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O  NE PURPOSE - For Christ


AC@ We have learned that it takes the courage to be different.

AH@ Holiness is being able to recognize your own salvation and rejoice in it.

AO@ One Purpose - For Christ.


Romans 7:21-25 Thanks be to God  through Jesus Christ our Lord!  So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. (NIV)


Paul=s answer is clear.  Deliverance must come through Christ and, in turn, through yielding to the Holy Spirit, whose work is to produce the Christ life in those who receive Him. The chasm has been spanned.  There is deliverance from the penalty of sin in the past as we believe and from the power of sin in the present as we walk by the law of the Spirit. Sin and Satan are conquered foes and the self-nature can also be brought into subjection.




It takes courage to follow Jesus.  When we hear him say to those who sat scattered along the hillside,


Matthew 4:23 - 5:11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. (NIV)

Followers of Christ!                                 

Matt 4:23-25  Decapolis = "ten cities" 1) a track of land so called from the ten cities that were in it 1a) according to Pliny, these cities were: Damascus (82), Opoton, Philadelphia(84), Raphana, Scythopolis, Gadara, Hippondion, Pella (43), Galasa, and Canatha (Gill) Jerusalem (80) Bersheba (116)

we knew that it took courage.


When we read that as they followed him they were afraid, we know that it took courage, for fear is the inseparable reverse of courage. Jesus tells us over and over AFEAR NOT.@ ABE NOT AFRAID@ ADO NOT BE AFRAID@




As we have tried to walk in his footsteps we personally know what courage it takes when some fear grips our hearts, when we sense how far the road with him can lead, how high the Christian adventure can lift us, how much acceptance and how much surrender it may mean.










There is an incident in the New Testament which turns our thinking clear around.  It is full of human emotion which sooner or later touches all of us.


Matthew 9:18 While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. 19 And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples. (KJV)


A brokenhearted father had come to tell Jesus about the death of his daughter, and having told him, turned straight toward his home.  Then Jesus followed. 


We need no interpreter to tell us the deeper meaning of this small-town-drama.  All the history and the magnificence of our souls are in it.  What happened so long ago has happened to every one of us.




There have been times, have there not, when we poured out our hearts, said all there was to say, and went our way.  Then suddenly we sensed that we were not alone. He followed us. 




Dear God I need your grace.  Please help me find your place.  Your love is my mystery please open my eyes.  Your answers are not here, or clear, or I fear near.  Grant me peace!  Shattered and broken I bring myself to the point of asking for love from you God.  How can I feel it, and know it, and relish it, with joy that grace brings. Here at a place of declaration, and confession, and decision to put all my faith in you Lord, please answer this prayer.  Grant me peace life is unbearable without true love, forgive my weakness for I am lost and need to be found.  Energy, direction, compassion, forgiveness, are the gifts that I need, please grant that these things and more bring life into focus with you at the lead.


I ask humbly for your grace Lord that, I might love, and feel loved, by others in turn, the fullness of life in not easy to earn. 


I don=t know what to ask for, but your answers and love.


Dear God I need your grace.















The soul knows it crisis, when our world falls apart and every certainty seems to vanish.  There are no words in such moments.  Prayers are stifled. Fortunate are those who know that in that hour they need not walk alone.


After all, Christianity is a faith for crisis.  It does not matter whether it is a crisis of joy or a crisis of sorrow.




I. So let us ask ourselves some questions which reach deep. 


Have we the courage to ask Jesus to follow us to the place where we live?


   a.  Our home is our world. It is the only world we really know. Everything we are is reflected there: our integrity, our vulgarity, the shadowy nature of our weaknesses, the multicolored light of our morality, under our breath murmurings. 


Now have we the courage to leave the door ajar, so that he many enter, too?


Would we dare to ask him to be near during those moments of confidential relationships when we say things that people must never hear or know?


Would we wish him to follow our thoughts, no matter where they lead? 

Our dreams, no matter with what they play?

Our hopes, no matter what they encircle?

Now will you have the courage to let faith in Christ mean something to you?


II.  Let us ask another question.  Have we the courage to ask Jesus to follow us to the moment in which we are tested?


   a.  There are times when we are like people sinking into quicksand.  We do not want to yield to our weakness; we do not want to be what we are not; but we feel ourselves alone and helpless. 


We are in the grip of something not ourselves.


The heart is divided; the mind is dazed.  In that one moment, sometimes blazing with the fury of greed, sometimes burning in the heat of passion, sometimes focused on things of the world way, we see the Christian standards by which we were nourished grow hazy.

We begin to rationalize.  We justify our action;

we seek to persuade ourselves that we have found a better wisdom and a new morality;

we live as though there were no future,

as though there were nothing but this one throbbing sound and pull of the world=s ways


What poor, foolish gambler we are!  If only then we could remember that there is a tomorrow, and tomorrow it will be remorse and loneliness and guilt.





   b.  There are other times of testing when we must follow our course, when we must stand against our own kind, when we must set ourselves against our own families and follow a voice that cannot be silenced.  The voice of God.


We cannot be deaf to that voice; we cannot turn from that sense of duty in ourselves.  There is only one road, and we must walk on that road. 


But there is that other voice that is not God=s whispering of the price we shall have to pay, telling of the cross we shall have to bear, filling our minds with lies.  If in that moment we waver, we will never be ourselves, and we will never build or experience a better world.




III.  Let us ask one more question of ourselves.  Have we the courage to ask him to follow us to the place of our fears?


   a.  There are those bitter days when our minds are torn by conflict. 

We are afraid.  Fear dominates everything we do. 

We do not trust ourselves, for we know we shall fail. 

We do not trust our friends, for we are persuaded that they cannot help us. 

We fear tomorrow, fear it may overwhelm us.  Truly our souls are sick. 

Panic takes hold upon us, and we run from door to door, from psychiatrist to psychiatrist, Pastor to Pastor, Christian to Christian, friend to friend seeking relief. 


Have we then the courage to ask Jesus to follow us to the place of our need?


   b.   What is it we do when the mind is troubled? 

We ask, but there is no answer. 

We hope, but the winds of chance carry our dreams away. 

We look for fulfillment, but there is never any end, and we must walk on and on, plodding along the way.

We grow bitter about life.


But it might have been different had we but asked Jesus to follow us. 

How many answers we would have found, how many dreams might have come true, and how much fulfillment we might have seen!


  c.  If only we had the courage to ask him to follow us, what faith could do then!  How faith would become definite; how it would meet every problem with which the mind and heart are burdened. 


With that assurance we would meet our difficulties.  With what peace of mind we could speak to ourselves, and with what respectability we could hear our troubles.









  IV.  Yes, it=s all for one purpose!  Christ!  It is a heroic struggle in us which makes us say, Awhere he leads me, I will follow.@ 


But it takes more courage to ask him to follow us.  The road before us may be long - the night may fall upon our way - we may be afraid.  Then we hear footsteps. We look back and see the shadow of his figure following after us.


Now it is as though there were a lantern in our hands.  We know that all will be well, for he will be with us wherever our need is.  And who indeed can ask more of his Lord than that?


It=s your CHOICE Awhere he leads me, I will follow@ or it=s Awhere I go, he may follow!@









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