Today's Bible Quote

John 16:33

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

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ARE YOU A TRUE DISCIPLE OR A FOLLOWER OF JESUS?
Luke 14:25-33
25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said:
26 "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters-- yes, even his own life-- he cannot be my disciple.
27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
28 "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?
29 For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him,
30 saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'
31 "Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?
32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.
33 In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

We must all ask ourselves this heart searching question - Am I a true Disciple of Jesus or just a follower ?

At the end of this sermon you will be able to answer this question……and know the truth of your position.

a) What is the Great Commission given to us.

Matthew 28:19-20
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.""

The great Commission God has given us is first of all to …GO…….then to MAKE DISCIPLES….not mere followers… BAPTIZE THEM
and TEACH THEM TO OBEY EVERYTHING……And not some things…..

Today people want to believe in a cheap and easy Jesus

Salvation is free….. but it’s not cheap as many people think …..
Come to Jesus and everything will be Rosy in your life……………….

llustr: A young man from a village in Russia was once given an opportunity to go to the USA.
He wasn’t prepared for the incredible variety of instant products available in the American Supermarkets.

And so, On his first shopping trip, he saw powdered milk--you just add water, and you get milk. Then he saw powdered orange juice--you just add water, and you get orange juice. Then He saw Instant Coffee Powder ---- add water and you get coffee… And then he saw baby powder, and he thought to himself, what a great country!"

In the Kingdom of God there is No Instant blessings… Just add water and everything goes well…..Go into the water and its over ???
Blessing Powder….. Healing Powder…… Prosperity Powder……

Following Jesus will cost us. That is why Jesus tells two examples that involve counting the cost . Building a Tower and Going to war…..??

Illustr:
There is story told about a hen and a pig who approached a church and read the advertised sermon topic: “What can we do to help the poor?” Immediately the hen suggested they feed them bacon and eggs. The pig thought for a moment and said, “There is only one thing wrong with feeding bacon and eggs to the poor.
For you it requires only a contribution, but for me it requires total commitment.”

Discipleship requires total commitment. It is not just a contribution of coming to church every Sunday, Paying our Tithes and offerings , coming for prayer meetings…. It requires total commitment of our life to God.

Romans 12:2 - Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-- this is your spiritual act of worship. (NIV)

Bible says – Large crowds of people were following Jesus……and Jesus turns to them and tells them 3 areas that hinders a person from being a True Disciple of Jesus……

Lets look into these 3 areas that Jesus addresses which is very relevant in our world today.………

1) Relationships .

V. 26 - "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters-- yes, even his own life-- he cannot be my disciple.

Luke 14:26 “ If you want to be my follower you must love me more than your own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, more than your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. ( NLT )

Today, many people cannot be true disciples of Jesus because of Relationships – either father, mother, brother, sister, husband , wife…… stop you , threaten you, discourage you, mock you, laugh at you,

But let me tell you today…………….Jesus should come first in your life if you want to be His True Disciple. Do not allow ANYONE hinder or stop you from loving & living for Jesus.

Jesus demands Supreme Love over everyone else even than ourselves..

Nothing should stand in between our Devotion to Jesus. We have to put Him first in our life….

Today , we seek acceptance from everybody. This is our big problem.

We compromise our beliefs and values to accommodate friendships and to be liked by people.

Romans 12:2
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind

Don’t compromise your relationship with Jesus for anyone or anything in this passing world.
Young people face “ Peer Pressure” to follow the system of this world.
Don’t live your life to gain acceptance and praise from others BUT live your life to Please the LORD…

2) Self

V. 27- And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

The greatest enemy we have to fight with each day is not the Devil But SELF – the Flesh…..

This flesh of ours is our greatest enemy……And until we crucify our Flesh daily… We will have a hard time living for God and pleasing God….

Romans 8:13-14
13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
(KJV)

Romans 7:18
I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. (NIV)

The Flesh is a big obstacle to us being a True Disciple of Jesus…..
This flesh will give us every reason why we should not Be serious in our walk with the LORD.

Collosians 3:5-6
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.

Putting something to death means we have to CRUCIFY IT ON THE CROSS.

3) Possessions

V. 33 - In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

Possessions have become a great hinderance to many people from being a true Disciple of Jesus…..

People have even left the faith because of possessions…. Things and treasures and wealth of this world has pierced the hearts of many believers of Jesus…..

1 Timothy 6:10
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Seeking worldly possessions more than the LORD will cause our lives to be pierced with grief.

Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

What would happen if you found out that Christ was coming to dinner some night next week? Well you know what would happen. You would have the very best meal possible. Man we’d break out the fine china and good silver, linen napkins instead of the usual paper towels. We would do and give the best of everything for the Lord……..

What I do question is this; if we would be so conscious of what we would serve Christ at one meal why are we so content with serving him leftovers the rest of the time.

From our money, to our time to our talents we fudge on giving Christ the very best and instead are content to offer him what little we have left over at the end of the week, and that of course is dependent on whether or not we need it.

Luke 14:33 So no one can become my disciple without giving up everything for me.

But you say – Pastor, it’s not easy to tithe, and it’s not easy to give God precious time out of a day that’s already too short.” I know that, and you know that and God knows that. But you want know something else as well? He never once said that it was going to be easy.

Don’t live your life to the expectations of people, friends or Pastor…. .
The question that each one of us needs to ask is this, “What does God expect of me?” in actual fact it doesn’t’ matter whether you ever live up to what I expect of you, and it really isn’t all that important whether or not you live up to the expectations of this church or this

Your entire life needs to be lived asking the question “what does God want of me?”

What are the Marks (traits) of a True Disciple of Jesus?

Anyone who claims to be a disciple ought to have certain traits that identify them as a disciple. What traits will identify you as a disciple of Jesus?

Is it the fact that you go to church regularly? Is it the clothes that you wear? Is it the way that you talk? The answer is no. The traits of a disciple are much deeper.

I am convinced that you can be identified as a disciple of Jesus by the way in which you live. Your everyday lifestyle will determine if you are truly a disciple or just a follower of Jesus. There are several traits of disciples.

1) Desire to be like Jesus

Romans 8:29
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

There must be a strong desire within us to live like Jesus…..

If you want to be a disciple of Jesus you must live like Jesus. When Jesus walked this Earth he left us a perfect example of how we should live. Surely we cannot be perfect, we will all fall short, but Jesus is our example and we should strive with all that we have to imitate Jesus.
Discipleship will cost us Time and energy.

Jesus gives us 2 examples in the scriptures we just read.

a) Building a Tower – Building our life with God. Will require our resources of time & energy.
Time & energy to pray, read the word, attend fellowships,

b) Fighting in a war against another king. – Building our life with God will require Spiritual Battle to be fought. The Kingdom of Darkness will always come against us and we have to wage war against it.

Jesus is clearly showing us here what is takes to be His True Disciple.

Commitment to build our life in God and to fight the devil and his evil forces in Spiritual warfare.
Don’t expect building your life with God to be easy………. No the devil will fight you…….

But you have greater Power and authority given by God to crush the devil and his evil forces.
The Name of Jesus, The Blood of Jesus, The Word of God. The Anointing of the Holy Spirit.

2) Desire to Learn and to abide in the Word of God.

John 8:31
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. ( NIV)

John 8:31
”If you abide in my word, then you are truly disciples of Mine. ( TLB )

Believing in Jesus does not mean we are Disciples of Jesus. These same people who believed in Jesus also had other beliefs in them. They claimed there were Abraham’s descendants. Yet they wanted to kill Jesus….

John 8:37
I know you are Abraham's descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word.

A Tue Disciple of Jesus should desire to learn more about Jesus and to abide in the Word of God.

3) Desire to Obey the Word of God.
Obedience to the Lord is a sign of True discipleship.
Do you hesitate to obey the word of God ? Do you question and reason the word of God.

Illustr:
A young man wrote this to his girlfriend. “Sweetheart, if this world was as hot as the Sahara desert, I would crawl on my knees through the burning sand to come to you. If the world would be like the Atlantic Ocean, I would swim through shark infested waters to come to you. If the world would be full of Dragons , I would fight the strongest dragon just to be by your side. Anyway, I will see you on Thursday if it does not rain.”...

Many Christians are like this young man.
They tell the Lord all what they want.

Lord, I love you so much that I will do anything you tell me. And the Lord says - Go tell others about me.
Lord , I love you so much that I will give anything you tell me. And the Lord says - Pay your tithes
Lord , I love you so much that I will sacrifice anything you say. And the Lord says - Read my word & pray.
Lord, I love you so much that I will serve you in whatever way you want me.
And the Lord says - First Serve the brethren who are in need………

And Lord, I will come on Sunday , If it does not rain or if I feel well, or if I get up in time ,

Is this how we OBEY the Word of God ??

Obedience is not just mental assertion. It is doing what God tells us to do..

4) Desire to bear fruit in our Life

John 15:8
This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

A true disciple is a fruitful person. Fruit of the Holy Spirit will be evident in the life of a True disciple of Jesus.

In John 15:8 Jesus says:
“By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.”

True disciple will bear fruit because true attachment to the Vine brings true life to the branch. Because when we are truly attached to Jesus, His life will flow into us and fruits will be produced.

A tree that is attached to the vine and gets all its nourishment will surely be a fruit producing tree.

The fruit that the disciples will produce refers to the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23 ) as well as a fruitful life of service in the kingdom of God.

5) Desire to walk in brotherly love

John 13:34-35
34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

The mark of the true disciples of Jesus is their love for one another.

A true disciple loves others just as Christ has loved him.
The example of Jesus, constant, self-sacrificing love must be the pattern for the disciples’ attitude and relation toward one another.

Jesus’ love is not only the model of love but also the source of love.

A True disciple expresses love for other believers.

Romans 12:10
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

Illustr: Speculative story.
A man once had a dream concerning what heaven and hell will be like.

He was first to hell and he saw a large room and in the middle of which there was a large pot of stew. The stew smelled delicious. But all around this point there were people who were starving and in desperation.

They all held spoons in their hands that had unusual long handles that reached all the way to the pot, but because the spoon handles were longer than their arms, they were unable to return the spoons filled with stew to their mouths. Their suffering was terrible and continuous.

Then the man was taken to heaven. And in Heaven and in heaven he saw a same large room and in the middle of which was a large pot of stew . And He saw that the people here had the same sppons with long handles but the people in this room were well-fed and full of Joy.

The man was perplexed when first walked into the room. But as he watched the people in this room, he learned the difference. The people had spoons that would not allow them to feed themselves, so they fed each other.

In Hell there was no love………selfishness which led to starvation even though there was food enough for everyone.

In Heaven there was brotherly love which cared and shared the food and they lived satisfied and joyful………

Marks of a true Disciple of Jesus:
i) Desire to be like Jesus
ii) Desire to learn and abide in the Word of God
iii) Desire to Obey the Word of God
iv) Desire to be fruitful in life
v) Desire to walk in brotherly love

Are any of these traits evident in your life today ??
Maybe there were some years ago, but what about today ?

Has your walk of being a true disciple of Jesus been hindered or grown cold because of many reasons which you are aware of ?

Let Today be a turning point in your life as you rededicate your life agin to the Lord to be His True Disciple.
God Bless You.