Beth Moore Conference
“Laying Down Your Cross”
Matthew 16.24-28 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
[The Lord has come for what is left]
– Will I give up the world I can see to serve the God I cannot see? (The biggest fight we have)
– “Losing to find”
– The secret to absolute happiness
~ (Phil 4) “I have found the secret….”
Prelude to vs.24-28
– (21-23) Jesus was rebuked by Peter
– Jesus replied to Peter, “Get behind me Satan, for you are a stumbling block to me.”
~ the things of man = stumbling blocks
* The gospel is not an offense to our intellect. It is an offense to our pride.*
– (2 Cor 4.10) The life of Jesus should be revealed in our body.
1.) Christ offers us a life we’d trade the world to have.
– To will; the desire to give everything
– J.K. Marlon, “We were meant to live dramatic lives of goodness, truth, and beauty”
2.) This life cannot be sought. It can only be found.
– We have to lose it to find it.
– We must follow Him to the death
* the disciples followed and witnessed the life of Jesus
– Will I trust in God for the will of my life or will I rest in my own comfort?
3.) This life’s biggest stumbling block will be self-protection.
– If we protect our lives from the will of God, we will lose our lives!
– Those who love us may love our character not our calling (mistaken tenderness)
– God’s will never enters were self-will dominates.
– (2 Cor 11.14-15) Satan masquerades himself as an angel of light; comfort
– Christ bids us to come and follow Him. “Oh The Wonderful Cross”
“We place God’s holy words on our hearts so that when the heart breaks, the words fall in”
– The very thing that killed Him, raises us to life.
The Call – God called us by name to follow Him according to His purpose.
Give it up to live it up!
Jesus does not lead us in circles. He wants to take us to new places.
4.) The cost of missing this life is infinitely higher than the cost of living it.
– my destiny; purpose for existence
– “We are like flies crawling on the ceiling of the Sistine chapel…. When we follow Christ, our feet are on holy ground.”
– Luke 9.25
– What good does it do to lose the real you? (the you that has been called by God)
– We are created in the image of our creator! This is the most expensive, valuable thing we have, what would we trade that for?
~ material wealth = impoverished souls. Nothing material can nourish the immaterial.
~ “Exchange” from the Greek, “Antallagma” – “an equivalent or ransom – in exchange”
~ What do I ransom my soul for in order to have security? Convenience?
~ Ecc 2.1-11, 17
– Heaven beats Hell. This life is a vapor. Solomon, “everything was meaningless… I hated my life.”
5.) In this life, denying ourselves means denying self the right to rob us of God.
– Taking up the cross means to play your role well.
– Denying ourselves:
a) Selfishness – robs us of contentment. Christianity does not treat our selfishness.
b) Insatiable ego – I have to get over myself to find myself! No Voting Stock – quell it in Jesus’ name. [Why so downcast? – Why so ego driven?]
– Our culture is mass producing narcissists! [staring at our own refection; being self-consumed, “all me-ism”]
– If we are obsessed with ourselves we will thirst to death. The allegory of man and reflection where the idea narcissism is taken from.
– 2 Tim 3.1 “The more godless our society gets, the more narcissistic we become.” Would I rather be right or have a relationship?”
c) saves us from the bondage of addictions.
– both substance and behavioral Addiction to approval?
– “addiction” from Latin, “addictus” means to “surrender to the gods” Addiction is stronger than human love, but not stronger than God’s love. Addiction is worship. Christ demands to be the central activity, because everything but Christ hurts us.
– “Every man is eaten up with some kind of zeal.” Surgeon
– “The idea that self must fix this broken self is self-destructing. But I sure kept trying to fix myself with myself. Self-help is no help at all!” (the addiction of self-help)
– God is bigger than any addiction and is sovereign over those who trust and surrender.
– In order to live in victory, we have to trust the Lord daily.
6.) This life involves giving ourselves up, not giving up!”
– Luke 21.19 “By standing firm, you will gain your life.”
~ persevere to win!
* tribulation vs. irritation We are not wimps. We are warriors!
~ We will never lose a fight when we are in Jesus.
~ Our calling will not be convenient for us. Adapt. We do not quit.
– Worldly understanding of happiness:
~ self-absorbed narcissism
~ success produces a celebrity.
– Biblical understanding of happiness:
~ self -denying apprenticeship to Jesus
~ success produces a hero.
7.) Whatever we lose to find this life will be incomparably supplanted.
– (Matt 16), (Heb 11.6), (Rom 8.18)
– My rewards lie with Jesus, my creator
Christ calls us to self-sacrifice. He will esteem you, beloved!