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Series: Not a Fan
This Week: Define the Relationship
Big Point: The choice to be a disciple of Jesus is not an option for the Christian believer. It is a necessity.
Remember the from story from Matthew 26:1-13? Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon (a self-righteous, religious leader). Jesus was eating dinner when a woman entered the house and poured a jar of expensive perfume over Jesus’ feet. (Known as an immoral woman, the woman never made excuses or tried to rationalize her lifestyle.) The other dinner guests criticized the woman for wasting the perfume, saying she could have sold it and given the money to the poor instead. But Jesus chastised Simon and the others in the household and praised the woman for her extraordinary act of reverence to him. To Jesus, this woman had the heart of a true follower.
Followers of Jesus don’t mess around with pretense. They understand the value of conviction—they have seen the truth of Christ and do not hesitate to accept if for themselves.
READ…What does the Bible say?
Luke 9:22-26 (New Living Translation)
22“The Son of Man must suffer many terrible things,” he said. “He will be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He will be killed, but on the third day he will be raised from the dead.” 23Then 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. 24If 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. 25And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed? 26If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels.
James 2:14-17 (New International Version)
14What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily good. 16If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith but itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
THINK…Find the answers
In Luke 9:22-26 Jesus is predicting his own death. In verse 23, Jesus introduces the image of bearing one’s cross as a vivid image of a condemned man carrying the instrument of his death. What did Jesus mean when he said to “take up your cross daily?” What do you gain when you give up your life for Christ?
LIVE…What will you do now? We often compare ourselves against “lesser” fans to feel better about ourselves. As Christians we define our devotion to Jesus by looking at the holes in other peoples’ lives…where they don’t measure up. We use a “religious ruler” to judge how faithful someone is by how closely they stick to the rules and “how much they do” for the church. How would you define your relationship with Jesus, right now, in three words or less?
__________________ ____________________ ____________________
How do you feel about the words you’ve chosen?
PRAY…God, What do you want me to know & do?
Today, ask God to guide you on the road to discipleship so that you can become much more than just a fan. Ask Him to help you overcome the roadblocks you may encounter.
DAILY BIBLE READING COMMENTARY: Numbers 17-20
18:20 The tribe of Levi was assigned to the Tabernacle and after the people had witnessed God’s punishment of Korah, they realized that caring for the Tabernacle was serious, sacred business. What God has ordained is sacred, don’t forget it!
18:25-26 Even though the Levites had no land or property, they were still required to tithe from the sacred and special offerings they received. God expects His followers to supply the needs of those who devote themselves to ministry, but those in ministry are still required to honor God in giving just like everyone else.
19:1-17 The red heifer’s ashes were used to purify water for ceremonial cleansing. Usually, an animal’s blood was drained before burning, but not in this case.
20:1-5 The Israelites had been in the wilderness for 37 years by the start of Numbers 20. There’s not a lot in scripture about their aimless wandering, but the generation of those who lived in Egypt had mostly died off. Moses, Aaron, Joshua and Caleb were among the few that remained. Unfortunately, the Israelites were still complaining because they had forgotten it was their parents’ and their sin that was the cause of the punishment.
20:6-13 God had instructed Moses to speak to the rock, but Moses struck the rock twice and then took credit for the miracle. He disobeyed a direct command from God and dishonored God in the presence of the Israelites. For his disobedience, Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land.
20:14 The Edomites and Israelites were the relatives of two brothers, Esau and Jacob. The Edomites didn’t want the Israelites to pass through their land because they thought the Israelites would attack them or take their crops. Rather than add another challenge to the already challenging trip, Moses wisely decided to back up and take another way around to the Promised Land.