All In Again.  Sermon notes from 12/31/23

All In Again. Sermon notes from 12/31/23

“I’m going to keep preaching this one until you start doing it, then I’ll move on to the next one.”
I don’t know if you remember but I preached on this Sunday last year,  the Sunday after Christmas. Last year it was January 1. This year, of course, December 31. I preached a message I called “All In” from Matthew 6:33. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you as well.”  We talked about what it means to put the Kingdom of God above everything else in your life,
ahead of our stores,
our standing,
our stuff,
and even ahead of the stress that those other things cause in us.
To do that is to demonstrate tssidiq, righteousness.
Last year’s sermon came from the middle of the Sermon on The Mount, the sermon that Jesus preached that really kicked off His earthly ministry. I said  last year He preached on Kingdom Principles in chapter 5,
Kingdom Priorities in chapter 6, (“seek ye first..”)
and Kingdom Practics in chapter 7.
He preached that sermon at the beginning of His ministry then basically spent the next 3 years teaching people what that all meant. And we need to be All In.
So, this year the title of this sermon is “All In Again.”
Today’s sermon comes from another “first” message of Jesus of sorts. I comes near then end of His earthly ministry. He introduces a whole new theme to His followers and from that moment on, everything changes. The message is found in Luke 9:23, but in order to get the context let’s start at verse 18.
Luke 9:18-23  “Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.”
21 Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”
I.    The story starts with, “Once when He was praying in private…..”
    Why did Jesus pray?
He was One with the Father.  John 10:30
If you knew Him you knew the Father  John 14:7
He was the Father     John 1:1
He prayed because it was the right thing to do.
As we begin 2024 I encourage you to put some things in place just because they are the right things to do.
My friend David Robertson says:
1. Give God the first hour of every day.              Silence
        Prayer before the paper (or Facebook, or Instagram, or texts, or emails)
        Bible before breakfast        (or workout, or to do list)
This will help you.
Prayer Apps                                                Bible Apps
Lectio                                                             Daily Audio Bible
Daily Prayer App                                        The Bible Recap*                                                       The Bible Project*
                                                                                   *You Version
   2. Give God the first day of every week.             Sabbath
           Get ready on SATURDAY.
            Seek to SERVE.
            Make plans to SOCIALIZE.
3. Give God the first month of the year.              Sacrifice
            Fasting     January 7-27.         Join us.
            Locale       January 26-28.      Join us.

4. Give God the first fruits of the harvest.           Stewardship
      TITHE 10% of your income to your church.
      SERVE in 2024       Find a place to minister to other people
       SUPPORT in 2024           Choose a ministry to really get behind.
      1. Learn about them
      2. Pray for them
      3.Donate to them
II. Then Jesus asks an important question.  “Who do you say that I am?”
           This is the time of the year to determine who Jesus really is.
Peter replies, Christon tou Theos       The Christ of God, or God’s Messiah
If you are going to follow Jesus, you had better know who He is!
“I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher but I don’t accept His claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say.  A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things that Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on the level of a man who said he was a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make a choice. Either this Man was and is the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit on Him and kill Him as a demon: or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”     C. S. Lewis     Mere Christianity
And if you call Him Lord you will do what He says.
III.  Now, He says something He has never said before.    The First Passion Proclamation  verse 21.   “The Son of Man MUST suffer, be rejected, be killed, and be raised from the dead.”
         MUST      suffer, be rejected, be killed, and raised from the dead
This is the first time He has said this. The first time Luke has used the word CROSS.
If I am ‘ALL IN’ because of what I get out of it, because of how I will be blessed, because He will make me happy, healthy, and wise,
then I am following a lucky charm or a genie in a bottle. God’s Messiah came with a completely different agenda.
IV. Finally, Then He turns the table   verse 23   “If anyone wants to be my disciples, they MUST deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow me.”
Two Key Phrases
  “And He said to them ALL”   This is not just for the disciples or the elite. He says we ALL must do this.
“Whoever wants to be My disciple”.      WANTS   its a free choice. I don’t know if this is about being saved. I don’t think it is a requirement to get to heaven. But if you WANT to be a Christ follower. If you want to truly say that He is God’s Messiah.    These three things are mandatory.
1. Deny your SELF     its not about saying no to THINGS. It’s about saying NO to self
2. Take up your cross.      The cross for the believer is total submission to the will of God. It is saying, “I will go where You want me to go. I will do what You want me to do.”      DAILY
                             Who you date.
                             Where you work.
                             What you own.
                             How you spend your time.
                             Who you are in community with.
3. Follow me.
           “All that you hold dear to yourself—your family, your health, your dreams and aspirations—must be held with an open hand. If you desire to fulfill God’s will for your life irrespective of the price, the sum total of all that makes up you must belong to Jesus Christ. He must be free to do with you and take from you as He pleases. You need not open your hand to God with a sense of fear for God loves you with a perfect love and has your best interest at heart. But having said that, the faithful person in one who is willing to pay any price to have the will of God accomplished in his life.”    Walter Henrichsen     Disciples Are Made, Not Born
Tomorrow is the first day of Leap Year. We actually have 366 days ahead of us. You get an extra day.
Would you give THAT day fully, completely to God?
Would you give Him this first week? The first month? The first quarter of the year? Would you say, “God, this year, as never before, I have decided to follow You?
Verse 27  “Truly, I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Kingdom of God.”    How much time do you think you have left?

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