Just like the rest of us, Peter would always struggle with self denial. But, Jesus made it plain that the prerequisite and characteristic of a disciple is a life of dying to self. Self interests, ambitions, dreams, goals, and purposes must be handed over to Jesus if we are to be his disciple.
But, in Matthew 16 Jesus doesn't only call us to a life of self denial. He gives us incentives as well. The biggest incentives can be found in verse 25 and 26. He calls us to self denial, but those who heed his call will save their soul.
This was a bargain taken by the famous missionary, Jim Elliot. he said, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose." Listen to this sermon to be encouraged to take the deal yourself.
Pastor Brandon said that many Christians have unwittingly embraced duplicitous sales techniques in evangelism. They are "keeping the hidden costs hidden." Have you been guilty of this? Why are we tempted to round the edges of the truth? Does this mean we must be harsh and tactless in our presentation of the Gospel?
Jesus said the prerequisite for being his disciple is self denial. How is that different than Self Discipline? Philanthropy? Asceticism?
In comparing the world to the soul, which has more value? Consider the temporal nature of the world. Consider how much Jesus gave up for a dream home. Consider how useful the world is to a damned soul. Consider that no matter how much we attain or gain, we are never satisfied. Should we not learn the pattern early and make some changes?
What are some ways we try and "save our souls"? Consider tidy lifestyles, tight nit circles of friendships, gated communities, hoarding, routines and stereotypes.
How might we give away or sow our souls?
Consider and discuss the phrase, "When the world says throwing, the Lord says sowing."
Consider the future harvest. Are you ready? Will you have anything to show for your life? In what ways are you dying to self?
In Mathew 16 Jesus announces to the disciples that hisMessiah-ship will not go according to their previously held assumptions. He would not immediately topple theRomans through the force of his might. Rather, he would defeat the works of...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
In Matthew 16 the disciples, especially Peter, begin to understand that Jesus is not merely a prophet. Rather, he is the long awaited Christ. He was the one who would save Israel from their enemies. Yet, all of Israel including the Disciples...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
In the sign of Peter walking on the water we are given a parable of the life of faith. We are given an example of what its like to be a disciple with Jesus among the waves. We learn two main points: the life of the disciple is one of ups and...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
The miracle of Peter walking on the water is not simply to display the power of Jesus over the forces of gravity. It is a sign that has sign-ificance. The significance for the Christian is that in Christ we are safe, but we must never play it...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Ours is a selfish society. Ours is a society that is inordinately individualistic. The individual decides truth for himself. The individual chooses his own morality. But while Christianity is not totally against individualism, it is in general...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Ever since there have been disciples, there have been false disciples. John 6 reveals to us that while Jesus walked on Earth the same was true. There were many who saw Jesus but only some who truly believed. Even within the tight group of the...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
As Peter steps off the boat and onto the shore of Galilee he never knew exactly what it would cost him to follow Jesus, but he would soon learn that it would cost him everything. Luke records this significant moment in the life of the disciples...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
As Simon and Andrew hauled in the greatest catch of their lives one thing was clear, Jesus was more powerful than they had previously realized. Simon, feeling the discrepancy between himself and Jesus, fell to the deck of the boat and cried out...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Jesus had pursued Peter to the shores of Galilee. He climbed aboard Peter’s boat andasked him to trust him, to set out into the deep and let down his nets for a great catch. Peter trusted Jesus’ word. Peter obeyed. Jesus fulfilled...[ abbreviated | read entire ]