dwell”
Call to Worship
Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore. (Psalm 125:1-2)
Hymn No 538: “O hidden love of God
Invocation and the Lord’s Prayer
The Lord’s Prayer
Scripture Reading Psalm 119: 97-104
Prayer of Adoration and Confession
Declaration of pardoning
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. (Psalm 103:8-10)
Hymn No 506: “The Lord is rich and Merciful” (Tune 207)
Offering and Dedication
While the offering is taken up all (remaining seated) sing
Scripture Reading: Mark 8:31-9:1
8 Take up his cross:
· the context help us. Jesus predicted his death. To take up the cross is
o 8 to be prepared to endure severe suffering, even to the point of death
o 8 To be counted as one who is executed
o 8 To stop existing for and in myself
o 8 His cross – it points to the giving up of all personal preferences and desires. There cannot be two desires if one follows Jesus. You cannot have a desire to follow Him and then still hang on to your own desires. “If you desire to follow Me, you must put and end to your own desires”
8 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12)
8 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (Mark 10:29-31)
8 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.. (John 15:18-20)
8 Follow Me:
· After all the references to “himself” in this verse, the direction changes: not ourselves anymore, but now it points to Jesus: Follow Me. Jesus was on his way to fulfil the will of his Father. To follow Jesus is to do as He did: to live a life glorifying the Father.
o 8 to follow or accompany someone who takes the lead in determining direction and route of movement.
o 8 to be a follower or a disciple of someone, in the sense of adhering to the teachings or instructions of a leader and in promoting the cause of such a leader.
o And as Jesus was hated by the world and eventually nailed to the cross, so we must expect to be dealt with by this world. Let’s hear what the Holy Spirit teaches through Peter:
8 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. (1 Peter 2:21-24)
8 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. (1 Peter 4:12-15)
So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. (1 Peter 4:19)
o 8 Example of others: Paul – imprisoned, Peter – hanged upside down; James – stoned to death; modern day missionaries denying themselves for the Gospel.
o 8 What is the quality of our following; of our discipleship?
8 “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:37-39)
o 8 Are we worthy of the Name of Christ?
8 A matter of life and death:
8 Losing the world and gaining the cross (Mark 8:35-36)
8 What can a man give in exchange for his soul? (Mark 8:37)
8 To follow Jesus is to side with Him – no matter what the world might think (Mark 8: 38-39).