Message by Terry Wiens – March 26, 2023

Starting Question: Did Jesus actually ask us to give up our lives for Him?

Matthew 10:37-39 NIV  “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”

Matthew 16:24-26 NIV  Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?”

Luke 14:25-27 NIV  Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “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. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”

Luke 14:33 NIV  “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.”

1. The cost of following Jesus:

  • Peter, Andrew and Matthew gave up their jobs to follow Jesus
  • Thomas was all in – where Jesus went, Thomas would follow, no matter what
  • Many, and probably most, of the disciples gave up their lives to follow Jesus

2. Jesus is asking us for our lives

  • It’s tempting to minimize the level of commitment Jesus is asking of us

3. Following Jesus is not about being religious; it’s about giving our lives to the mission of Jesus

4. Giving up our lives means that when someone is in real need, we give according to the need, not according to what is comfortable

5. Taking up our cross and giving up our lives is about…

  • Doing the right thing when it is not worth it
  • Being ready to sacrifice when an uncomfortable situation comes our way
  • Finding uncomfortable needs

How can we wrestle with this radical message of Jesus?

  • Remember that you are not alone
  • Let’s be willing to get uncomfortable
  • Love each other sacrificially

Closing Thought: Loving one another is the greatest way that people will see what following Jesus is all about.

You can listen to the sermon on YouTube here.

About Terry Wiens: Terry Wiens has been attending Westheights Church for almost 20 years. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious studies. Terry works in the financial sector, enjoys technology and continues to study theology in his spare time.  He is married to Jenn and they are proud parents of three wonderful adult children: Katie, Emylea and Griffin.