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Take Up the Cross

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
January 27, 2022 9:00 am

Take Up the Cross

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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January 27, 2022 9:00 am

Pastor J.D. asks us to count the cost of truly following Jesus. When Jesus called his first disciples, he warned them that it was going to cost them everything. The path of discipleship hasn’t changed.

Insight for Living
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Summit Life
J.D. Greear

Today on Summit life with Judy Greer.

Would you be willing to obey Jesus if it meant a little cross or having to be removed from your family, the circumstances, these Christians lived in the more extreme than ours. Our commitment to Christ is not supposed to be any less extreme with their the cross. They were asked to take up is the one that we are asked to take on Hollywood events you considered that.

Are you willing to lay aside what you value most for what Jesus offers you right now think about that for a second. The thing that's most important to you. Is it more important than obeying Christ today. Pastor Judy asks us to count the cost of truly following Jesus.

When Jesus called his first disciples. He warned him that it was going to cost him everything. And guess what, after all these years the path of discipleship hasn't changed one bit.

So buckle your seatbelt to be quite the right.

Pastor JD titled today's message. Take a 14 if you got your Bible this weekend and I hope you have a Bible want to talk with you this weekend about Jesus is staggering invitation to follow him and ask you to consider whether or not you have actually responded to it as I have been telling you now for several weeks at the end.

At the end of this message. I'm going to ask every single one of you who is willing to commit to recommit to being a disciple, not talking just a handful of you or those you that are new to church on asked everybody what you been a member here for for for four minutes or 40 years that you take a moment to recommit become begin to emerge out of lot down to what it means to be a disciple what to do now is almost from the next 30 minutes, 30, 35 minutes try to talk you out of making that commitment seriously, because that's what I believe Jesus does here at the end of Luke 14 in the passage about a look at verse 25 Jesus looks around and sees great crowds following him, which is encouraging for a preacher right at this point in his ministry's message is catching on his reputation for miracles, gatherers, crowds everywhere that he goes his approval rating is off the charts.

He is trending on twitter.

His stock is soaring. Harvey want to think about it. Verse 26.

Jesus looks at this immense crowd and says, verse 26 if anybody comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother hate his wife Jesus. Children hate his brothers and sisters, yes even hate his own life he cannot be my disciple.

Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. Verse 33 Jim down there and any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple underline stuff in your Bible. By the way.

Underline those words renounce all Betty gas. All that he had been.*The word all above everything. Nothing is excluded. Absolutely nothing is excluded from Jesus's rule over our lives may have to imagine that Jesus disciples were pretty bewildered at this. They have been enjoying the big crowds following Jesus and they were like Jesus, you can't gain momentum for a movement telling people they're required to hate their parents and their children. Their brothers and sisters to follow you. That's not how you rally the troops.

Jesus does not how you get people on the Jesus but nobody can buy in the team Jesus when you tell them they gotta renounce even loyalty to their families which all here's the thing. Jesus one trying to sell anything is not trying to build a mega-church. Quite simply, he has an offer of salvation more valuable than anything else on earth. And it's only given on his terms.

So here's my question for you this weekend.

What do you think it means to be Jesus's follow. Do you really believe what he says here, I asked that because we have in America in general and in the South in particular, we have adopted a reduced version of Christianity brass becoming a Christian means embracing a certain creed adopting a set of morals, praying a prayer and commencing on a set of religious practices for Jesus.

However, becoming his followers something so radical, so total that by comparison every other commitment every other commitment in our lives compared to it look like hate, but whether that statement hate you, father or mother. Throw some of you like what I thought it was God's will for us to love our families. Yes, you know, lay down our lives like rice of the church be devoted to our kids yet but Jesus is speaking comparatively. You say that he deserves a loyalty that is so strong that in comparison to it every other light relationship every other loyalty. Even our most intimate ones seem like eight. Think of it like this of you have a pad. I imagine that you love that that was that.

Pat is a cat and then you are just waiting out the time for the guys you get a real bear like a dog or a gerbil or hermit crab anything for any others that I'm just getting the pretty others that you love that Pat and you are committed to that pat on some level. In fact, I hope for a fact, some of you spent a great deal of money under some of you that are flown across country to go get your fat but I would imagine that as committed as you are to that pet your love for your pet pales in comparison to your love for your children or your spouse or best friend or a parent. By the way, if you have a secure think about that right now.

That's not good, but for most of you if you had some situation where you had to choose between the well-being of your pet or the life of your child. It's not really a choice at all.

Is it yes you are committed to your pet, but compared to the intensity of your commitment to your child, your commitment to your pet would seem like hate. That is the loyalty that Jesus both deserves and demands our loyalty to him has to be so strong that in comparison to him every other relationship in our lives.

Even our most intimate ones seem like hate..

And if you are not willing to give him that Jesus says and you had no business following him.

Verse 27 whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. Which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down account because whether he's got enough to complete it. You want to get into a project get halfway done and then not be able to finish it. That's embarrassing that some halfshell the building out there that you hereby watch biases hold that guy started but he went bankrupt and finish verse 29.

Otherwise what he is like a foundation that is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to mock him, saying, this man what a fool begin to build was not even able to finish before you come to Jesus. Jesus essay before you come to me you had a think I'm not ready to go all the way with him as you see coming to Jesus is not something you do just because it makes you feel good because it add some missing piece in your life or get you out of a jam. You gotta ask yourself if you're ready to go the full distance with them we see, back then and today a lot of people are or are initially attracted to Jesus because of what he can do for them can provide relief from your burdens. He can grant you forgiveness of sins and take you to heaven thing. Did you help in your marriage and your and your family and your light will that's worthy of some level of devotion. But here's the thing.

At some point if you're serious about following Jesus obedience to him is going to cost you at some point obedience to him is gonna take you 180 opposite of the direction that you think you want to go.

Following him is not going to make life easier is going to make life harder.

It is not going to lead you to fields of these in abundance. It's going to lead you to paths of difficulty. The question is are you ready to follow him.

Then notice. Notice that Jesus said, following him means taking up a cross.

He didn't say anything to cut my teachings are her and follow me and say think of my moral code and follow me or my liturgical calendar and follow me court take up this warm and fuzzy God blanket and follow me.

He said take up my cross and follow. Take up your cross and follow me.

What did Jesus mean by take up your cross, what he made me we realize that for the first audience listening to Jesus, the cross was not like it is for many of us some sentimental piece of jewelry her up. I'm a pretty symbol of their faith. In fact, at the time the cross was not a religious symbol at all. The cross was an instrument of torture and execution. They have been very familiar with the because they'd seen it thrust in their faces come as as as a tool of oppression be like today. Some some some politician same. Come join my campaign struck yourselves to your electric chair and let's go. By the way, for the first Christians you heard these words, saying, take up your cross was not poetic or server metaphorical language at all was quite little Christianity was birthed into a context where Christians were often put onto crosses for choosing to follow Jesus, Nero, Nero, who was likely Caesar. When Luke was writing this stuff down Nero we know falsely blame the Christians for the great fire of Rome, and then use that as a pretext to hunt them down and feed them to the lions and others he would be with you.

He would type the polls and and set them on fire to illuminate his gardens at night following Nero was a ruler named best patient in room 369 of 70 A.D. by the middle of this early church era, and he was the one who sent Roman troops into Jerusalem to desecrate the temple and took thousands of Jews, many of whom would've been Binder's first Christians that got saved in the first chapters of acts, many of them the ones that would've been in Jesus first audience here and he hung them up on crosses all along the road to Jerusalem for miles. Then there was do mission the mission future persecution, even new levels. It was and were demonic. For example, he knew that Christians would not bow the knee to the Emperor. So submission would show up it up in a town like Ephesus unannounced and he would demand that everyone be assembled at the empathy Ater and commanded to worship him.

And whoever did not worship him would be called immediately in the Coliseum them and their families be fed to the lions. But Christians in the cages with wild animals for sport. That's the context into which this call to take up your cross was first heard for them following Jesus might mean that they lost every other relationship and they had to be more committed to Jesus.

Then in their own lives.

By the way, that was not just unique to the early church either throughout time in history, and even places today around the world. People also have to make that same choice John Bunyan who lived in in England in the 17th century who wrote the best-selling book of all time, except the Bible pilgrims progress was told in the 17th century that he could not preach the gospel, a gospel been differed from the official state religion, which was not preaching the gospel when Judy refused so blatantly will write on preaching so they put them in prison, but told him that they would let him go.

If you would swear on the Bible that he would not preach anymore reset I can do that and so he remained in prison voluntarily and he said in his journal.

He sits pour my heart out because I had this family that was already poor there already so poor to how you get a blind daughter and he said just the thought of her and how much suffering my obedience to Christ was costing them about this report you from a journal you're the party with my wife and poor children has often been to me in this place like a pulling of flesh from my bones. I'm aware of the many hardships Ms. reason wants that my poor family meets with because of my imprisonment, especially my poor blind child who lays nearer to my heart than anything else on earth. The thought of what my precious blind one is going through. It shatters my heart into pieces but yet I must venture all with God. Though I feel like a man pulling down his house upon the head of his wife and his children. Yet I must do it.

I must do it. I must obey Christ on the circumstances of these believers might've been different. We live in a different era. Thank God. But just because our time. His differed at me and our commitment to the Lordship of Christ can be any less. The question is what about you, would you be willing to obey Jesus if it meant a literal cross or having to be removed from your family, but the circumstances, these Christians lived in were more extreme than ours. Our commitment to Christ is not supposed to be any less extreme than the cross.

They were asked to take up is the one that we are asked to take up as well. Delicious asked this weekend. This morning, what exactly does take up your cross mean for us while in context, I would say means two things.

Number one I was a total self surrender and number two and explain its personal embrace of the great commission. Total self surrender.

Personal embrace of the great commission. Look at this one of the time. One total self surrender total self surrender, a person on a cross has given up total control of their lives there literally under arrest. Their bound hand and foot totally powerless to the will of their counter.

You can think of them as good as already did. Then I'm making plans for the future. They got new plants all their plans died when they got tied to a cross to pick up our cross means a total surrender of our will to Jesus a forfeiting of anything that we thought we wanted anything we desire or anything. We believe apart from what Jesus wants. Does that describe your relationship with Jesus. Have you brought all your start with your beliefs. You brought all your beliefs. Captive to his teaching. I asked that because I thought a lot of people who would say that Jesus is Lord, but then for whatever reason seem to feel the freedom to decide for themselves what they want to believe about homosexuality or gender or sex in general. Something in the Bible offends them or makes them uncomfortable. They seem to have no problem saying well I just don't really believe that right now I just want to say back to them.

I might, I don't think you understand what Lordship meets Jesus is Lord, I believe what he says because he says it. Whether I disagree with it or not, or even them from anger by that's kind of irrelevant that you listen you understand this right Christian for 25 some years of you all the studying theology appreciably in arrears. There's a lot of things in this book, I still am confused by some of them. I'm offended by and angered by the question I have to ask myself is, is he Lord, are not memorable here in the story went on about Billy Graham who was in when he was in college, a professor of his just you try to explain that certain parts of the Bible were outdated and some of the morals were regressive and all these things and and and and Billy Graham Center just through my faith in the turmoil is up to the long walk in the woods by myself is that I wouldn't sure what my future is going to be like a said there was this fateful moment where I came to load stop there is up. I took my Bible get down on my knees and put it down in front and said God either.

So much in this I don't understand so much in it. I'm not sure how to explain, but I believe that this book was altered by you.

I believe the Jesus is Lord and I'm going to accept this and build my life on it being your word even if even if there's things I don't understand or that offend me. He said that was a point of demarcation in my life. I have lots of questions since he said but I my life has been built on the understanding Jesus is Lord and therefore I bring every thought captive under his direction, that happened to you and you brought your will, your decisions captive to his direction. While at times we asked that here by saying have you given Jesus a blank check of your life and explain to you that my dilemma is when I first started use that analogy 20 years ago everybody nodded her head.

Now there's a whole bunch of millennial's engine zero like what you talking about how she brought one, just as it is like I would've museum and a pullout number this thing. It's a check and yes I marked out my bank accounts and freeze-frame a credit zoom in closer there's a blank check. So my signature on it which authorizes you to take whatever money out of my Talbots. They are the places blank what it's for and in the amount is blank back in the in the old days, you know, you hand this to somebody if you were quite sure how much money you owe them and trusted them when you give this to them and say just fill out later recorded on my signature on it but you guys are as old as I am. Remember this was always at that moment that gut check moment when you're like well really trust my brother-in-law is he who he says he is right to not trust this guy because because they literally had access you you you just said yes to whatever they're going to ask for when you come to Jesus.

It's essentially what it is like having allowing another question. Yet if you just wear everything to go. Whatever you tell me today that's what I want to do what I prefer. Most people prefer to get the Jesus is this the gift card right. This was the hardest for five dollars.

So you're beginning your walk with Jesus and you're like oh I'm ready. You know and and and and this is your first initial act right and what you think it means to grow in Christ that you upgrade your gift is given and thought I was already said about is Angus barn is a nicer gift card. I know I am gone. This is an early start now going to this. Here's the dilemma.

Both of these have a fixed amount missing for five dollars a Mrs. Romano say hundred dollars. I gave over test it out later. But for you.

This is Lord whatever amount of money is worth. But the point is when I have exhausted this gift card. The person I gave it to me has a moral obligation to make my this is a very generous gift, but it was a limited gift and a lot of people like that with Jesus there like I'm growing in Christ and giving you more expensive gift cards and Jesus is like.

Both are equally worthless to me because what I demand what I want all that I can I will take as a blank check to keep your Angus barn gift cards and came home your Hardee's no more bye-bye right after that out there for somebody to get it I would get that far. You I have every bit of confidence that after this message is over. That will still be sitting there about what is that worth. I editing the Frisco burger is amazingly underrated of the say that so you lease you want others that right budget.

It was merging was UBM take you to another place really quickly, were Jesus talks about this. Luke chapter 9 verse 57 Geo Luke records. This teaching of Jesus twice now ask you a few more questions along the way. Okay, walking through this this facets would not seven as they were going along the road.

Somebody said to him, I'll follow you wherever you go.

Jesus said to him, the foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head. Like I said in those days. A lot of people follow Jesus because of what he could do for them to do miracles heal the sick and calm storms, multiply food, his teachings brought them comfort all the wine about the father of the prodigal son is brings me to tears and then there's a thing about him know how many hairs I got in my head and not a sparrow fall others, makes me feel so awesome. Then there was a lot of religious leaders who follow Jesus because it was a way of beefing up the resume. She in those days if you want to gain credibility as a teacher your test result of the famous teacher so a lot of people are following Jesus. For that reason today. Today, many people come to Jesus because they know that he can help their marriages. Bless her finances he can relieve the burden sometimes even healed her body. Help them be successful and just listen anything he can do all those things. But here's the question what is obedience to Jesus lead you away from all of those things. What if it leads you will place where you have a place to lay your head down to write this down. Are you following Jesus for comfort or for cross. Here's a question for you. Are there any limits to your obedience. Is there any place where you would say I will not I cannot walk away from that more practically, is there anything that he's told you to stop doing. But you're still doing some relationship you ran some habits this or anything that he has told you to start doing that you're not doing it think tithing and generosity vague getting bad times they obedience to some call meeting, engaging in some ministry, they can be assembly was joining the church a follower of Jesus has forsaken all that Jesus has forbidden and commenced all the Jesus command like I just said you put your life down the blank check is a Lord Jesus.

All that I have all that I am all that I ever hope to be. I give now entirely forever laying down you consider what Jesus is offering you the gift of life eternal, that seems pretty words that don't think you're listening to Summit life in today's message as part of our new teaching series called In-Stat.

As always, you can visit to find resources transcribed all of our teaching available free of charge and you can also send us a note to let us know how we can be praying for you Jenny. We spent quite a bit of time over the past few weeks talking about the importance of memorizing parts of the Bible.

I know I want to be able to recall Scripture easily, but often a little rusty on some of the memory verses I learned as a Interval different tricks that you can use but but really just comes down to reading them saying them back tell a friend of mine is extremely good at this taught me to do it by possibly reading the verse 10 times and say that 10 times right and then reviewing it. Once the next day and he said you have memorizing that circle to Drew my life. We would produce a stack of 50 memory cards, which is designed for you to memorize one a week in the year 2022. I would say that most it would take you 10 minutes to memorize one and then you put one person we can you review which day by day after you done with the year. Think about it you got 50 promises Scripture 50 living words that are in your heart that the Holy Spirit can bring to mind whenever he needs to counteract some deception coming from the depths of your heart, or from our enemy. I think these will be a tool but can we transform how you see yourself, you see the world and how you think about God should go to JD today reserve yours. Thanks, Katie.

We are offering this resource to help remember Scripture this year because one of our priorities come in my is to bring the resources in teaching every day to rejoice always, Scripture memory cards come with our thanks for your generous financial gift of $35 or more, right now to make a donation in every 33 520-683-3524 go online and not I Molly benefits. Be sure to do anything tomorrow is my Jenny Knight ministry

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