Thursday, February 4, 2010

Why Follow Jesus?

At age 19, I had a renewed interest in playing the piano (I took lessons when I was in grade school). I bought a book and arranged to take lessons from a friend of mine. That lasted about one month. When I was 14, I threw myself into lifting weights (I was a 4’10” little kid). That only lasted about two months. Lately, I have tried to lose weight by using various diets, but that has been a roller coaster experience. What these three experiences have in common is an initial desire and passion followed by some good effort, ending in losing interest and quitting the pursuit. I am sure you could tell me similar stories from your experiences.

This year our theme is about helping others passionately pursue Jesus Christ. It has been my observation and experience that many people seriously struggle with keeping an interest in and passion for this pursuit. It often can be like the experiences I described from my own life. Initial enthusiasm, followed by good effort, only to end up quitting the pursuit. Has that ever happened to you? Presently, how would you rate your desire and effort in pursuit of Jesus?

The sermon text for this Sunday, Luke 19:28-44, gives us some key insights about our motives for pursuing Jesus. If those motives are mixed, we will seriously struggle and find ourselves on a roller coaster ride in walking with Christ. I invite you to read the text and see what answers you find for the question.

Core reasons people abandon their faith:
  1. Spiritual truth is viewed as a matter of personal experience and opinion.
  2. Spiritual truth has become a man-centered theology.

Perspectives of Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem:
  • For Jesus, it signified His official presentation to the nation as King and Messiah.
  • The twelve disciples thought He would immediately set up is rule on the throne of David.
  • Others in the crowd saw the event in terms of meeting personal or political need. John 12:17-18
  • The Jewish leaders saw Jesus as a threat to their power base. John 11:47-48

Why Follow Jesus?

  • We follow Jesus because He is the Lord of authority. Matthew 28:18; John 10:18-19; Acts 4:27-28; Psalm 103:19; Psalm 115:3; Philippians 2:9-11
  • We follow Jesus because He is the Lord of creation. Deuteronomy 21:3; John 1:3
  • We follow Jesus because He is the Lord of prophecy. Psalm 118:22-27; Zechariah 9:9; Daniel 9:24-27; Psalm 2:1-4
  • We follow Jesus because He is the Lord of judgment. 2 Peter 3:9; Exodus 34:6-7; Revelation 19:11-16
  • We follow Jesus because He is the Lord of salvation. John 1:29; Romans 6:23; Mark 10:45; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 3:21-22

We follow Jesus because…

  • He is the Lord of authority, Who works all things after the counsel of His will.
  • He is the Lord of creation, Who spoke the universe into existence, who created you for His purpose.
  • He is the Lord of prophecy, Who has revealed in His Word in advance the course of history.
  • He is the Lord of judgment, before Whom every knee shall bow.
  • He is the Lord of salvation, Who gave His life so that all who believe in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

"Then He said to them all: ‘If anyone would come after Me,
he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me."
(Luke 9:23, NIV)

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