Commitment over Convenience

February 11, 2024   /   Brad Myers   /   Cross Pointe Church

CHASING CONVENIENCE!
Pastor Brad Myers

Commitment over Convenience February 11, 2024

Review:

Wk 1: What is Chasing Convenience?

  • Chasing: Capture or overtake.
  • Convenience: Easy, Comfortable.
  • Convenience (God): suitable or timely for an opportunity.

1 Kings 12:25-33 (NIV) Golden Calves at Bethel and Dan

  • Jeroboam afraid 10 Northern Tribes will return to the serving the King of Judah.
  • Two golden calves: Bethel & Dan. Builds altars and sacrifices to the calves.
  1. Convenience can be deceptive. Bethel and Dan felt like worship but wasn’t.
  2. Convenience can be alluring: More attractive.
  3. Convenience can be dangerous.

30 And this thing became a sin; the people came to worship the one at Bethel and went as far as Dan to worship the other.

Last Week: Conviction over Convenience

Conviction: A firm belief that drives our behavior.

Differences of Conviction & Convenience?

  • Convenience is comfortable. Conviction is challenging.
  • Convenience enables our desires. Conviction shapes our behavior.
  • Convenience says, I’m a Christian. Conviction say’s I’m like Christ.
  • Convenience please people.  Conviction pleases God.

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Early Christians had conviction

Pharaoh offered a compromise:

  1. Sacrifice to your God, but in Egypt.
  2. Go, but not very far.
  3. Men can go, but women and children stay.
  4. All can go, but flocks and herds stay.

Thought: Early Christians felt Conviction is really Convenience when Compromise is involved.

Thought: Are we followers of Christ, or just a fan of Christ

Thought: Followers are led by convictions deeply rooted in their faith from the standard of God’s Word and the life of Jesus. Fans are led by convenience rooted in compromise.  When it’s convenient, I’ll follow Christ; but the moment it begins to cost me something, I’m out!

We’re really talking about Commitment!

Q) Are you a disciple of Christ or just a follower?

  • We use them interchangeably.

Thought: All disciples of Christ are followers; but not all followers are disciples. Jesus had many “followers” but only a few of them were called “disciples.”

Thought: A disciple is a follower of Jesus who commits to learn how to be more like Him.

  • Follower: Committed to the teachings of the teacher.
  • Disciple: “To Learn”
  • Disciple: Committed to learning how to be like the teacher.

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Matthew 28:19 (NIV)
Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations……

John 8:31 (NLT)
…..“You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.”

  1. Translated: “If you continue” Committed to following the teaching (doing what it says) & learning to be like the teacher.

Thought: You can still follow the teachings but question the teacher!

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Commitment:

  • Dictionary: An Obligation
  • Bible: To turn over, or give over

Q) So, what commitment is needed to be a disciple of Christ?

Luke 14:25 (NLT)
25 A large crowd was following Jesus……

  • Popularity spreading: Great teacher & speaker.
  • Miracles: Healing and feeding
  • Weather: Controls the weather

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Thought: Crowds followed Jesus but there is no indication that the commitment of these individuals lasted any longer than their current situation.

Thought: Even those the people were not committed to Jesus they were part of the crowd that followed him.

Why? See a miracle, get a handout, (fish and some bread), hear a wild story, etc.

Thought: There’s a clear distinction between the outer crowd that were fans of Jesus as opposed to the inner circle who were following Jesus wanting to be His disciple.

Thought: Jesus had what every preacher wants today; a large crowd following them waiting for every word that comes out of their mouths. You would think that Jesus would tell the crowd that following him would be a life of good health, of comfort and convenience. Then the people go tell their friends & family and they would come back next week, and Jesus would then have an even bigger crowd. Jesus never said that. Instead, Jesus lays out the commitments needed to be not only a follower but a true disciple and not just a fan in the crowd.

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The Commitments: Luke 14:25-3

Commitment #1

A person who makes a true commitment elevates their faith over their family.

Luke 14:26 (NIV)
If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers, and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.

“Hate” Means:

  • Prioritizing your commitments.
  • Faith that’s elevated high above all other things.
  • Learning process

Luke 14:26 (TLB)

“Anyone who wants to be my follower (commitment coming) must love me far more than he does his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, or sisters—yes, more than his own life—otherwise he cannot be my disciple.

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Commitment #2

A person who makes a true commitment models sacrifice over self-centeredness.

Luke 14:26 (NIV)

If anyone comes to me and does not hate, yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.

  • Yes, even your own life”: Clear distinction between your desires and His desires for you.

Thought: Some choose to remain in the crowd because we fear the closer we get to the inner circle with Jesus the more commitment he’s going to ask for.

Luke 14:33 (NIV)

…. those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

  • “Give up” your wants for Jesus’ desires for you!
  • Disciple: Like Jesus!

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Commitment #3

A person who makes a true commitment prepares for a life of challenges over a life of convenience.

Luke 14:27 (NIV)

And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

Thought: You very well may have to sacrifice some pleasure and prosperity in this world to receive the reward in the next.

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Commitment #4

A person who makes a true commitment elevates relationship over religion.

Luke 14:27 (NIV)

And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

Thought: In the current culture if a Rabbi asked someone to follow them, he was asking them to be a learner of who they are and build a relationship with them.

Relationship: Seeks, Learns, Studies, Grows, Obeys, Trusts.

Religion: Attends, Gives, Shouts, and Serves.

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Commitment #5

A person who makes a true commitment values the conviction of their commitment over life conveniences.

Chasing Convenience or Chasing your Committed Conviction.

Luke 14:28 (NIV)

Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?

Q) Have you considered what your commitment looks like? (estimate the cost)

Q) Do you have enough conviction in your commitment?? (enough money to complete it?)

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Commitment #6

A person who makes a true commitment is more useful to God than useless.

Luke 14:34 (NIV)

Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 

That day salt was a powerful agent for

  • Preserving & Seasoning. An agent of change in food..
  • BUT, if it gets contaminated it becomes useless.

Thought: We are supposed to be like salt that changes the environment around us, then we are useful; however, if the current environment changes us, we become useless.

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What’s the Reward for my Commitment?

Thought: When we are committed to God, He doesn’t forget about us!

Revelation 22:12 (NIV)

“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.

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