Luke 12:49-53, 14:25-30 (NLT2) “I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning! I have a terrible baptism of suffering ahead of me, and I am under a heavy burden until it is accomplished. Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I have come to divide people against each other! From now on families will be split apart, three in favor of me, and two against—or two in favor and three against. ‘Father will be divided against son and son against father; mother against daughter and daughter against mother; and mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’”… A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’
Luke 9:61-62 (TLB) Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will come, but first let me ask permission of those at home.” But Jesus told him, “Anyone who lets himself be distracted from the work I plan for him is not fit for the Kingdom of God.
John 14:6 (CSB) Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Mark 10:21-22 (NRSV) Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me."
Matthew 5:29-30 (NRSV) If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; … And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.
Luke 3:16-17 (NIV) John answered them all, "I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
2 Corinthians 13:5 (TLB) Check up on yourselves. Are you really Christians? Do you pass the test? Do you feel Christ’s presence and power more and more within you? Or are you just pretending to be Christians when actually you aren’t at all?
2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 (NJB) He will come amid flaming fire; he will impose a penalty on those who do not acknowledge God and refuse to accept the gospel of our Lord Jesus. Their punishment is to be lost eternally, excluded from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his strength.
Mark 10:35-38 (NIV) Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. "Teacher," they said, "we want you to do for us whatever we ask." "What do you want me to do for you?" he asked. They replied, "Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory." "You don’t know what you are asking," Jesus said. "Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?"
Matthew 26:39-40 (TLB) He went forward a little, and fell face downward on the ground, and prayed, "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup be taken away from me. But I want your will, not mine." Then he returned to the three disciples and found them asleep. “Peter,” he called, “couldn’t you even stay awake with me one hour?
Nahum 1:6 (NIV) Who can withstand his indignation? Who can endure his fierce anger? His wrath is poured out like fire; the rocks are shattered before him.
Jesus is often called a peacemaker. Discuss with your group what the Peacemaker means when he says, “I have not come to bring peace…” Has this been confusing to you in the past? What new understanding or realization did you come to from today’s teaching? What is still challenging to you about this duality in Christ’s identity?
Talk within your group about the “baptism,” “fire,” and “cup.” Do you have a tendency to lean away from a right reverence of God’s wrath? Does it challenge your view of God to think of him as Judge? Share with one another how you’ve experienced the overwhelming love that Jesus displayed when he went to the cross to accept God’s wrath on your behalf. Ask yourself if you’ve fully trusted the One who loves you that much and pray together for each of you to take the steps necessary to know God and his character fully.
Elementary Parents, as kids head back to school soon, we want to equip them to know what it will take to have The Best Year Ever. Our bottom line today is: God loves me and wants what is best for me. Ask kids who was in our Bible story today. (Adam and Eve) Did they follow God’s instructions for how to have their best life? (No) Ask what happened because they didn’t. When we choose to follow God and live the way He wants us to, that is how to live our best life ever.
With a passion for Christ that is undeniable, Shane directly involves his listeners in each message. He speaks with high energy and delivers powerful teaching that is relevant to current life issues.