LENT | Week 2 | Luke 9:23-27
We have said that Lent is a season that invites us to empty ourselves of lesser things so we can be filled with the greater things of the Gospel. This week, Jesus extends that invitation with a verse you are most likely familiar with. “Deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow me.”
What does this verse really mean? How does this verse invite me to empty myself of lesser things? What greater things am I being filled with?
Join us in Luke 9:23-27 as we continue our journey through the season of LENT.
Date: March 8, 2020
Speaker: Jason Jordan
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Thank you so much for listening in here at West Side. We often say that we love the word of God because it points us to the son of God. We hope these messages encourage you and equip you to love Jesus more. We also want you to be apart of a local church, we believe these messages are only supplemental, being apart of a local church is essential. Blessings.
LENT Week 2- “Cross-Fit” Luke 9:20-27
INTRO> The odds are, is that you or someone you know works out, and that they are a “Cross-Fitter”. Cross-fit is a form of strength and conditioning exercise that blends a lot of stuff together. It was founded by Greg Glassman in 1996, there was 13 “boxes” by 2005, as of today there are 13,000 and has a current value of the business at $4 BILLION dollars. They have what is called the “W.O.D.” the work out of the day and it always changes. One of the things that Greg Glassman said that makes them different is that, “A cross fitter is consumed with cross fit, they’re gym (box) is like a family to them. If a person fully gives themself to Crossfit there life should be consumed with it.”
APP> As cheesy as it is, that’s the first thing I thought of when I read today’s passage. We are in Lent. Lent leads us to the core of christianity, the cross and that introduction leads us to our big idea for the day:
Big Idea > The Christian life is a life consumed by the Cross.
“And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-2
“Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Romans 8:17
CONTEXT> In out text today Jesus speaks to “all” v23 about what this journey with him is like. Just like how Cross-fit has a “work out of the day” Jesus says there are some things that have to be done “daily” v23 in order to be a disciple of his. This are coming straight from the text:
APP> 1) Denying ourselves 2) Taking up our cross 3) Following Jesus
- Denying ourselves.
- “let him deny himself….” I think it would serve us well to spend a little time here. I think there is a gross misunderstanding as to what Jesus is saying here and it has done some serious damage.
Denying yourself is not:
- hating yourself. (guilt/shame)
- destroying yourself. (ignoring emotions/performance)
- lying to yourself. (chaos/confusion)
APP> So then what does this look like?
APP> Denying ourselves is acknowledging and accepting the truth that I am not my own authority.
“The self we are to deny, disown and crucify is our fallen self, everything within us that is incompatible with Jesus Christ (hence his commands “let him deny himself” and then “let him follow me”) The self we are to affirm and value is our created self, everything within us that is compatible with Jesus Christ (hence his statement that if we lose ourselves by self denial we will find ourselves). True self denial (the denial of our false, fallen self) is not the road to self-destruction but the road to self discovery.” John Stott, The Cross of Christ, pg275
APP> So how do we do that?!
2) Taking up our cross.
- “take up his cross daily..” Notice that Jesus didn’t say, “take up my cross” Why? Because Jesus’ cross isn’t our cross to bear. There also couldn’t be a worse sort of sales pitch that Jesus could make here.. i mean a cross? The roman symbol of humiliation…
APP> What does the cross mean for us? What does it look like daily for us?
- Daily Submission. Luke 22:42
- Daily Forgiveness. Colossians 2:14
- Daily Sacrifice. Ephesians 2:16
- Daily Humility. Philippians 2:8
APP> Here is how we can get very practical… Here is a daily question to ask ourselves that gets right at this daily of picking up our cross…
APP> What does love require of me? “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10 “Jesus frames his call of discipleship in extreme terms, using words like “whoever and “must” and in so doing he excludes anyone who wants some other kind of discipleship. It is a daily activity-not merely a decision made once and left to the wayside. Picking up ones cross is the most extreme way to describe the self-denial required of disciples. If we take Jesus’ words seriously, we have to admit that much that passes for Christianity today will eventually be revealed as a diabolic counter-fit.” – Mike McKinley, Luke for You, pg130
3) Following Jesus.
- “and follow me…” This is it right? This is the motivation. Now we have something to propel us, to motivate us, it’s not just the giving up, it’s also the gaining. What do we gain?… we gain Jesus!
APP> The goal of following Jesus is Jesus! “lose his life FOR MY SAKE!” Do you see it there? You have to have a greater love as the motivator! Why do I pick up my cross, because Jesus picked up his! Why do I love my enemies? Because Jesus loved me!
APP> What does it look like following Jesus?
- Life in Death. v24
- Gain in Loss. v25
- Acceptance in Rejection. v26
Big Idea > The Christian life is a life consumed by the Cross.
Close> I turned 33 in February… i’ve been struggling with it because that’s the age many scholars believe Jesus was when he died. Ben Sternke, “Happy birthday man, it’s a good year to die.”
“Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favorite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end submit with ever fiber of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.”-C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
One of the ways we can “deny ourselves” is through confession… Let us pray together:
Prayer of Confession:
“Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.”