Matthew 10:37-39 Message Bible: If you prefer father or mother over me, you don't deserve me. If you prefer son or daughter over me, you don't deserve me.  "If you don't go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don't deserve me.  If your first concern is to look after yourself, you'll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you'll find both yourself and me. New American Standard Bible: "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.  "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.  "He who has found his life shall lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake shall find it.
TAKE HOME • Whatever keeps me from God may as well be called my current god. • Despite my flaws and haunting doubts I’ll just need to…Leap! • God doesn’t expect me to have my act all together before getting on the Jesus Train. • It is time for a reality check…what is it that keeps me from throwing my lot in with Jesus?
Lord Jesus, Lord, here I come…warts and all. I have lots of questions but I’ve heard that you have worked with lots of people like me. I hereby sign a blank check…Count me…in! Commitment:
WHATEVER KEEPS YOU FROM LEAPING INTO GOD’S ARMS … CALL IT WHAT IT IS… A GOD!
GOD EXPECTS YOU TO BRING A LITTLE BAGGAGE ON THE JESUS TRAIN The Apostles brought their doubts…really?? Here is the shocking truth: “Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted .” --Matt 28:17
(They had watched healings, resurrections from the dead…yet had some doubts. Do you have doubts?) WHAT IS JESUS’ RESPONSE TO SUCH DOUBTS? Simply: “ GO INTO ALL THE WORLD AND MAKE DISCIPLES.” Matt. 28:19 “ GO ” = Take the leap, in spite of doubts. It is a “Leap of Faith .” To not act on Faith, makes doubt your god.
IF QUESTIONS OR DOUBTS ARE KEEPING YOU FROM LEAPING INTO GOD’S WAITING ARMS… THEY HAVE BECOME YOUR ‘GODS’. <ul><li>Abraham “How can I know for sure…” </li></ul><ul><li>Moses struggled with his big questions. </li></ul><ul><li>David admitted to times of feeling abandoned by God. </li></ul><ul><li>Paul said ‘we know in part…and see through a mirror dimly’ (questions galore!) </li></ul>
COMMUNION! Bring everything to the table. Jesus invites you, even with your “Lord is it I?” doubts and questions.
Confession: I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Jesus is my Lord and Savoir.
IF YOU WAIT UNTIL YOU CAN SIFT AND SORT THROUGH ALL OF THE CLAIMS OF JESUS… AND THE OUTLANDISH PROMISES… YOU’LL NEVER TAKE THE LEAP <ul><li>Faith trusts the character and love of God, pushing all excuses aside, and steps out of the boat… Questions and doubts in tow. </li></ul>
SOMETIMES OUR PAST GETS IN THE WAY… AND EVEN PRESENT WEAKNESSES
PAUL CONFESSED TO BEING THE ‘CHIEF OF SINNERS’ WHAT DOES GOD DO WITH SUCH A ‘WRETCH?” <ul><li>God loves and uses us … we hold this treasure in Earthen Vessels. </li></ul><ul><li>We are justified by Jesus , not our own goodness. </li></ul><ul><li>He sends us into the vineyard (the world) to serve him. </li></ul><ul><li>God continues to cleanse , empower and fill us. </li></ul><ul><li>After all… He loves us immensely . </li></ul>
OUR ‘GODS’ ARE SPOILERS… if we bow to them! <ul><li>The God of Image and Public Opinion (What if my friends reject me?) </li></ul><ul><li>The God of Intellect (I’ve got to figure it all out.) </li></ul><ul><li>The God of Fear of Failure (What if I have a relapse?) </li></ul><ul><li>The God of Guilt (I don’t deserve to be forgiven and go to Heaven.) </li></ul><ul><li>The God of Ignorance (I have too many questions about God.) </li></ul>
<ul><li>“ YOU SHALL HAVE OTHER GODS BEFORE ME”… MEANS MORE THAN GRAVEN IMAGES OF WOOD AND STONE. </li></ul><ul><li>Reminder: Whatever keeps you from taking the Leap of Faith is a god. </li></ul><ul><li>SO, TODAY IS THE RIGHT DAY FOR ASKING… WHAT KEEPS ME FROM TAKING THE LEAP OF FAITH? </li></ul>
KEEP IN MIND 1. Your standing before God is based on the blood of Jesus, not your great performance. No Condemnation! --Romans 8:1 2. You will fail. God expects you to. You are just a human. But he has made provision for our failure: Forgiveness! I John 1:9,10 3. You will have your great successes and miserable failures. Every hero of the Bible did. Do not let condemnation or self-loathing be your god.
CONCLUSION: LEAP! GOD IS READY TO CATCH YOU AND PATIENTLY DEAL WITH YOUR WEAKNESSES. Put those other gods behind you. Take the leap, enter the journey and you will discover how trivial those gods really are. And how powerful your All-Mighty God is!
TAKE HOME • Jesus is the one. I will have no other Gods before me. • I take the leap placing putting my flaws and haunting doubts behind me, not in front where they can block me! • I thank God for his loving arms that receive me just as I am. • The reality check is in… I will not surrender to other gods. So, here I come Jesus, I take that leap of faith, fully trusting you.
Lord Jesus, here I come… just as I am with problems, doubts and questions. Thank you for your loving arms of grace and your promise to journey with me, always! Commitment: