Sermon Summary from Sep 6th, “Following Jesus” (Matt 4:19)
I grew up in the church, but either nobody told me what it meant to follow Jesus or it didn’t stick. I most of all remember being scared to death by my Sunday School teachers of anything associated with moral turpitude, but not how to live my life. I’m not alone. Surveys show that there seems to be no difference between born-gain Christians and non-believers on how they live their lives. Divorce rates, white collar crime, most areas of ethical behavior or benevolence are nearly the same. Jesus hasn’t changed our behavior.
What does it mean to follow Jesus? Phil Maynard derives his definition from Matthew 4:19: “Follow me (being part of the body of Christ) and I will make you (becoming more like Jesus) fishers of men (joining Jesus in ministry).” There is no cookie-cutter approach to these broad areas, but six dimensions of discipleship, a way of life, followers of Jesus for life. These dimensions correspond to the three broad areas:
Worship: Jesus said, “Worship the Lord your God and serve only him.” (Mt 4: 10)
Hospitality: “When did we see you a stranger and welcome you?” (Mt 25: 38)
Opening: “You have heard it said… but I say to you.” (Mt 5:21-22)
Obeying: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
Service: “You are the salt of the earth… you are the light of the world.” (Mt 5:13;15)
Generosity: “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to the least of these… you did it to me.” (Mt 25:40)
Each on of us will find us in varying places, exploring, beginning, growing, maturing in each of these areas. The coming series will help us in determining where we are, what the next step is, and what assistance we might need to follow Jesus. Amen.