“FOLLOW ME” SERIES – #5
“WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?” (Matt. 19:16ff)
FBC Earlville 10-2-11 10:30 AM Rev. J.B. Stopford, Pastor
INTRODUCTION Today’s “Special”: “Language Funny”
A Swiss man, looking for directions, pulls up at a bus stop where two Americans are waiting.
“Entschuldigung, koennen Sie Deutsch sprechen?” he asks.
The two Americans just stare at him.
“Excusez-moi, parlez vous Fracais?” he tries.
The two continue to stare.
“Hablan ustedes Espanol?”
The Swiss guy drives off, extremely disgusted. The first American turns to the second and says, “Y’know, maybe we should learn a foreign language.”
“Why?” says the other. “That guy knew four languages, and it didn’t do him any good.”
What does it mean to follow Jesus? Matthew left all. The blind men obeyed what they heard. The disciples were encouraged to surrender the driver’s seat of their lives to Jesus alone.
Today, again, a familiar passage. Here we find a successful businessman needing to apply God’s Word to his life. Two times the listening disciples are confronted with the word “follow”. Did you catch them both? PRAYER
1. REMEMBER WHOM YOU ARE ADDRESSING (vs. 16,17)
> Is Jesus your good God?
Compare Romans 3:23 with 2 Cor. 5:21
2. REJECT ALL ENTANGLING ALLIANCES (vs. 18-22)
(with respect to George Washington and his Farewell Address)
> Is Jesus your only treasure?
Compare the god of morality vs. following the exclusive God
Did he own treasures, or did the treasures own him?
See Matthew 6:33 and Colossians 3:1-3
3. REACT WITH AMAZEMENT AT GOD’S GRACE (vs. 23ff)
> Is Jesus your only reward?
a. God specializes in the impossible, vs. 23-26
- Illus. # 1: the camel and the needle There are many interpretations of this passage. BUT look at the practical picture. A HUGE camel, a small needle. And just as it is impossible for a camel to go into the eye of a needle, so salvation, too, is an impossibility without the intervention of the Spirit of God in the heart of man.
- Illus. # 2: the changing of Arlene’s heart! Arlene was a school crossing guard, and Jude was a jogger who is a Christian. She would daily jog by Arlene and got burdened for her. She started given Arlene tracts, messages about faith in Jesus. Arlene said, “these are nice stories.” But one day many months later, Arlene said to Jude, “I’ve received Jesus as my Savior!”. Arlene is Home with Jesus today because God does the impossible – changes hearts! Can you visualize God changing your loved ones, friends, and neighbors’ hearts? Can He change your heart?
b. God rewards the steady follower, vs. 27-28
Peter’s inquiry in light of Jesus’ heart: “what’s in it for me?”
Prov. 21:5 (The Living Bible) “Steady plodding brings prosperity;
hasty speculation brings poverty.”
V. 29: “has left” = “given up” = “yielded Lordship”!
Illus. The “John 3:16 Discount” A garage owner in Dallas is offering a $15 discount on oil changes if when you bring your car in you quote “John 3:16”. The owner justifies that discount by saying, “Jesus is my Lord. I have given up ownership of this business to Him.”
Philippians 2:5-8 takes us to the cross! Our Savior gave up the independent exercise of His attributes of deity in order to become a man and give Himself for our sins at the cross!