Selfishness is everywhere, though most of us never even realize when we are guilty of it. It has been said that in a marriage it takes ten years to even begin to think of your spouse and their needs over that of your own. Other parts of society are much the same way; we see everything through our particular lens and woe to those around us if we take a particular offense. Our faith in Christ and becoming His disciples certainly strikes big discomfort in many areas of our daily lives.
This week at Bethel, Pastor Don challenges us to pay the price of discipleship in these three main areas knowing we will experience God's revealed power:
# 1 - Put Self In Its Place
We want what we want, when we want, the way we want it. We have been taught that this is acceptable, and even that the desire is something we have earned through hard work or any number of achievements and milestones. Scripture teaches an approach far from this. Listen this week to experience how we are told to love God SO INTENSELY that every other strong relationship we have seems like hate in comparison.
#2- Take Up Your Cross
This phrase gets thrown around a lot, but few apply it. Many teach that God makes your life easy and prosperous if you are following Him appropriately. Jesus's earliest followers, however, were all killed for their faith. Though following Him will make you aware of His immense blessing and power, there is also extreme opposition and push-back. What does your life produce in the way of holiness?
#3 - Follow Jesus
Ultimately the call to follow God is the repeated theme throughout scripture. We are not given a pass when things get difficult, but rather a promise that no matter what we face, we won't have to go through it alone. There is something to be said for following Jesus through immense persecution. Most of us reading this have never faced real persecution, but is our faith such that we would continue our walk even when it may arise?
Push into His presence in a deeper way this week! You will be surprised the difference in your experience with God when you connect with a Spirit-filled community to encourage you and spur you on when things get difficult. The Holy Spirit is moving around the world, and we are preparing for a great local move of His Holy Spirit here in Durham before Jesus's soon return.
We hope that you will consider this week's message in greater depth in the days ahead and meditate on God's Word. You can find the sermon below.