Life of Sacrifice
What kind of sacrifices were made for you when you were growing up?
Big Idea: A life of surrender and sacrifice is normal for followers of Jesus.
Scripture: Matthew 16:24-27 NLT – 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according to their deeds.
What does following Jesus look like?
o Saying No to Selfishness
§ Matthew 16:24 NLT – If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways…
§ Philippians 2:3 NLT – 3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.
§ Matthew 4:18-20 NLT – 18 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. 19 Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 20 And they left their nets at once and followed him.
§ Mark 10:21b – “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
o Picking up our Cross
§ The cross speaks of difficulty, sacrifice, and death.
· Romans 1:16 NIV – 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes…
· Matthew 5:11-12 NLT – 11 “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. 12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.
· 2 Timothy 3:12 NLT – 12 Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
o Doing what Jesus Did
§ John 14:21 NIV – Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.
§ 1 John 2:3-6 NLT – 3 And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. 4 If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. 5 But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. 6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.
Questions to Ponder
1. What have I given up for Jesus? What have I left to draw close to Him? Have I decided to leave my selfish and sinful ways?
2. What is the will of God that I have been avoiding?
3. What if Jesus asks you to serve your neighbor? What if He prompts you to pray for a co-worker or friend at school. What if He nudges you to tell the stranger your story so they can hear about the transformation that has come to your life.
4. Where does God want you to serve so that others can know Him? You are salt and light in a dark world.
Are you willing to be identified with Jesus?
o Philippians 3:8-9a NLT – 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him.
o Memorize: Matthew 16:24
o Evaluate: What is God asking me to sacrifice today?
o Action: Make a decision to follow Jesus no matter what the cost.