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21 May 2007 @ 06:58 pm
Notes on Sunday's Sermon: "Who Will Follow Jesus?" Part 2  
We need to realize that our backsliding has repercussions on the people around us. We are known by the people around us, by what we do. What does our life say about us, does it say we are followers of Jesus, or does it say we are Christians in name only?

We must despise and reject sin.
This is an execrpt from the prayer of David's remorse for the sins he committed.
Psalms 51:10-13
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
       and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
    11 Do not cast me from your presence
       or take your Holy Spirit from me.
    12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
       and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
    13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
       and sinners will turn back to you.

As we have been forgiven, we must forgive others when they sin against us, and ask for our forgiveness.
Matthew 18:32-35

32 "Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?' 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
    35 "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive a brother or sister from your heart."

How we should view that which guides us on the right path.
Psalms 19:7

The law of the LORD is perfect,
       refreshing the soul.
       The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
       making wise the simple.

And we must not be ashamed of that which guides us.
Romans 1:16
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

This conviction cannot be forced upon anyone, they have to be fully convinced of the truth Peter has spoken in this passage, even within the depths of their own conscience. It's a highly personal experience to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.
Acts 3:19-23
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20 and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. 21 Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. 22 For Moses said, 'The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. 23 Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from their people.'

This conviction also cannot be taken away from any of the faithful by force.
Romans 8:35-39

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
       "For your sake we face death all day long;
       we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." [l]
    37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, [m] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

An anecdotal story of  a pig and a chicken bringing the ingredients to a bacon and egg breakfast illustrates contribution as opposed to commitment. The chicken would contribute her eggs, but for the pig, it was a total commitment.

Matthew 6:33
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

There are 168 hours in a week, how much of that do we spend in the service of the Lord?

Romans 12:1-2
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is true worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

2 Timothy 2:22
Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 16:13
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.

2 Timothy 1:7-13
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11 And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. 12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.
    13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.

There is no place for  cowardice. We need to remain courageous.

Revelation 21:8
But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.