Faithlife Sermons

Following the Lord

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Christians are good at creating a vague expectation of what we should do without ever telling what it is exactly we should be doing. Read the topic today, Oh, sure… follow the Lord--- yeah yeah, that's what I do. I follow the news, I follow the Packers, I sometimes follow the weather. This morning I want us to talk about that— especially for Americans.
First, Jesus created the expectation that we should follow him. And that by following him, we would accomplish something
Matthew 4:19 HCSB
“Follow Me,” He told them, “and I will make you fish for people!”
Can I point out something? He came looking for them. In the same way, he comes looking for us, we are Americans. We decide things for ourselves and can be hard headed about what we do and what we will not do.
As long as what he says to us is not second thought
Well, Jesus chose his disciples and wanted them to follow him… Only for disciples?
Matthew 16:24 HCSB
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.

Following Him is submission to his plan

Following Jesus is sacrifice. Christians relinquish a part of their intentions to listening and hearing God’s intention for us. This can be work to discover. It is not all… go go go, or do do do. Asking. Listening. reflecting. and then doing. Listen....
John 12:26 HCSB
If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me. Where I am, there My servant also will be. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.

Following Jesus is observation, reflecting, thinking theologically

think, reflect deeply.
Philippians 2:12 HCSB
So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
results that come from your salvation
Illust: go to prison FOR murder, BECAUSE of murder
Important to think and reflect on your own, also with other believers
There is always someone who will work to make it so easy for you, you don't even have to think about it. That is not true to these scriptures. Someone with all the answers
so commanding
such personality
so demanding
want to follow strong leaders
Matthew 23:8 HCSB
“But as for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi,’ because you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers.
you still have to think and reflect on following the Lord yourself. What is he saying to you? Confirm it with brothers and sisters
Your particular journey- does not always take others on same journey, does not expect the same thing from them
Galatians 5:24–25 HCSB
Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit.
Jesus said it would not always be easy
Luke 9:57–62 HCSB
As they were traveling on the road someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go!” Jesus told him, “Foxes have dens, and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” “Lord,” he said, “first let me go bury my father.” But He told him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and spread the news of the kingdom of God.” Another also said, “I will follow You, Lord, but first let me go and say good-bye to those at my house.” But Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Following the Lord is a lifetime work.
One pastor talked about its not what he thought it was. When he was young, he thought his life was going to be paid out in one big move. Its not. Following God was like writing checks… rather than writing one big check… like martyrdom, giving your faithful christian life in one final and spectacular action. It was more like going to take care of this family, one check there. Preaching this message over here, one small check there. Taking care of your family. Showing up for a community meeting and building relationships that will be played out over a long time. One little check there. At the end of your life, your faithfulness to the Lord is paid out in small faithful actions all along the journey.
Philippians 1:6 HCSB
I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
You know that Lea Ann and I have a dog. golden doodle Auggie. I have thought about walking her places. I want her to follow me. But you don’t see dogs that walk behind. Out front, but follows, she feels my tugging guidance
I have a destination in mind
I lead
She has a will
But she has learned to follow- smallest of guiding pulls.
Sometimes distractions - want to go run, but has learned, that is not part of her journey
Question about which way when it is not a familiar part of the park, turn around and look… sometimes decide, but corrected
My joy to walk her, not a burden, celebration that we are on the journey together.
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