Just Everyday Life
32“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.
33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.
34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
35 For I have come to turn “ ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’
37 “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.
38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
40 “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.
41 Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward.
42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”
This gospel is written in 5 discourses. Today we are in the second discourse or major teaching.
There are lots of people who are hearing this message. Jesus is focusing on how the gospel will affect everyday living.
Following Christ, being a disciple is an every day life choice. Every choice has an outcome.
IN VS 32-33 WE ARE TOLD THAT FOLLOWING CHRIST AFFECTS WHAT KIND OF PERSON WE ARE PUBLICLY.
Your faith is not just your own. Your public persona, your daily life should be guided by the relationship you have with Christ.
Believers are to be salt and light in the world. We are to be graceful people who are change agents, who preserve and extend life and who bring stability into our world and the lives of people around us.
By command and necessity our faith is to be shared.
As a disciple of Christ are you declaring your faith by the way you live and the words you use?
VS 34 IS TEACHES THAT WE MUST BE PREPARED FOR THERE TO BE SEPARATION BECAUSE OF OUR FOLLOWING CHRIST.
Your faith may separate you from some people.
More than one Christian has had to leave a job because their faith and their job expectations were in conflict.
Believers may be passed over because they are not “company at all costs” type people.
More than one believer has had to deal with political correctness, belittling of their faith and favoritism of the secular over the sacred.
The issue even comes up in church. Following the gospel has the cost of division. It forces us to say and decide which side of the truth we will stand on.
IN VS 35-37 WE ARE TAUGHT THAT FOLLOWING CHRIST HAS A DIRECT EFFECT ON HOW WE GET ALONG WITH FAMILY.
The separation sword often comes home to our family. Sometimes right into our immediate family and house.
Some of us will have to choose faith over family. It is heart-wrenching.
Believers must be ready to deal with persecution from those closest to them.
Whom would you choose if forced? Family or Christ?
What if one of us were told by a family member to choose them or the church?
Don’t say it can’t happen to you.
IN VS 38-39 WE ARE SHOWN THAT FOLLOWING JESUS MEANS THAT WE WILL CONSTANTLY BE EXAMINING OUR OWN PRIORITIES.
Jesus is saying that our spiritual priorities must be examined regularly.
Christ tells us that we must take up our cross and follow him. It means dying to oneself in order to find and do the will of Christ.
Everything that life is to you dies on your spiritual cross.
You crucify your dreams, your plans, your ideas of success, your preferences.
You find true life in Christ when you die to life as you think it ought to be.
IN VS 40-41 WE ARE TOLD THAT THE PEOPLE WE DO LIFE WITH WILL HAVE TO RECKON WITH OUR FAITH.
Our identity, our label, our essence is that of “Believer”.
The first thing that comes out of the mouth of a person who is describing us? A believer!
Our faith must affect others. Our faith is our identity. When they welcome us they are welcoming Jesus.
Is that the kind of faith you have? People who deal with you will get blessed because they are dealing with Jesus in you.
IN VS 42 WE ARE TOLD THAT GOD REWARDS EVEN THE SMALL SEEMINGLY INSIGNIFICANT ACTS OF FAITH AND KINDNESS.
Whatever you do for the Lord will never be missed by the Lord.
But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing… Matt 6:3
What you do matters. Nothing you do for the Lord is wasted. You matter. What you do matters.
Your everyday life matters. If you are going to be a disciple of the Lord please know this:
Following Christ affects what kind of person we are.
We must be prepared for there to be separation.
Following Christ has a direct effect on how we get along with family.
We must examine our own priorities.
People will have to reckon with our faith.
God rewards acts of faith and kindness.