Our Values: Discipleship – “Follow Me” (Chair 2)
Over over the years you've probably heard me talk about my absolute love of social media so it should not surprise any of you that I and I have a Twitter account how many of you are on Twitter is going to go on Twitter about a third of you on this side of the room is on Twitter all right why am I not surprised so I have a Twitter account however I want to tell you how many followers I have I'm really proud of this and last anyone from the first service now is following me it's probably going to the same number but I have are you ready for this year to be impressed I have thirty four followers that's it and it's probably a good reason because I have never tweeted in my entire life I have never tweeted I am a non twittering tweeter There were however if you want to say that and I think there's a couple reasons for that I think the first maybe they're the only reason is anything that I think is valuable and worth saying I say on Sunday mornings at nine in ten thirty and then I've got nothing else to say for the rest of the week so you are listening to all those things I feel are important to say but for those of you that are on Twitter you know we follow people you know you can follow someone on Twitter and you follow them because they have opinions and thoughts or maybe some experiences that you find maybe interesting and you say you know what I'd like to hear what this person says about the subject and I'd like to see what they're doing in their activities and and so at the very least you follow people on Twitter because on some level you find them fascinating or interesting.
It doesn't necessarily mean that you like them or that you want to act like them or that you agree with them but you find that they are interesting.
So is that how we should think about the people who follow Jesus Christ
if you're a follower of Jesus Christ is that the way that we should think of Christ someone who's just interested you know our church our we have a mission statement and that is to develop committed followers of Jesus Christ of the teaching and encouragement of God's word and so how many of you are followers of Jesus Christ you know on Friday I looked on Twitter to see of Jesus Christ had his own Twitter account and he does so I started following on Twitter and then I read some of his tweets and I'm pretty sure it's not the real Jesus so I might and follow him at some point in the future I don't know there is nothing bad on there it just kind of is this is obviously not Jesus but when. That's right it's so surprising I think he everything that he wrote isn't here already but when Jesus told His disciples He said follow me we have to understand that that he was asking them to do so much to do so much you know and before me I have these four chairs last week we started kind of a series on our value as discipleship as a church we have for values and we're talking about discipleship and a book that I told you about a man by the name of Dan Spader who is a conference speaker that I when I listen to him this last spring he wrote this book called for chair to cycling and it's about the four commands or the four challenges the Jesus issued to his followers so that they would progress in mature in their relationship with him and so what we're doing is we're looking at each of these chairs and hopefully will do as we go through this as each of us will just seriously consider which share or which stage in your development you are with Jesus Christ and then also ask yourself the question What is it that I need to do what are the things that I need to do or incorporate in my life so that I am moving from one chair to the next and so the first chair represents pretty much everyone that is ever been born These are the people who do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ and so the issue of the Jesus challenge to the people in sitting in chair one is to come and see. And see who we is explore find out if Jesus truly is the Messiah because Jesus claimed to be the Son of God And so the issue or the challenge the Jesus issued to the people in the world was come and see and so that's the first chair now so we talked about last week and Jesus goal is to get people to get up out of chip one and move into a chair to where they are a follower of Christ and so that's where Jesus told the disciples the people who had decided that he was a Messiah to follow me and so this is the challenge of Jesus issued to those ensure number two and share number three maybe the best way to describe the people that are in share number three are the workers that's when Jesus told the disciples follow me and I will make you fishers of men and so that's share three where someone says I'm a follower of Christ I know who I am and I want to serve Christ with the gifts that he's given to me and then when you get to a chair for this is when Jesus said to His disciples that they are now his friends and they know they his master's business and these are the people that are now multiplying their efforts and Jesus said You will bear much fruit and so chair fours for those people who are bearing much fruit and trying to invest their lives into those who are decidedly not disciple making Well last week what we did is we talked about the people in share one who are curious and the Bible says that Jesus came to seek and to save the lost and to move them from chair one which has no life no hope no redemption no grace no forgiveness and move them to chair two and so Jesus issues this challenge for those who are curious about him to follow me and so that is what we have and share number two but when he says follow me it's not him saying just find me fascinating and find the interesting Jesus that is actually asking them to change their lives. A couple times in Mark where he was talking to his disciples listen to what he says to them as he says to follow him.
In Mark eight thirty four it says in. In calling the crowd to him with his disciples he said to them if anyone would come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me for whoever would save his life would lose it and whoever loses his life for my sake and for the gospels will save it so that's that's a pretty bold statement whoever will come after me must deny himself in other words say there's something about the former way of my life I need to leave behind me and I need to have a new way of living and Mark ten beginning in verse twenty one Jesus is how do you conversation with the the rich young ruler for those of you who are familiar with that story he came up to Jesus said What must I do to be saved he thought that he was he thought that he was already justified and because he was carrying out the two greatest commands and Jesus looked at him the rich young ruler and said to Mark ten twenty one and Jesus looking at him loved him and said to him You lack one thing go sell all of you all your possessions all you how they give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven and then come follow me so Jesus saying if you want to be my follower it's going to cost you something everything in this life that you hold as valuable and meaningful you're going to have to set it aside and realize that there are some new things that you're going to have to learn if you're going to become my follower that the Greek word for follow is the word.
And it literally means to come behind someone or to actually follow in their footsteps to walk just like they're walking right behind them and in fact in First Corinthians eleven one you'll notice this is the first one on the cover of your bulletins Paul says this is another word that sometimes translated followers think the energy translates as follow but in First Corinthians eleven one Paul says be imitators of me as I am of Christ and this word this Greek word for imitator is the mess this and that is the word that we derive our English word mimic from Sochi. Jesus saying I am mimicking Jesus is so you mimic me pattern your life the way that I live mine. So as we go through each of these chairs what we're going to do like we did last week we're going to look at the needs of the people that are sitting in that chair to help move them from that chair to the next chair and kind of as a review on last week what we did is we talked about the people and share one they have three needs in order to move from chair one to church to the first need is they need to know their true condition apart from Christ they need to truly know that there apart from Christ that their sins have not yet been paid for they need to understand that the second thing a person unsure number one needs is they need for us you and me who are in chair two or three or four to remember what our condition was like before we followed Christ we need to understand and let them have that passion so that they can understand us and also a person and share one needs us to invite them to come and see who Jesus is well now let's talk about share number two and the needs of a new believer I think are some of the best and most exciting things about being a believer in Christ honestly when we look at these three chairs chairs two three and four Number two is probably the most fun all right going to be honest with you number two is probably the most fun this is sort of like the honeymoon stage all right share number two should be described as fine it's fine and share to share three. And you can't you have to show up next week even when I'm going to tell you cheer three is the most difficult chair three is the hardest chair but when you get the chair for you have the most joy you have joy and share for all talk about those next week but the warning that we're going to look at today is for people who are in chair two it's so fun it's so comfortable the risk is that we stay there and we never progress in our faith and we say. I like it here I like this year I like learning about who I am in Christ I like all the attention that's been given to me I like learning these new things I'm just going to stay right here and they never progress and the Bible warns us about doing that so we're going to do is we're going to look at the five needs of a person in chair two and you can follow along in the sermon notes but our chair two disciples need to know these five things and this is all about gaining knowledge chere Number two is about knowledge and information on the first thing someone in church needs to know is who they are.
They need to know who they are or specifically who's they are a person and share to a new follower of Christ needs to understand their true identity for further development as a follower of Christ you know there's a couple things in the Bible to teach us about being followers of Christ the first thing it teaches us is that a person who has moved from chair one to chair to someone to place their faith in Christ the Bible calls them a new creation the old is past the new is come we get that in second Corinthians five seventeen Paul says to those in Corinth he says Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation the old is past Behold the new has come.
A person in cheer two they are redeemed and once you learn what redemption means it's exciting to see you know God bought me back out of slavery to send a person in church who is justified all their sins have been paid for in Christ's righteousness has been imputed to their account a person in church to the Bible says that we are literally Co errors with Christ and so that's fine and then succeeding to learn all of those new things about ourselves on First Corinthians Chapter six although I had read this passage for you in a V. as you go through the different paths or the different books of the Bible you realize that the policy came to people in different different chairs I think the people in Corinth got stuck in chair two they didn't do a really good child getting to chair three or four but he says to them and chair Number two he says to them in first Corinthians six nineteen or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you whom you have from God You are not your own for you are bought with a price so glorify God in your body and so everyone in SHARE TO needs to under did understand and they get to experience the joy of discovering these new things about themselves and this is fun especially when you're learning something for the first time how many of you remember that time in your faith where everything was new everything was new and exciting now sometimes if you've been a believer for a long time you learn something something new every now and then but usually we're just reminding ourselves of certain things but someone who is in chair Number two it involves learning new habits it involves learning a new way to think in the process our thoughts and learns developing a new way of interacting with other people and so the person in share number two they need to learn who they are because they have a new identity the second thing that a person in church who needs to learn is how to walk they need to learn how to walk once you open your Bible strophes in chapter four.
He's in chapter four if you study the Bible you notice that there is a seam that goes all the way throughout it there's a lot of phrases that say that we are to walk a certain way and obviously that is kind of a metaphor for talking about the way that we're going to live so a new believer in Christ needs to learn how to walk or or how to live if he's in ZF or verse one.
Paul says to them and he says. I therefore a prisoner for the Lord urge you to walk in a manner wording of the calling worthy of the calling to which you have been called so Paul's telling them your calling or your identity is that of a child of God And so you should walk or live in a manner that is worthy of that you know there's other passages all throughout the Bible that kind of say the way that we walk should be in accordance with God's word I'll read a couple of those for you Psalm one hundred twenty eight one says bless it is everyone who fears the Lord who walks in his ways also Hosea forty nine it says whoever is wise let him understand these things whoever is discerning let him know them for the ways of the Lord are right in the upright walk in them but transgressors stumble in them want you to turn over the first John chapter one.
Words in your bible first John chapter one.
Talks about the importance of walking in the light first John chapter one
beginning in verse six.
John writes to these believers and he says of them are strong one six if we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness we lie and do not participate in the truth but if we walk in the light as he is in the light we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. So as you read these passages I think it's pretty clear that the Bible is really giving us a choice we get to choose if we are walking according to the ways of this world or for walking according to the ways of God And so a new believer has to make a decision and say you know what I'm not going to do the things of the world I'm going to walk in a way that is in accordance with God's word and you know hopefully for everyone here I hope that you place your faith in Jesus Christ and hopefully as you grow in you mature over over the years you start to see a change in yourself and maybe other thoughts and patterns and activities that the world will run after you look at those and they might have seemed enticed senior or exciting at some time but have you ever noticed there's some things that maybe a one time more exciting for you but now you look at them and you're sort of repulsed by them so you know I just I don't want to go down that path I don't want to think those thoughts I don't want to act that certain way because it's going to take me away from God This is what a person and chair to needs to learn and so hopefully all of us have gotten that point we say you know I have a decision in this life and I need to learn to walk in the ways that the Lord is guiding me and so a follower of Christ should mimic the walk of Christ meaning they should live in a way that is easily distinguished from the rest of the world now the third thing that a new believer needs to learn is this they need to learn how to feed themselves they need to learn how to feed themselves you know it's fun watching a child grow and develop especially you know from from infancy and and when your kids are a little bit older the a sort of forget that but thing. About the stages of development that every human being goes through when it comes to feeding first when they're an infant they don't feed themselves right they're completely dependent on someone else to feed them so it's mom or the bottle or eventually you start taking the food and you cut it up in really little pieces and you stick in front of them and they use their hands and they just grab their hands and they shove it in their face and then eventually they use utensils and it's kind of fun eventually you know hopefully they grow up when they're able to use a fork and knife and a spoon and know the difference between the three but you know one thing I love about watching the kids and we did this with our kids I think we did with all three and I think everyone does this but you know when someone's turning one their first birthday I think is a bit like a universal law you're supposed to put a big piece of chocolate cake right down in front of them and just let them just take it and shove it in their mouth and just make a big mess of themselves and rub it in their hair and it's kind of fun to watch a one year old do that right to feed themselves it's really cute it's not cute when a fifty year old it's like that right they should learn how to sew so you guys if you're fifty don't do that yes.
Someone's getting called out right now.
You know eventually everyone needs to learn how to feed themselves and you know you talk about looking at our kids it's kind of neat when they're able to to make certain things and right now most of the things that they can make can feed themselves consist of pulling the the box of cereal out of the Cabinet you know putting it in the bowl I know Jackie is really good at making cheese case ideas and you know they can put the the chicken nuggets in the oven I remember before I moved out after I graduated from high school I was ready to you know be out on my own and I remember I learned how to fry an egg and I thought oh now I can fry an egg I can be out on my own I don't need anything else I can have cereal I can make looked at Newell's of sauce and I can make my I can make my own eggs you know being able to feed yourself and life is obviously it's a necessity but the same is true when it comes to being a follower. Jesus Christ.
During stage sure in chair two it starts off with being fed other people are usually feeding you they're teaching you the truth but eventually all of us need to grow up to the point where we realize you know what I can do this myself I don't need to wait until Sunday I I can feed myself God's word and I can grow and and enjoy the nourishment of that once you open your Bibles the second Timothy Chapter three.
Second Timothy Chapter Three beginning in verse fourteen.
You just kind of understand the context here this is the Apostle Paul speaking to Timothy and Tim of the is the pastor of a church an emphasis at this time and so Paul is in chair for talking to someone who is at least in chairs three probably three and four a little bit and he's telling him to do something that he learned in chair to all right so this is something that the things that we learn and share too we never outgrow them and we never fully leave chair to but usually that's the foundation that we build our lives on so listen to what Paul says to Timothy about feeding himself so intimately three fourteen. But as for you continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed knowing from whom you learned it and here is referencing Timothy's mom and grandmother they mimics follow True Faith in God and so Timothy learned that from them verse fifteen and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to make you wise for salvation through facing Christ Jesus all scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching for reproof for correction for training in righteousness of the man of God may be complete equipped for every good work so this is telling us when we open up God's word and we feed ourselves then you and I as children of God we will be equipped for anything that God gives to us to handle and so every believer should come to a place where they simply want to open up God's word and soak it up we don't need to wait till Sunday in fact we should be feeding ourselves God's word throughout the week so that when we come together we are prepared to share what we have learned with each other so that's the third need of someone unsure number two they need to learn how to feed themselves the fourth thing that they need to learn to do is they need to learn how to talk they need to learn how to talk and by that I don't mean they need to learn all the Christian phrases all right and all phrases that we say in church that other people and share one they have no idea what we are saying they need to learn how to talk in other words they need to learn how to talk in such a way that they are giving grace to the rest of the world open your Bible to collage in chapter four.
Kolache in chapter four this is a great verse I think everyone should I just underline in the Bible if you don't have it underline cautions chapter four beginning in verse five
is mainly talking about the way that we interact with others people in church who need to learn this cautions four verses five and six Paul says walk in wisdom towards outsiders towards people and share one making the best use of the time and then verse six says let your speech always be gracious season with salt so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. I think that phrase has been forgotten Look at verse six let your speech sometimes be gracious that what it says no it says always be gracious this is this is so powerful in the world today our world is filled with so many negative things being said so much negativity and if you decide as a child of God you're going to learn how to talk the way God wants you to and if you let God's grace poorest through you to the world around you people are going to notice that God wants us as His children to build people up to build up the body of Christ and our words are the main way that we can do that and so God wants us to be this this conduit through which God's grace flows into the world and so a person in church who needs to learn how to talk that's the forcing of the fist thing there's more but risk to look at five for today the fisting a new believer needs to learn is how they clean themselves they need to learn how to clean themselves because people get dirty and messy you know here in church it's really cute to see the progression of the little kids as they get older but you know what also happens when they get older they get stinkier they really do you laugh but it's true and we have a one as proof you don't want to we got three three age groups we've got the little cubbies and that's some ages four and five three and four little cute how these are adorable and they smell like cinnamon and sugar and they're just wonderful they don't stink they're just. They're just absolutely wonderful Those are the Cubbies The sparkies That's kindergarten first and second grade they're still cute you know for the most part and then you get to the T.N.T. kids especially the T.N.T. boys this is grades three four five and six and so all we have is we have game director Matt Bennett he gets these kids to run around in circles and then we put those boys in a room and we close the door and it's.
All over the doors from time to time love people know how much time we have and you walk into the room your wall guys got ten minutes let's open the doors and let's air this thing out they stink.
Sorry Titus it's true you stink. I'm just here to tell you the truth so my hundred nineteen so I'm one hundred ninety nine it says this How can a young man keep his way pure. By guarding it according to your word was my whole heart I seek you let me not wander from your commandments I have stored up your word in my heart that I might not sin against you obviously I'm kind of joking in saying that little kids think of course you know they stink we all stink but from a spiritual perspective all of us at times do things that make us on clean we can be washed by the blood of the Lamb we can be regenerated we can be redeemed but in this life we can find activities that are going to get us dirty and so we need to learn how to clean ourselves you know a great example of this is the prodigal son for those of you who are familiar with the story the prodigal son who was the son of his father thought that life would be better off in a foreign country and so he said Dad I'm leaving giving my inheritance and he went off and he spent his money on wild living and eventually he got to the point where he realized you know what this this was a big mess there's nothing here and he found himself in with the pigs he was in with the pigs and he notices the things that the pig. And he's saying I wish I had them for myself and then there's a phrase that I love one of my favorite phrases that the whole Bible gives us it says that when the prodigal son says when he came to his senses like he woke up and he realized what am I doing here I don't belong here this is not my identity he says I'm going to go back to my father maybe you'll forgive me and so he decided to get up and go back to his father and to clean himself up now does what a person in church who needs to do because they're going to make a mess every now and then hopefully not every day but you're going to make messes you're going to get into the things of this world and hopefully you say wait a second this isn't my identity this is not the way that I'm supposed to be walking and so a person in church to needs to learn how to clean themselves. So I gave you five things that a person share to needs to learn how to do and how many of you can relate to these you know hopefully everyone can say yeah I remember the first time learning who I am I remember learning how to walk how to feed myself I learned member all those things and hopefully all of us are reminded of that all the time and we realize we never fully leave chair to it's just the foundation upon which we kind of build the rest of our lives you know as it is we're going to get into chair three and chair for next week it's very important to notice that chair to takes time you can't progress from chair one to chair to chair three just overnight it takes time and something I'll talk about a little bit more next week but after Jesus spent his time with the disciples before he said to them follow me and I will make you fishers of men those disciples had spent almost two full years with him before he said that he didn't say to them upon meeting in the first time come follow me and I will make you fishers of men he said Come follow me and after they followed him for about two years then he said to some of them follow me and I will make you fishers of men. It takes time it takes time to move from chair two to cheer three and you cannot rush it this is a big responsibility when you become a worker of Christ in fact it's interesting I'm in first Timothy Paul is telling Timothy to look for the qualifications of someone who should be an elder or an overseer in the church and in first some of the chapter three verse six Paul says to Timothy he says verse six he meaning the man who you are considering to be make it an elder an overseer of the church he must not be a recent convert or he may become puffed up with concede and fall into the condemnation of the Devil In other words he must not have been in church.