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Courageously Following Jesus

A Jesus Shaped Life  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  33:49
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(S)I don’t consider myself a very courageous person
Rafting — Parasailing
What about you? Ever done something that took great courage? How hard was it for you?
Easy way/Hard way/Middle
Following Jesus was never meant to be easy — Jesus’ lived courageously
Cruel world — Tempted — Rejected — Suffered — Tempted — Cross
Jesus didn’t give his disciples some sales pitch, “hey come follow me into the easy life.” What if he would have led with...
“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24
Doesn't sounds very appealing does it? — The Cross meant only one thing — Suffering and death
SERIES — Living a Jesus-shaped life — Made for this
“For God knew us in advance, and chose us to become like his Son. Romans 8:29
Christ-likeness: Obedience — Relationships — Courage of Jesus.
What if Jesus said, “You must be courageous to follow me...”
How would you respond?
Courage wasn’t a requirement for anybody God chose — Moses — David — Mary —
Am I courageous? — Not a Cowardly lion!
Granger/Business — Self Serve — Youth — Ministry
Paul’s words…an invitation to Timothy... to join in his suffering for the gospel...
“Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12
A call to live courageously — For us as well
Not an easy life for sure but one that has great fringe benefits
And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:8 (NLT)
(S) — Living a Jesus-shaped life is a call to living courageously!

Am I living a COURAGEOUS Jesus-shaped life?

How Paul lived courageously...
(S) — Syria Converts — Book story page 103
For 16 Syrian believers following Jesus was a radically, dangerous and costly choice!
“How would I respond if my life was threatened with death for my faith in Jesus? If my family was targeted would I remain faithful?”
Certainly the courage I needed.…is no comparison to…but the same questions come to mind...
What is the cost — Is it worth it — How can I get out of it?
The disciples — following Jesus called for sacrifice.
Leaving behind businesses, homes, families, financial well-being, for an uncertain future…With no idea where Jesus was taking them. Certainly the trials they would face.
Yet, they courageously followed...
(S) — For the apostle Paul it took a different kind of courage — Status, power, letting it all go, to face the same persecution he had inflicted on 100’s of Jesus followers.
Jesus modeled courage — Disciples — Paul — Faithful people…who lived a Jesus-shaped life. Courage wasn’t a choice or an option, it was a decision.
Three aspects of this kind of courage

I. Courage to FACE the TIMES!

“You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times.” 2 Timothy 3:1
Imperative — last days — Present/future time —
vs’s 2-5 — Difficult times — People with impure motives
Corruption of Christianity — Those who challenged the person and mission of Jesus. Using it for their own benefit.
Spread of the gospel — House churches — First missionaries
(S) — Christians in the face of persecution had to get creative
Ichthus — Fish symbol is an acrostic of Greek letters
Iesous-"Jesus"; Christos, "anointed"; Theou, "God's"; uios, "Son"; sōtēr, Greek for "Savior".
"Jesus Christ, God's Son, the Savior."
It took great courage to live in the times…our times...
People of Ukraine —
J.W. believed the last days were the best days for a revival…that’s why he went to the streets and preached about the one who would give them courage to face the times...
What about these times worry you? Where do you need courage?
Because He Lives...
(S) — Living a Jesus-shaped life takes the...

II. Courage to follow the EXAMPLE of Jesus

But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance. 2 Timothy 3:10 (NLT)
Three-fold example
1. Doctrine (teach) — The cross as a means of salvation — Christ crucified, Christ raised — We too shall live
Read 1 Corinthians 1:21-23
Courage is trusting in God’s WORD…given to us
For new converts in Syra…in difficult times, deciding to follow Jesus meant trusting in what they heard of God. Because someone spoke the word to them.
How we can live into our faith with Christ-like courage? By trusting in the WORD of God.
2. A Way of Life (teaching) — His conduct or behavior followed the example given by Jesus
“That’s why I have sent Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord. He will remind you of how I follow Christ Jesus, just as I teach in all the churches wherever I go.” 1 Corinthians 4:17
3. A given purpose — Courage to follow not just a person, but a purpose
Jesus life was driven by the reason he came — To SAVE — Give life — Paul’s mission was to bring this good news to the Gentiles…he had a given purpose
The reason Paul got up every day changed when he met Christ — A complete turn around from his previous ways...
Living a Jesus-shaped life takes courage to run a DIFFERENT race. To LIVE CONTRARY to popular ways. Set apart — Holy — A fish against the stream...
“It takes courage to live set apart, to dance a different song then everyone else.” (2)
Are you motivated by God’s purpose?
Philippians 3:12-14
Every one who chooses to follow Jesus has purpose! But it means having the courage to trust in the word of God — Live differently — Live into that calling...
“Living on Purpose is a pathway to peace” Rick Warren
It takes courage to follow the example of Jesus
(S) — Living a Jesus-shaped life takes the...

III. Courage to ENDURE through the difficult

You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance. You know how much persecution and suffering I have endured. You know all about how I was persecuted in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra—but the Lord rescued me from all of it. 2 Timothy 3:10–11 (NLT)
Jesus’ promise — The one who follows will be pursued, oppressed, harassed…for their faith. For Paul it was chains, punishment, ridicule...
1. The word THROUGH...
“If he brought you to it, Jesus will bring you through it”
2. How he got through…the fruit of a courageous life
my faith, my patience, my love,...
No matter how hard it got, Paul never stopped living his faith —
Movie, ‘Miracles from heaven — A mom who lost faith…but not the people around her...
(S) — What are you going through right now? Need a little courage? Because Jesus endured we too can endure through the difficult
...but the Lord rescued me from all of it!
What does it look like to have courage today?
News Story — One Oxford survivor honored for courage
(S) — Show video
“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Matthew 5:11 (NLT)
(S) — Living a Jesus-shaped life takes courage to...
FACE the times — Follow the EXAMPLE of Jesus — ENDURE through the difficult
Easy — Hard — Middle? God give me the middle
CS Lewis’ Mere Christianity, Lewis poses the question “Is Christianity hard, or is it easy?”
The answer is yes...The question is, Do you love Jesus enough to courageously follow him?
(S) — Good news —

Following Jesus COURAGEOUSLY, doesn't mean your following Jesus ALONE!

…but the Lord rescued me from it ALL!
How hard is it for you, being a follower of Jesus?
Do you trust his word in these times?
Does your living show it?
Do you get up with purpose that’s shaped by Jesus?
Has endurance produced the fruit of faith, patience and love?
What are you going through right now? Need a little courage?
14 Remain faithful…trust what you have learned…seek courage…know salvation

Am I living a COURAGEOUS Jesus-shaped life?

Me courageous? Not all all! But willing to trust the one who courageously lived, suffered and died? YES!
Not an easy life for sure but one that has great fringe benefits
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