Romans 12:1-2 (TEV) Because of God’s great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer. Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God—what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect.
Luke 5:11, 27-28 (CSB) Then they brought the boats to land, left everything, and followed him…After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax office, and he said to him, “Follow me.” So, leaving everything behind, he got up and began to follow him.
Matthew 13:44-46 (NIV) “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it…in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field…Like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value…sold everything he had and bought it.”
Philippians 3:8-9 (NIV) “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him…”
Ezekiel 18:30-31 (CSB) “Repent and turn from all your rebellious acts, so they will not become a sinful stumbling block to you. Throw off all the transgressions you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.”
Romans 6:3-4 (TEV) When we were baptized into union with Christ Jesus, we were baptized into union with his death…in order that, just as Christ was raised from death by the glorious power of the Father, so also we might live a new life.
Luke 9:23-24 (NLT) Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.”
Galatians 2:20 (MSG) “Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central…Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not ‘mine,’ but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Romans 12:2 (TLB) Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think. Then you will learn from your own experience how his ways will really satisfy you.
2 Timothy 4:6-7 (NLT) “As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.”
Can you recall a time when you radically changed something about yourself? (i.e.- a bad habit, new hobby, appearance, lifestyle choices, etc.) What did it take to do it and how did you maintain the change?
With eyes closed, have someone read the following terms one at a time and the rest “free associate” – saying the first thoughts and feelings that come to mind with each word: Surrender; Wholehearted; Sacrifice; Poured out; All-in; Radical. Do these terms produce more positive or negative associations? Why?
Read Luke 5:1-10 and 27-28. When did you clearly hear Jesus calling you to follow him? How did you respond? What do you feel about it now, knowing what you now know about being Jesus’ disciple?
Read Luke 14:25-33. What’s your response to this statement: “Following Jesus costs, but it pays!”
Read Mark 10:28-31. Do you identify with Peter’s feelings – “What’s in it for me?” How do you think Jesus’ words were fulfilled for Peter? How have you already experienced the truth of Jesus’ words?
Which of the points from this message or from the scriptures are especially challenging to you? What are you sensing you need to do or start following Jesus on in response to Pastor Kevin’s and Steve’s messages these last two weeks? How can your group help you with this?
Elementary parents, today we began a new series that takes a look at the way God made each of us unique. Our bottom line today was God made us on purpose for a purpose. Ask kids who was made in a very special way? (David was made king even though no one thought he would be the one chosen.) God has a plan and a purpose for all of us. Our job is to use the things he made us good at and passionate about to serve him.
A born teacher, Steve combines a depth of insight with unchanging biblical truths to provide messages that are both engaging & life changing. Married to Jean, his bride of 35 years, and the father of three adult children, Steve enjoys early mornings on his porch in study, time with family & friends at the coast, and playing Bluegrass music on his guitar.