Challenges of the Cross

Challenges of the Cross

Matthew 16:24–26
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.
25 “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
26 “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

LeBron James and Lakers likely to miss playoffs
Surprising b/c LeBron in final 8 yrs running
Turned basement dwellers into contenders
Michael Jordan did same
Great players make everyone around them better
Jesus has the same effect
Being in your life should make you greater
Bring best out of you – calls you to be like him
His greatest act – crucifixion – sets bar for us

I. Challenge To Love In A World Filled With Hate
A. Whole nation hated him
1. Mt 27:39–40
2. Mt 27:41–42
3. Mt 27:44 The robbers who had been crucified with Him were also insulting Him with the same words.
B. Jesus Loved
1. Lk 23:39–43
2. Jn 19:26–27
C. Calls us to love
1. Without love, we are nothing
2. 1 Co 13:1–3

II. Challenge To Forgive In A World Of Revenge
A. Jesus was killed for jealous revenge and control
1. Mt 26:3–4
2. Mt 26:67–68
B. Jesus forgave even while he suffered
1. Lk 23:33–34
C. Christians must learn to forgive!
1. Mt 6:12–15

III. To Be Committed In World Of Compromise
A. Lk 23:13–16
1. Lk 23:20–24
B. Faith requires commitment to God
1. Need it most when risks are highest
2. Mt 10:22 “You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.
3. Mt 24:13 “But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.
C. God wants complete faithfulness
1. Lk 16:10
2. Re 2:10

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