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Fairview Baptist Church

Message 3-Follow Me Part 1

Fairview Baptist Church                                                  January 24, 2016

Series: Disciple of Jesus Christ-The Job Description

Message: Follow Me

Scripture: Luke 9:23 / John 12:24-26

 

Introduction: Over the past few weeks we have given consideration to the meaning of Christ’s words to us concerning being His disciple. Through the Scriptures we have studied the Holy Spirit has revealed to us the job description Jesus provided for all who would seek to be His disciples. (Read Luke 9:23 here)

 

We have already explored the first two expectations in detail; Denial of self and taking up our cross daily. We know that these two must take place in order for us to be able to follow Jesus. If we, as believers in Jesus, do not choose to deny self and take up our cross daily we will be unable to follow Jesus. When we do make the choice of self-denial and we choose to take up our cross (ministry) daily then we will be ready to follow the Lord into supernatural ministry.

 

Jesus chose to use the words “Follow Me”.

(Read John 12:24-26 now)

These two words “Follow Me” indicate that Jesus is going somewhere. Jesus is moving, on a journey, and He desires us to join Him on this journey. Jesus is inviting you to join Him in His work of building the Kingdom of God. He has called us to believe in Him. The purpose of His gift of salvation was not for us to simply know we are going to make it into heaven. It was not given to us so we could simply gain as much information about God as we can until we go. He calls us to worship and to serve. He equips us to produce fruit for His kingdom. When we begin to follow we move into an experience of fruitfulness for God. Our following Jesus now is preparation for the eternal ministry He has for us in His Kingdom to come.

Question: Is it possible for us to choose the denial of self and to choose to take up our personal cross daily and yet not follow Jesus? The answer is YES. There is a third step that must be taken. Once we have denied self and have taken up our cross we must then move as Jesus moves into ministry. Denial of self and embracing God’s call (cross) puts us in position to follow. It does not guarantee that we will follow.

 

What does Jesus mean by this third step-“Follow Me”? How do we follow? There are 4 essentials we need to know and must do to be disciples. If we miss or neglect these 4 essentials we will not go far in our journey of following Jesus Christ.

 

  1. We must clearly hear the voice of Jesus
  2. We must stay focused on Jesus
  3. We must completely trust Jesus
  4. We must fully obey Jesus

 

Today our focus will be on the first essential.

 

We must clearly hear the voice of Jesus

 

  1. This would seem obvious yet we need to give it careful consideration. A believer cannot follow Jesus if the believer is not confident that he or she is hearing Jesus instructions clearly. Being confident that you are hearing the voice of God is a vital key to be able to follow. If we hesitate or have doubts in this area we can miss the ministry opportunity even though we prepared in the first two steps.(Deny /Cross)

 

  1. Jesus said in John 10: 1-5; 14 that His sheep (followers) know Him and know His voice enabling them to follow Him. Read John 10:1-5; 14 Now

 

 

  1. The primary key to knowing the voice of Jesus is abiding in the Word of God. (Abide = time, obedience, evaluation) In John 8:31-32 Jesus told us that abiding in His Word will set us free. Read John 8:31-32 now.

 

  1. Although this freedom has many possible specific applications its primary general meaning is that we can live our lives in the freedom of knowing with confidence that it is Jesus who is speaking to us and leading us. When we believe we are clearly hearing God’s voice then we know we are walking in Jesus authority and we experience the confidence of our relationship to follow Him in obedient faith.

 

  1. Believers sometimes lack confidence because they choose to invest time into unreliable sources of truth. Many seek counsel from their own ideas, traditions, media, friends, and other “experts” rather than listening to Jesus voice. This could be because they do not have confidence in their ability to hear Jesus voice. Doubt is a strategy of the devil. Hearing Jesus voice is a result of investing in the relationship with Jesus. The reason could also be they would rather hear what they desire because they know they do not like what Jesus would say. This indicates a lack of self-denial and a lack embracing of the cross.

 

  1. We each must believe the truth that Jesus desires to communicate with us in order to enjoy a relationship with us and to provide guidance for us. We must determine to make the hearing of Jesus voice the top priority of our lives and we must make His voice the final authority of truth for us.

 

 

 

  1. God speaks to us in 4 primary ways. First is the Word of God, the Bible. Second is prayer. This is God placing His thoughts into our minds and confirming it in our spirit by His Holy Spirit who has come to live in us as we believe. These first two must be experienced before God will use circumstances (3rd way) and other believers (4th way) to confirm. If we look first to circumstances or other believers then we can fall into a trap of trying to force God’s Word and will into our desires. God does speak through all 4 ways however, what He is saying will always line up with His Word.

 

  1. Jesus wants us to be confident. If God’s Word indicates a direction and in prayer you believe God is saying something to you then trust Him and begin to move in that direction. God can mold and direct us best as we are moving in trust. If we are stuck in fear of making a mistake God has a more difficult time teaching us how to hear with confidence.

 

  1. You cannot miss God’s will if….. Three steps
    1. Truly surrender the choice to God. Be really willing to obey however God leads
    2. Make a decision and start obeying based upon God’s Word and upon what you believe He is saying
  • Trust God. If you are not going the right way and you truly surrendered God will intervene and make the path clear

 

 

 

Next week in part 2 of this message we will look at the next 3 steps necessary to follow Jesus which are:

We must stay focused on Jesus

We must completely trust Jesus

We must fully obey Jesus

 

 

 

Application Thoughts

 

  1. How hungry are you to really hear the voice of Jesus?
  2. How confidently do you hear Jesus voice?
  3. Where do you go for counsel?
  4. What source of truth serves as your final authority for life?
  5. The key is our relationship with Jesus.
    1. Do you have one? Available by God’s Grace. We must simply trust in Jesus
    2. Are you investing in the relationship? Time in His presence with Word and prayer
    3. Have you confirmed that Jesus voice is the authority, the source of truth for you?
    4. Are you growing in confidence through surrender and stepping forward in obedient trust
  6. Do not settle for a second hand relationship. Don’t settle for hearing from Jesus only through someone else’s relationship. Jesus loves you and wants to speak to you and guide you. He has a wonderful plan for you in His Kingdom.

 

 

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