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Lesson 23: Family & Priorities & Family Priorities (Matthew 10:34-42)

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I. Intro and Recap:

a.       Chapter 10 is the second sermon of Jesus and He wraps it up here.  The sermon started with instructions for the short-term mission trip, then morphed into a general warning about persecution and violence which will come from religious folks, the State, your own family, and all of society.  This will get progressively worse until the Son of Man comes back.

b.      But all this hostility shouldn’t freak them out or cause them to live in fear.  Rather, Jesus give three compelling reasons why they don’t need to live in fear.

c.       In this final part of Jesus sermon in chapter 10 Jesus highlights three major points:

i.  There will be Family Hostility.

ii.                        There needs to be Family Priorities.

iii.                      There will be Eternal Rewards.

d.      Jesus gives some revolutionary and radical instructions for individuals and families.

II.                      Family Hostility (10:34-36).

a.       Jesus will ultimately bring peace, but not right away.

i.  This has to be one of the most striking statements that Jesus has ever made.  Isn’t this a contradiction to what the angels said at the birth of Jesus, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

ii.                        Jesus is even called the Prince of peace.

iii.                      Blessed are the peace-makers, for they will be called the sons of God.

iv.                      God is a peace-maker.

v.                         His gospel is called a gospel of peace.  A gospel of reconciliation.  It makes reconciliation not only between sinners and God, but between sinners and sinners.

b.      What is meant by the statement “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

i.  It means this… “The sword is the effect of His coming, not the purpose of His coming.” F.F. Bruce

ii.                        Just like many people thought the return of the Messiah would bring them peace and prosperity right then and there, many people today think that the Messiah is supposed to bring peace and prosperity right now.

iii.                      Jesus says in effect, “I have not come to bring your best life now, but I have come to bring your worst life now…Your life might be miserable because of your attachment to me…People hate me, and they might hate you too.”

iv.                      Even though Jesus is the Prince of Peace, people treated Him with hostility and murder.  He didn’t experience peace, He experienced death.

v.                         They same will happen to His followers.

c.       The Main Principle- There will be family hostility because of Jesus.

i.  There will be hostility in the family.

1.      John MacArthur tells of a young lady he met at a Christian conference who said she has become a Christian from a totally pagan family and she said my father will not speak to me. He will not have anything to do with me. He will not even talk to me if I call him on the phone, he hangs up. And then she said - I..I would think that he would be happy that I'm not an alcoholic, I'm not a drug addict, that I'm not a criminal, and not walk in the streets like a prostitute, that I'm not...haven't been in some terrible accident, crippled, or injured. I've never had such joy in my life and he won't talk to me. And I said that's because of the sword.

2.      “Just because you were born into this family doesn’t make you family.”  2 Pac

3.      Many people have felt the sword at school or at the University or at the workplace.

4.      The division and hostility that comes from being identified with Jesus.

ii.                        There will be hostility in the marriage.

1.      1 Cor. 7:14, “For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.”

2.      Paul is basically working out the details of Jesus’ words here.

3.      There will be a metaphorical sword in some marriages because of Jesus.

4.      There will be conflict and aggression because of the gospel for some marriages.

d.      These statements by Jesus tell us that we should not expect peace and tranquility:

i.  Luther, “If our gospel were received in peace, it would not be the true gospel.”

1.      If people are never offended or upset by your message, then you might want to rethink if you are actually presenting the true gospel.

2.      The call for sinners to repent many times does not jive with the hardened.

ii.                        Expect hostility….

1.      Religion.

2.      Government.

3.      Society.

4.      Family.

a.       I mentioned that this would be the hardest type of persecution.  Maybe that’s why Jesus addresses it again here.  He already mentioned it in verse 21.

b.      This kind of persecution is the hardest.  Especially for tight night communities and families that the Jews typically had.

c.       This was a hard saying for this audience. 

e.       Family dynamics can be interesting.

i.  I’ll use my own family and brothers here as an example.

1.      By God’s grace my own immediate family are all saved and have been born again, but growing up we still faced conflict for us brothers and it usually revolved around sports of some kind.

ii.                        We grew up with a love for competition, even if we weren’t good, which was usually the case.  The sport didn’t matter.   It’s in our blood and was clearly passed down from the Anderson side of the tree.  Between cousins and immediate family members we have a unusually high level of intensity with games, even board games.

iii.                      Outsiders would be either intrigued our appalled.  Usually the latter.

iv.                      For instance, for our extended family we actually drafted a 7-paged rule guide for Cornhole.

v.                         The worst thing that could happen would be to play a game without having a clear set of rules by which to adjudicate.

vi.                      I jokingly have said that whenever I play badminton I need to temporality step down as an elder.  Badminton is my weakness.

vii.                    My first first-fight was over a game of badminton with my brother Luke.

1.      I remember my poor mother crying, and asking, “Are other families like this?”

viii.                  Thankfully there has never been any jealousy or comparison between my brothers.  We get along really well.  There is only one area of severe competition.  Sports.

ix.                      But there is one area we both love and is our downfall.  Competition.

1.      Basketball.

2.      Cornhole.

3.      Pingpong.

4.      Tennis.

5.      Even Running.

x.                         It’s one thing to have hostility over sports.  Usually a few hours later we are friends again.  But a division and hostility over the Lord Jesus and the gospel, would be something too awful for words.

xi.                      A hostility and division between sibling and parent because of Jesus would be painful beyond words.

xii.                    Many of you, and much of the world, know this personally and painfully.

xiii.                  Jesus and His gospel have resulted in a sword.

III.                   Family Priorities (10:37-39).

a.       Mat. 10:37, “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

b.      Principle #1: Ultimate love and loyalty belongs to Jesus alone.

i.                        Jesus demands this when He summarizes the Law.

1.      Mat. 22:34-40, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

2.      Our number one priority is to love God above everything else.

3.      Our first priority is to God.

a.       Jesus sets the terms for discipleship, not us.

b.      We are not at liberty to alter and change His words or His demands.

c.       Jesus says that our love and allegiance and loyalty to Him is to supersede every other relationship.

ii.                        Jesus is to come first.

1.      Charles Spurgeon’s wife sad about his distraction.

a.       Charles Spurgeon before he got married, he had picked up his fiancée to take her to a place where he was going to preach. And when they arrived they were separated by the massive crowd of people.  Spurgeon was a bit of a celebrity, even as a 20 year old.  And thousands of people were pushing in to hear him preach. And so he sort of pushed his way up to the platform and after the meeting was over he couldn't find her anywhere, so he just went over to her house. And he found her there and she was sort of pouting and crying. And she said, "Charles, you left me in that crowd all alone and you weren't even concerned where I was."

b.      This is what he said, "I'm sorry, but perhaps what happened was providential. I didn't intend to be impolite but whenever I see a crowd like that waiting for me to preach, I'm overwhelmed with a sense of responsibility, I forgot about you. Now, let's get one thing straight, it will have to be the rule of our marriage that the command of my Master comes first; you shall have the second place. Are you willing as my wife to take a second place while I give the first place to Christ?"

c.       He loved his wife, he loved her to the death; he never made a god out of her. His God was the true God.

iii.                      Jesus demands this in His Church.

1.      Revelation 2:1-6:  

a.       ‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

2.     Lovelessness is a serious matter to Jesus.

3.      They had abandoned love and loyalty and devotion to Jesus.

iv.                      Jesus is worth our utmost loyalty and devotion.

c.       Application: What does this look like?  How do we give ultimate priority to Jesus, while at the same time love our families?

i.  Families are to prioritize the Lord Jesus Christ.

1.      The number one priority for the family is to love and prioritize God.

2.      All other relationships, even the closest family ties, become idolatrous when Christ is not loved first and foremost.

3.      So the family needs to centralize and prioritize The Lord God.

4.      Deut. 11:1, “You shall therefore love the Lord your God and keep his charge, his statutes, his rules, and his commandments always.”

5.      18-22, “You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 19 You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 20 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, 21 that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth. 22 For if you will be careful to do all this commandment that I command you to do, loving the Lord your God, walking in all his ways, and holding fast to him.”

6.      Part of loving God first and foremost is a family dynamic.

7.      Families (not just individuals) are to prioritize the Lord God, but how do we do this practically?

8.      Let me suggest three ways we can offer loyalty to the Lord.  Three ways to give Him His proper place.

ii.                        #1- Families are to prioritize family worship.

1.      Family Devotions.  Family Worship.  Bedtime stories and prayer.  Whatever you want to call it.

2.      It is a time when parents model and give instruction on prioritizing the Lord God.

3.      Parents want to try to model that Jesus comes first in the family.  He is Our Leader and our Chief Shepherd.

4.      I hesitate to give myself as an example here for two reasons:

a.       I don’t feel as though I am a very good example.  Or to say it differently, I wish I was a better example.

b.      Second, I want to guard from a legalistic spirit by using personal examples.  I don’t want to make myself or our family a standard whereby others feel guilty if they fall short of what we do.

c.       So keep those two things in mind:  There is a lot more we could be doing; and, don’t measure yourself against us and feel guilty or like a failure.

5.      That being said, with a bit of trepidation here is what we do to promote a Christ-centeredness in our home:

a.       We do a children’s catechism.  50 easy to recite Q and A.  Based off the Shorter Westminster Chatecism.  The kids love it too. 

b.      We sing a few songs.  Try to teach them some of the old hymns to let them know what we sing, others have sung for years.

c.       We read the Bible.

d.      We pray.

6.      It’s usually messy.  It doesn’t happen every single night.  But goal is to keep the Lord Jesus Christ number one in our family,  Give Him the first place.

iii.                      #2- Families are to prioritize corporate Church.  (The Church gathered).

1.      When a family stops going to church they are taking themselves out of the ecosystem that the Lord Jesus Christ has instituted.

2.      When a family only occasionally attends, or slowly disengages to prioritize others things. Even if it’s their own leisure or sleep, they are depriving themselves from the very thing they need most.

3.      Recently, American Christianity has done a good job downplaying the importance of meeting together as a Church.

4.      Many Christians feel no sense of commitment to a local church, or just stop going altogether.

5.      The result is spiritual emaciation. 

6.      Make no mistake about it.  We all prioritize something.  The question is what do we prioritize and value.

7.      Church attendance is oftentimes an indicator.

8.      Church.

a.       This is not because I am a pastor.

b.      Mike Douglas on male headship.

c.       Loyalty to Jesus is expressed in loyalty to His people.

i.  Mat. 12:48-50, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

d.      It’s almost like Jesus is saying that when you become a disciple, you not only get new priorities, you get a new family.

i.  This is certainly true and is implied, but it’s also stated in the final paragraph of chapter 10.  “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives Him who sent me.”

ii.                        Our priority is to give a “cup of cold water” to the Lord’s disciples.  That’s our new family and that’s our new priority.

9.      “Although there are many, is there one lesson the Lord has taught you that you would care to share with us? (Table Talk asking Al Mohler-Pres of Southern Seminary- TIME mag. Most influential Christian thinkers)

a.      I think the one great lesson the Lord has taught me over these years is that the importance of the family and the local congregation supersedes every other relationship to which the Christian is called.

10.  In other words, our loyalty to Christ will manifest itself in a loyalty to His people, the Church, other Christians.

iv.                       Families are to prioritize private worship.

1.      What I mean by this is that families should value and hold high the time and opportunity for the spouse or children to have individual time with Jesus.

2.      As a family, you value and your spouses prayer time.

3.      As a family, you value and your spouses time in the Word.

4.      And your kids.

5.      Their allegiance to Christ comes before their allegiance to you.

v.                         What this passage NOT mean:

1.      When Jesus says calls for loyalty above and beyond family members he is not telling us to NOT love our kids a lot.

2.      This doesn’t mean we don’t really love our kids.

3.      This isn’t a call to neglect or downplay your love to your family.  On the contrary.

4.      The reality is that you actually love your family the most when you love Jesus more.

5.      The best thing you could do for those around you is to impress them with Jesus.

6.      The nicest thing you could do for your kids is point them to Jesus.

7.      The best think you could do for your kids is to demonstrate joyful, meaningful Christianity.

8.      This passage does not mean we are to neglect our families.

9.      “Devotion to family is a cardinal Christian duty but must never become absolute to the extent that devotion to God is compromised.” Blomberg

vi.                      What about mothers?  How are they supposed to value their time with Christ above their children’s needs?

1.      Martyn Lloyd-Jones once spoke with a group of medical students who complained that in the midst of their training and the ferocious work hours they really didn’t even have time to read the Bible and have their devotions and so on. He bristled and said, “I am a doctor. I have been where you are. You have time for what you want to do.” After a long pause he said, “I make only one exception: the mother of preschool-aged children does not have time and emotional resources.

2.      It is important to recognize, too, that there are stages of life where you really don’t have time to do much, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. Children will sap you. If you have three children under the age of six, forget serious reading unless you have the money for a nanny. When our youngest finally went off to kindergarten, we celebrated that day—I took my wife out for lunch. Only then could she get back into reading again. It’s the way life is. You have to be realistic.

3.      D.A. Carson

vii.                    Follow-up comments:

1.      I will be the first person to say that there are seasons in which we mommies need to be gracious with ourselves.  As a homeschooling mother of four children (and one on the way!) I know fatigue and busyness firsthand.

2.      However, in contradiction to Dr. Lloyd-Jones, I maintain that even we mothers of preschool children have time to do the things that we love.

3.      Let us be very cautious against tolerating long periods of no Bible study. Our Bible times may look different after just having had a baby, or staying up with sick sweethearts night after night,  for instance, but let us never forsake God’s Word altogether. I have been known to use bathtime for quick devotional reads and nighttime nursing periods for Bible reading. (God gives us a natural half-hour period or more in those early days in which we have to be awake anyway—why not try reading then? I was completely astounded at how feasible and even enjoyable a time it was to read at 3 am!)

viii.                  It’s tough to find a balance without being too rigid or too lax.

1.      It’s safest to stick to the principles.

2.      Ultimate loyalty belongs to Jesus.  He comes first.

3.      The bottom line is that love for Christ must exceed every other kind of love.

d.      Principle #2- Ultimate love and loyalty belongs to Jesus alone, above family, and above self.

i.  “Take up your cross…” (38).

1.      We will live for Christ, or we will live for ourselves.

2.      This statement of “take up your cross is not a common metaphor for us today.  Other than the Lord’s cross, we don’t think much about crosses.  But Jesus’ audience did.  They would have seen men pick up a wooden cross to their place of execution.  And when that man walked off with a cross on his shoulders followed by a few Roman guards.  He was not coming back anytime soon.  It was the end of him.

3.      So this saying of “taking up your cross” would have implied a complete renunciation of oneself.  It was a death to the self-life and the beginning of a completely new life.

4.      Jesus demands this of all of His followers.

5.      “follow after me” meant follow the teacher.  Disciples usually walked behind their teachers.

6.      This isn’t an addendum to your life.  This is a nice add-on.  Following Jesus isn’t like changing your political affiliation or picking up a new hobby.  It’s a call to deny yourself and your priorities and adopt the priorities of your Master.

7.      It’s a complete life-change.

8.      It’s a 180.

9.      And you don’t understand that, than you need to examine yourself with the words of Jesus here.

10.  In the words of David Platt, it’s a “Radical” call to discipleship.

11.  There is a willingness to forsake everything, even ones own life, for Jesus.

12.  Mat. 16:24-25

ii.                        V. 39 “whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

1.      There used to be a board game in the mid-50s, made Parker Brothers, and it was a game for church families. It was called "Going to Jerusalem."

2.      The playing piece little plastic man with a robe, a beard, some sandals, and a staff.  In order to move across the board, you looked up answers to questions in the little black New Testament provided with the game.

3.      You start in Bethlehem, you make your way to the Mount of Olives, Bethsaida, Capernaum, and on.

4.      If you rolled the dice well, you went all the way to a triumphal entry into Jerusalem. But you never got to the Crucifixion or Resurrection.

5.      There were no demons or angry Pharisees. You only made your way through the nice stories. It was a nice safe adventure, perfectly suited for an American audience.

6.      There weren’t any cards or stops that said, "Take up your cross, and follow me."  Lee Eclov, Vernon Hills, Illinois

iii.                      Story of missionary:

1.      “I think the most vibrant missionaries I have met are medical doctors serving in lonely outposts of the Arab world. These physicians and nurses are aware that in winning a Muslim to Christ, they condemn their converts to ostracism and persecution—even martyrdom.

2.      One doctor said to me, "How do you think I feel in longing to lead people to Christ, knowing that the moment my patients receive Christ they face a life-and-death contempt in this culture?"

3.      "It must seem pointless," I said.

4.      "Pointless?" he said. "This is the point of the gospel—the cost and consequence of receiving Christ is the entire point of Luke 9:23: 'Take up your cross and follow me.'"  Calvin Miller.

iv.                      C.T. Studd saying to his three daughters on his death bed, “I wish I had something to give you, but I gave it all to Jesus a long time ago.”

v.                         Henry Martyn

1.      A missionary who has influenced my life greatly because of what I read is a man named Henry Martyn. He went to India and spent a lifetime, really, there. Already in India he had done more than his share of missionary service when he announced that he was going to go to persia because God had laid it upon his heart to translate the New Testament and the Psalms into the persian language.

2.      By then he was an old man.

3.      They told him that if he stayed in India he would die because of the heat. And then they told him that persia was hotter than India. But he went nonetheless. Studied the persian language. Translated the entire New Testament and the Psalms in nine months. And then he was told that he couldn't print it or circulate it until he received the Shah's permission. So he traveled 800 miles to Tehran, and he was denied permission to see the Shah. He turned around and made a 400 mile trip to find the British ambassador. The ambassador gave him the proper kinds of papers and so forth and sent him back to the Shah. And so he traveled another 400 miles...that makes l?0O miles. He rode this at night on the back of a mule, and rested during the tudied the persian language. Translated the entire New Testament and the Psalms in nine months. And then he was told that he couldn't print it or circulate it until he received the Shah's permission. So he traveled 800 miles to Tehran, and he was denied permission to see the Shah. He turned around and made a 400 mile trip to find the British ambassador. The ambassador gave him the proper kinds of papers and so forth and sent him back to the Shah. And so he traveled another 400 miles...that makes l?0O miles. He rode this at night on the back of a mule, and rested during the daytime...protected only by a strip of canvas from the sweltering desert heat.

4.      He finally arrived and was received by the Shah who gave him permission for the Scriptures to be printed and circulated in persia.

5.      Ten days later in he died. But shortly before he had written in his diary this statement: "I sat and thought with sweet comfort and peace of my God. In solitude my Companion, my Friend, and Comforter."

6.      Certainly not a life of ease but a life worth remembering.

7.      Bound up in the spirit of Henry Martyn is the key to genuine discipleship. It is to be so utterly consumed with the cause that you have no thought for your own life. Look with me at verse SS of Matthew 10. "And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me. He that findeth his life shall lose it. And he that loseth his life for My sake shall find it."

vi.                      Part of following Christ is saying goodbye to your old life:

1.      If a person is unwilling to lay down His rights or opinions, than he or she cannot follow Jesus.

2.      If a person says, for instance, I want to follow Jesus but I am unwilling to stop living my lifestyle, or I am unwilling to stop sleeping with my girlfriend, or I am unwilling to give up immorality.  Than that person cannot be a disciple of Jesus. 

IV.                    Eternal Rewards (10:40-42)

a.      This world may be hard for you as a Christian, but you will be rewarded.

i.  The blessings of the future kingdom will offset the sacrifices made here in this life.  The loss of losing parents and children due to the gospel is painful.  The persecution experienced is painful.  The hostility because of being attached to Jesus is painful, but all of that pain will eventually be offset in the coming Kingdom.

ii.                        You will be rewarded for your work as a disciple of Jesus.

1.      “he will by no means lose his reward.”

iii.                      This is a lost doctrine.  A forgotten doctrine, and a minimized doctrine.  Much to our regret.

1.      The vast majority of Christians today think very little about eternal rewards.

2.      How you serve him in this life determines how you will serve him in eternity (1 Cor. 3:10–15).

b.      Even the smallest gestures towards the Lord’s people will be taken into account.

i.  A cup of cold water was a gift that even the poorest person could give.

1.      Even menial tasks will be taken into account.

2.      Anyone can do this.

ii.                        None of us have met Jesus in the flesh. 

iii.                      We have not met Him personally, in that sense.  But we have met his disciples.

iv.                      In fact, most of us have come to Christ because someone told us about Him and the gospel.

v.                         Jesus is saying in three roughly equivalent ways that those who receive his followers, because they accept what those individuals stand for, will in turn be received by God.

c.       Story of deny self for the gospel:

i.  I read this article this week and it illustrates this…

1.      “We were having lunch together and I was praying like mad. My friend had been in a committed same-sex relationship for about 15 years. He was interested in Jesus; attracted to his teaching and message. But he wanted to know what implications becoming a Christian might have on his practicing gay lifestyle.

2.      I had explained, as carefully and graciously as I could, that Jesus upheld and expanded the wider biblical stance on sexuality: that the only context for sexual activity was heterosexual marriage. Following Jesus would mean seeking to live under his word, in this area as in any other.

3.      He had been quiet for a moment, and then looked me in the eye and asked the billion-dollar question: ‘What could possibly be worth giving up my partner for?’

4.      I held his gaze for a moment while my brain raced for the answer. There was eternity, of course. There was heaven and hell. But I was conscious that these realities would seem other-worldly and intangible to him. In any case, surely following Jesus is worth it even for this life. He was asking about life here-and-now, so I prayed for a here-and-now Bible verse to point to. I wanted him to know that following Jesus really is worth it – worth it in the life to come, but also worth it in this life now, no less so for those who have homosexual feelings. Yes, there would be a host of hardships and difficulties: unfulfilled longings, the distress of unwanted temptation, the struggles of long-term singleness.

5.      But I wanted him to know that following Jesus is more than worth it, even with all it entails for gay people. And I also wanted to tell him that I had come to know this not just from studying the Bible and listening to others, but from my own personal experience.

6.      Homosexuality is an issue I have battled with my entire Christian life. It took a long time to admit to myself, longer to admit to others, and even longer to see something of God’s good purposes through it all. There have been all sorts of ups and downs. But this battle is not devoid of blessings, as Paul discovered with his own unyielding thorn in the flesh. Struggling with sexuality has been an opportunity to experience more of God’s grace, rather than less.

7.      It is only in recent months I have felt compelled to be more open on this issue. For many years I had no intention of being public about it – it is, of course, very much a personal matter. I am conscious that raising it here may lead to any number of responses – some welcome, some perhaps less so. But over the last couple of years I have felt increasingly concerned that, when it comes to our gay friends and family members, many of us Bible-believing Christians are losing confidence in the gospel. We are not always convinced it really is good news for gay people. We are not always sure we can really expect them to live by what the Bible says.

8.      Well, as my mind raced that lunchtime God gave me a verse to share with my friend. It demonstrates precisely why following Jesus is worth it, in this lifetime, and even when we have to give up things we could never imagine living without:

9.      Peter said to Jesus, “We have left everything to follow you!”

10.  “I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no-one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much as in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields – and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.” (Mark 10:28-30).

11.  Following Jesus involves leaving things behind and giving things up. For gay people, it involves leaving behind a practicing gay lifestyle.

12.  But however much we have to leave behind we are never left out of pocket. Whatever is given up Jesus replaces, in godly kind and greater measure. No one who leaves will fail to receive, and the returns are extraordinary – a hundredfold. What we give up for Jesus does not compare to what he gives back. If the costs are great, the rewards are even greater, even in this life

13.  There is a huge amount to say on this issue, but the main point is this: the moment you think following Jesus will be a poor deal for someone, you call Jesus a liar. Discipleship is not always easy. Leaving anything cherished behind is profoundly hard. But Jesus is always worth it.

V.                       The Gospel.

a.       Are you willing to give up your life to follow Jesus?

b.      How do we get peace with God?

i.  #1- Understand and recognize that there is hostility (in the world, and in your heart), and turn to God.

ii.                        #2- Believe the gospel.

Related Topics: Discipleship, Faith, Fathers, Mothers, Rewards, Suffering, Trials, Persecution