Good morning. Hi, everybody. It’s good to be with all of you this morning if you’re watching us online, we’re super grateful to have you once again come to our church.
And I’m getting a little bit of feedback here. So I don’t know, maybe it’s not feedback, but anyway welcome. Welcome back. And I know that we don’t have a ton of people in the room here, but in spirit, there is so many. So don’t be discouraged as you get here. This is honestly phased as we as think about how best to do this. And so God is working to kind of bring us together in a new way and for us to understand it.
And so I just it’s been awesome to hear your voices, your voices remind me so much of the choir of angels, I imagine in heaven one day. And so I’m just I’m really grateful to be with you, as always. Thank you so much for joining us online. It is continue to be excited that so many people get a chance to watch this. And from all over the place, if you’re from a new place, I know you do at the beginning, but drop where you’re where you’re watching us from.
We want to say hello. We want to connect with you. And if you’re brand new here, you can drop i’m new and we’d love to connect you to that way as well. This weekend, we celebrate Martin Luther King Day. He’s one of the many heroes in our country who fought to make what he experienced a little bit more more like the world view of Jesus. In each year as a tradition, I have for many, many years gone back and listen to the “I Have a Dream” speech this weekend.
And this week I listened to it again and once again, I’m inspired by Martin Luther King’s communication power, but also his courage to say something that at the time was not a common view at all. He would say in the speech, something that I’m kind of always stirred my soul, he says, “I have a dream that sons of former slaves and sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood. That unity would be forged in our country and also is just a reminder that during this weekend that as we celebrate that, that we really have a long way to go in our country.
That it was, that thought of what Martin Luther King’s vision was and the vision of Jesus for that matter, has yet to come to fruition, that we still have a journey ahead of us. And and I know that that this past week and on Wednesday or not this past week, but the week before and Wednesday on the stuff that happened, the capital continued to kind of stoke the flames of division within our country. I’m sympathetic to those who saw what happened on Wednesday and saw the Confederate flags waving in the capital and thought of that kind of as an illustration of our nation’s demonic challenge with race.
I’m also sympathetic to those who from the Hispanic community, especially, who are now fearful that some of the systems and the beliefs that that their family, fled from in Cuba, Venezuela or other Latin American countries you believe is now coming to our nation. And I’ve spoken to so many of you. And and though I don’t know where I stand on a lot of these issues, I’ve thought, I’ve tried my hardest to to walk in your shoes for a little bit.
And I’m trying my hardest to learn to have more mercy than I do judgment. And maybe on this holiday, the holiday where we celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday, that we can try to do that a little bit more, to have more mercy than we do judgment. But see, my major concern as a minister is less about those political issues, though I do care about those political issues. My major issue is not really about our political affiliations, though.
I think that’s important or maybe even our social alliances. But my major concern as a friend and as a minister of the gospel, as those, as for all of you who are in your homes, my major concern is this simple question, which is who are you following?
Who are you following? Today, as Josh mentioned, we are continuing our series called Picking Up the Pieces, where we’ve been talking about the fact that twenty twenty was a year where God exposed our brokenness. And that’s not something for us to regret, but instead for us, that’s something for us to be grateful for, because broken people are really the only people that God can put back together in a more beautiful way. And last week, we talked about the idea that we have cracks in our emotional world right now, that we’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious.
I gave you a 10 question survey. If you didn’t watch us last week online, I encourage you to go check out the link after this service.
But but we ended with the thought that if your lifestyle is producing anxiety, burnout, irritability, mild depression, etc., then there’s something about the way in which you order your life that is not like Jesus, because Jesus’s life did not have those same emotional pitfalls. Jesus instead invited us to have rest, and I tease this idea that Jesus was giving us a new way to order our lives and that he would that he would later say produce life and life to the full.
And that’s what we’re going to talk about today. So here’s the question that really going to think about for a little bit. Who are you following? You know, our culture has kind of turned a corner on this whole idea of who following people. When I grew up, one of the worst things in the world you could be was a follower. One of my favorite songs is a terrible song, so don’t listen to it, but I love, love Mobb Deep.
He’s one of my favorite rappers. He has a song called Don’t Be a Follower. It’s terribly ungodly, but that’s that’s the idea. When I was growing up, that was the thought you if someone bought a pair of sneakers, you definitely didn’t buy that same pair of sneakers. Even if you love them, you have to at least buy a different colorway or something, because if you bought the same sneakers, then you had no style and there was nothing worse than having no style.
Where I grew up, style was about being unique, being a snowflake, you’re the only person in the universe like you. It was very cool to be different and it was very corny to be just like everybody else, but something in our society has begun to change. It’s kind of interesting to me that there are people now who are OK with following people. Think of the landscape of social media. The thought is you have followers or a following and you have influencers.
People who are being paid to sort of lead you in a direction, we ask questions about people’s following, how many people are interested, let’s say, and what you’re doing, how what you ate for dinner last night, your what you’re buying or what you’re saying or how you’re responding. You have people who, again, are paid to be influencers where their profession is to influence their followers. In essence, you have two hundred and eight million people who want to dress like, look like, act like, smell like, buy like Ariana Grande.
It’s interesting, that would have been so, so wack when I was growing up. But today we’re becoming accustomed to this idea of following people. We follow our favorite anchors and their opinions on the news sites we watch their talking points and their view of the world. And through their influence, their opinions become our opinions. We follow our favorite bloggers on YouTube, and we even buy their merch. We have Mr. Beach shirts and cutie pie stuff.
And if you like the marble Olympics guy, you buy his hoodie, whatever it is, we’re constantly being led to purchase, to consume, to look at. To respond like, to dress, like to absorb like the people we follow. We are a nation of followers. We follow people on TV and the latest home trends. We all want ship lap in our homes because of Joanna Gaines. We dress like the NBA stars or we buy the gowns of the Duchess of Wales or whatever.
We follow people. We follow our political parties. And even if we think I’m not a sheep, I’m not being led by anybody. I have my own opinions. Even those opinions you got from somebody you are following. We’re a nation of followers. So the question really is, is that wrong? Is it wrong to be a follower? Well, maybe, but a better question is actually this question. Who are you following?
It may come as no surprise to most of us, but God has a lot to say about following in the scriptures, following isn’t seen as a positive or negative thing. But in scripture, what is clearly understood is that the value of following is completely dependent upon who you choose to follow. The Bible has no issue with people following other people. The Bible has a significant amount to say about who you choose to follow. I mentioned last week that Jesus was a rabbi and that idea of Jesus being a rabbi actually has tremendous impact or tremendous implications for the way in which we live our lives as followers or as disciples.
In a moment, we’re going to get to mark chapter one so you can go and turn there, but I want to nerd out for you for just a second, because I think it will help tie this whole lesson together. In the first century, discipleship was the apex of the Jewish education system. When you were between the ages of zero and twelve, what happened is that you were sent to school. Men and women were sent to school where they learned mathematics and reading and writing and kind of some of the basic stuff.
Right. And so they would go to school from ages zero to twelve and learn all that stuff. But in addition to basics, reading, writing a little bit of a little bit of math, they would also learn to memorize all, if not most, if not all of the Torah. So think about this, if you have a 12 year old son or daughter. Your 12 year old knows the entire first five books of the Bible by heart.
Kind of crazy. After you were 12, you would kind of graduate from primary school and you would be sent to work as an apprentice with your dad or in the field or Tanner as a fisherman or whatever it was. But if you were a woman, you would be, you would get married. You would begin to have children. We’ve come a long way in our society Amen. But twelve and thirteen year olds, that’s what they would do.
But if you were the top of your class, if you were like, number, you know, somewhere in the top 30 percent, you would get sent off to the School of Learning. And the School of Learning or the House of Learning would be the place where you would actually have a paid teacher to help you understand the more kind of biblical teachings throughout the scriptures. And so during that process, you would spend between the ages of twelve and sixteen in those schools and you would learn and you would learn, and
You would learn. And hopefully by the end of it, you would memorize the entire Old Testament. Did you hear that some of us haven’t even read the entire Old Testament, memorized the entire Old Testament that was level one and level two, was that right? But if you were the top of the class, if you were summa cum laude, if you were a Rhodes scholar, you would have a chance to move into level three. Level three is where you could become a Talmud Diem or an apprentice.
Another word the Bible uses a lot is a disciple to a rabbi. If you were lucky enough, you could get interviewed by a rabbi and the rabbi would ask you how many questions you understood or to ask you questions about the Torah or the Mishna. And if you had what it took, if you had the smarts or the or the intelligence or the acumen or the work ethic or the drive or the the knack or the talents and ability to become a rabbi, you yourself, then what would happen as he would come to you and he would look at you and he would say, “come follow me”.
Now, if you’re familiar with the Bible, you hear that line, you’re like, I know that’s in the scriptures often. Because you’re right, Mark, Chapter one, “As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net until late into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’ At once they left their nets and followed him verse 19, “when he had gone a little further, he saw James, son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat preparing their nets. Without delay
He called them,” probably saying the same line, come follow me. “And they left their nets, left their father, Zebedee, I’m sorry, in the boat with the hired men and followed him.” If you turn the page one page over chapter two, verse 13, you see the same thing happen. “Once again jesus went out beside the lake. A large crowd came to him and he began to teach them. As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collectors booth.
‘Follow me,’ Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.” Remember what I said before, that the disciples, the people who became disciples were incredibly educated men. They were people who had understood and memorized so much of the Bible, and so you may recall this idea that when the disciples were first kind of being launched in their mission and their mission in the Book of Acts, they said that they were unschooled and ordinary. Meaning they hadn’t gone through that, instead they went to Apprentice.
And then one day they were called by Jesus, trained by Jesus. Mark, Chapter three, same idea, “Jesus went out to the mountainside and he called those he wanted and they came to him. He appointed the twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach,” one more. This is Mark, Chapter eight, it’s not just for the selected, it’s for everyone or it’s not just for the few selected, it’s for everyone.
When he called the crowd. Now, that’s thousands to him, along with his disciples, he said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves, take up their cross and follow me.” Jesus, just like a modern day influencer, calls anybody who wishes to follow him no pedigree, no academic excellence, just normal old people like you and me and Jesus is saying, you can be my apprentice, no schooling required. Just come and follow me.
And if you do, I will give you a new way to live. Last week, I said that he offered a yoke and a yoke equals a way and Jesus would later say that he is The Way. Think about this, he said, “I am the way to the father, the way to heaven. And through him,” what he’s saying is that if you follow the way he lives and you follow and you order his steps like he ordered his steps and you follow the way he passed his time and your spending and your resources and and the way you live your life and maintain your relationships.
What he’s saying is that his influence was going to bring you towards the father and towards heaven. You know, influencers try to point you in the direction they say, hey, if you follow me, you might be rich like me. If you follow me, you may look like me. If you follow me, you might smell like me. If you follow me, you may live the lifestyle I have lived. But what’s so amazing is that Jesus says, “if you follow me, I’m going to give you eternal life.
And also life here on Earth.” And so when the when the Bible unfolds, you start hearing in Acts, chapter twenty four, verse fourteen, that the disciples are now referred to as The Way. He was a rabbi, their lord, their influencer, and they were followers, apprentice’s disciples. We have to begin to put this in the first century or twenty first century context to make it really make sense, and then I promise I’ll bring this all home.
I know I’ve been talking a lot, so just strap on your seat belt, there’s a lot going on here. In Jesus’s time, the role of a disciple was really found in three goals. I’m going to share what those three goals are and then how they relate to us today. The first goal was that you wanted to be with your rabbi. Think about what Jesus said in Mark Chapter three he says, “He appointed the 12 that they might be with him.”
They might be with him to be a disciple was to be with your rabbi twenty four seven all day, every day, you would literally follow him around, you would eat all your meals with him, you would sleep at his side, you would live at his side. There’s a really well known blessing from the first century that sounds something like this, “May the may you be covered in the dust of your rabbi.”
Keep in mind, they lived in the desert in the first century. And so what that meant is that they would literally be following behind Jesus. And as he would walk, the smoke or the dust would billow behind him and they would be covered with his dust. It was literal, you wanted to be so close to him that you could be covered with the dust that was lifted off the steps He took. And here’s the implication you’ve made, it may have already made it in your mind.
I’m just trying to connect the dots, but as a follower of Jesus, the first and I would argue the most important goal in your whole life is to be with Jesus.
Now, you may say, I’ve heard that before, that doesn’t really impress me, but I don’t think you understand the implication of it. What it means to be with Jesus, to live in a constant state of awareness that God is in your life.
Constantly thinking about Jesus, constantly thinking about his spirit, constantly thinking about God, and the father living in a constant state where the spirit is dwelling, you were God’s word is consistently popping up in your heart. You remember Galatians Chapter five where it says, “keep in step with the spirit. Live as though the spirit is pushing up dust that is covering you. Decide to carve out time in the morning, in the night, throughout the day, to connect with him in prayer and meditation.”
Notice that that, man what you’re doing in your life at any given moment. Does this include the presence of God? OK, I’m just, I’m cooking food for my family. How is this about the glory of God? Huh? OK, yeah, Lord, you made this awesome meal, you made these great plants that I could stick into this stew, you put life into this animal, that was then slaughtered so I could consume. Whatever right you have a sense of the presence of who God is in your life, you aren’t just on cruise control all day long, numbing yourself.
Think about John, Chapter fifteen, this is what Jesus one most famous teachings on this matter, he says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Jesus’s metaphor for how to be with him is a branch remaining in the line, constantly connected. You’ve never seen a living branch on the ground. Every living branch that’s on, every branch that’s on the ground is a dead branch, and that’s the point.
You can only live as a disciple connected to your source, attached constantly. Gaining your self-assurance, gaining your hope and your self worth realizing that he’s the one that provides life and breath and everything else, you are with your rabbi being a follower, being a disciple. Listen to this quote. I love it. It’s just too good, “The first and most basic thing we can and must do is to keep God before our minds. This is the fundamental secret of caring for our souls.
Our part in thus practicing the presence of God is to direct and redirect our minds constantly to Him. In the early time of our ‘practicing’ meaning, directing our minds, we may well be challenged by our burdensome habit of dwelling on things less than God. But these are just habits, not the law of gravity, and can be broken, a new grace-filled habit will replace the former ones as we take intentional steps towards keeping God before us. Soon, our minds will return to God as the needle of a compass constantly returns to the north.
If God is the great longing of our soul, He will become the polestar of our inward being.” Being a follower of Jesus means living in a constant state of awareness of God all day long. And this is why we encourage you to practice things like quiet times and prayer times and fasting and solitude. This is why we read our Bibles every day and why we encourage why some of us have been encouraged to begin to practice the Sabbath. These are time tested ways of remaining in the vine.
To present yourself before God. To get away from the chaos that is this world. To get away from the news anchors, to get away from the social media influencers, to get away from our constant mind at hurrying and just to stop and slow down and breathe and remind ourselves, God, you have been here the whole time.
I have not been here. I’ve been stuck in traffic. I’ve been on Instagram. I have been watching YouTube videos, I have been at work, I have been wherever I’ve been, I’ve been just angry at my children. I’ve been frustrated with what’s going on in my country. I have not been here. Lord, you’ve been here, though. You have been here. God, I love you and I need you, I need you in my life, I want to be with you.
What percentage of your life, this is a question you can think about, what percentage of your life do you think about God? Is it only in the spiritual matters or is it in all matters? First goal is to be with your rabbi, the second one is to become like your rabbi, and this gets to the heart of who you choose to follow because following is becoming. When you follow someone, you are becoming that person, and that’s really at the heart and soul of what discipleship is in Jesus’s day, your goal was to become a carbon copy of the man you followed. You would literally follow him around. You would copy the way he moves, you would copy this tone of voice, you would copy his mannerisms, his dress. You wanted to be just like him because you would then become his image bearer. I, when you look at me, you see, Jesus, that’s the thought, right? Now we’re all being formed into something. We may think we’re unique, we may think we’re independent, but you’re not really.
And so, again, the question is then who are you? Who are you being formed, I guess, or who or what are you being formed into? Are you on track to look like Jesus? Like just exposed, like express through your personality and your gender and your socioeconomic level and your culture, are you becoming a little version of Jesus, which is, by the way, where we get the name Christian. The people who despised Christianity in the first century began to call Christians “little Christ’s”.
Little Christ, which is, which is like the concept, you would be a little Christ. But my fear is that Christian people in our country and I’m scared that disciples of Jesus are not becoming little Christ, but instead of becoming little Democrats or little Republicans or little political activists or little Donald Trump’s or little Beyonce’s. That we don’t look like him because we have been formed into the image of the world. And in that we, this is the craziest part of it for me,
we begin to trade the image of the glory of an immortal God for a tree, a cheap, broken rip off that the world has to offer, like you can look like the creator God or you can look like Anderson Cooper.
I don’t know, you know, like you can look like the creator God or you can look like Ariana Grande. Like what happens is we are so obsessed with the world and we could become so obsessed with the world and I should say we are so tempted to become obsessed that what ends up happening is we look like the people we follow instead of looking like Jesus. You start talking like them, responding like them, your morals fade into their morals.
Your attitude about life fades into their attitude about life, your view of the oppressed or your view of the poor or your view, all of a sudden you start having stronger opinions about what the world is talking about than anything Jesus ever said. And I say to you, well, this is what the Bible says, you said, well, no, no, no, but this is what this person says on the news. This is the warning in Romans Chapter one,
“They trade the image of the immortal God, for things made of wood, bronze and gold.” We trade becoming like God for becoming like the world. Listen to what Jesus listen to these words that Jesus says is a warning about this and John, chapter ten, verse eleven, “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for a sheep, the hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep.” So when he sees the wolf, what does he do?
“He abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.” You obviously know, what he saying, he is the good shepherd. The hired hands are the influencers of our world, and the wolf is Satan himself. Verse thirteen, it says, “the man runs away, the hired man runs away because he is a hired hand” and listen to this line, “cares nothing for the sheep. I am the Good Shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me-.”
I want for my life, but I hope that you want for your life. I want to mature and grow into the kind of person who is like Jesus from the inside out, not just behaviors, because behaviors can be modified like whatever, but I want inward transformation from my heart. I want to be the kind of person for whom it’s easier to love my enemy than to hurt them or to kill them or to gossip about them or to waterboard them or whatever.
I want to be the kind of person for whom it’s easier to trust God because I believe he is my father. Then to live stressed out and worried every single moment of my day. I want to be the kind of person for whom it’s easier to care about the poor, because I understand that Jesus cared about the poor. It’s easier for me to care about them than to disregard them. I want to have that type of direction in my life pointed towards life and life to the full.
Be with the rabbi. Be like the rabbi. The last one. Bring the Rabbi’s way. Bring it into the world. Bring it, bring his way. When Jesus called the disciples in Mark chapter eight and also Mark chapter three, did you catch what he said? He said he called them so they would go out and preach.
Says be with them and then also preach. This, our church has not had a difficult time teaching or expressing, we’ve talked about evangelism a lot, but it’s not just evangelism, because why did they preach the gospel? Was it just to save their souls in heaven one day? Well, yes, but it wasn’t just that. The other part was that Jesus believed that the kingdom of Heaven was coming to the earth. He wanted to make the line between heaven and earth so thin because image bearers brought heaven to the earth.
So the disciples were called to do the same preach, teach, heal, because the whole point of Apprentice was to be one day like the rabbi to carry on his work so that his message would never die. You remember Matthew, twenty eight, when Jesus is standing there with the disciples in Galilee and he sends them out and he wants you to go make disciples. What is he saying? Would you bring my way? Would you bring my way?
As I see it, you can break down Jesus’s kingdom, work into a bunch of categories at the end, I’m going to have a list, but I’m going to read some some of these things off. Here’s a short list, he was preaching the gospel, he trained people to follow his way of life, he cast out demons, which means and he also healed the sick, he ate and drank with people who were far from God, he did justice.
He was a peacemaker. He prayed, he spent time and community. He trained others to make disciples, and he stood up against religious and political corruption. These are things, if you’re a disciple, that you every one of those things we should eventually be doing and I say eventually, because it’s not like you wake up tomorrow and your Mother Teresa. It requires some work and I’ll get to that in a second, but this was the goal, right?
The goal would be that you would join Jesus in bringing the kingdom’s work to Broward County.
And so here’s a quick review. Be with Jesus, become like Jesus and bring Jesus’s Way. And why do we do it? Well, because it’s the best life you could possibly live. As a matter of fact, it’s not just the best life you could possibly live, I may shock you with this thought, but this is actually life. Everything else is not life. In the passage we read in John, Chapter ten, you may want to catch this because it’s just so good Jesus is the best communicator there’s ever been.
It says, “the thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy.” It says, “I have come that you may have life,” comma, “and have it to the full.” The thief comes, still steals, kills and destroys it before that comma jesus says, “I came to bring you life.” See, the only way to actually live, as it was intended to be lived, his life was intended to be lived, is to live as Jesus called you to live.
Everything else is sinking sand.
Everything else is fake life, so when you live not as Jesus, you’re actually not living, you’re just being I don’t know, you’re like a disentangled spirit or something weird.
You’re not really human because humans were invented and created by God Almighty, and so we gave them instructions about how to be a human. So if this computer doesn’t function right, it doesn’t, then it’s not then useful as a computer. Do you get what I’m saying? If it’s not functioning as a computer, it’s not really a computer, it’s just like a bunch of metal parts, if you aren’t doing what Jesus called you, if you aren’t living the way Jesus called you to live, you’re actually not living.
You’re just flesh and bones. You’re actually dead. Everything else is advertisement, everything else is just a fraudulent fake view of life. Following Jesus is the only way to actually live. I love this quote, it says that by Dallas Willard, it says, that the greatest issue facing the world today with all of its heartbreak. Twenty seven million people in slavery, political corruption everywhere, all the heartbreaking things you see, all of them, that the greatest issue facing the world is whether those who by profession or culture are identified as Christians, will become disciples.
Students, apprentices of Jesus steadily learning from him how to live the life of the kingdom of heaven into every corner of human existence. The greatest the greatest need, the greatest issue facing our world today is whether or not Disciple’s will live as DISCIPLE’S. That’s it. The issue of whether or not you and I will be the disciple, so will you? Will you? Will you be a little Christ or little Democrat or a little Republican or a little whatever else?
Will you be a disciple a little Christ or will you become a little chiropractor or a little student at college or a little whatever? You are invited and I am like that. Be with him, become like him, bring his purpose forward. Let me end with this. This kind of life where you love your enemy, where you’re not wracked by anxiety and greed, where you become part of a family that has a father and brothers and sisters, this kind of life that Jesus offers doesn’t just happen by chance.
It doesn’t just happen by coming to church or watching online and thinking, wow, I got my Jesus stamp for the week, it doesn’t happen like that. You’re not going to become a disciple of Jesus by watching an hour of service, even though I love that you watch an hour of service. But instead, Jesus assumes in the Sermon on the Mount that this is going to be kind of hard. He assumes in the Sermon on the Mount that you’ll be, that you that you will deal with sin, that other people will have sinned against you,
He assumes in the Sermon on the Mount that you’ll have fights and arguments, that you’ll be sued and dragged to court, he assumes that you’ll have enemies, he assumes that you’re going to deal with lust, that you’re going to deal with your own greed problem, he assumes that life will be messy. But two times in the Sermon on the Mount, which is kind of like the edict of Christianity two times, he says the same word PRACTICE.
Jesus book ends the Sermon on the Mount, the very beginning and the very end with the same call to PRACTICE. You might remember the famous one at the very end. He says, “anybody who puts these words of mine into practice is like a wise builder.” Is like a wise builder, anybody who doesn’t put these words into practice is like sinking sand. Jesus says, join him, practice his way, practice his way. So I want to ask you, will you join me?
This has been life changing for me. Will you join me in practicing the way of Jesus? I’m going to leave this up on the screen, but I’m going to read it first, a lot of information. This is not the best way to do this, but whatever. Here’s a list, this is not exhaustive. But it’s a lot, so I’ve been working on, I’ve been thinking about a lot, be with Jesus, how can you practice being with Jesus?
Silence and solitude. Do take a moment every day just to stop, be quiet, shut out the noise of the world and just sit in solitude. Considering who God, how awesome and mighty he is, considering every breath that you take as a gift from God. Silence and solitude, the Sabbath. Some of us in the church are practicing this, taking a time during the day, taking a time during the day where we do nothing. You worship and you rest.
Prayer, you know what that is Bible study, you know what that is, fasting. Fasting has become kind of like no one does this anymore. I don’t know why, but but it’s a practice of Jesus to just spend time with Him, becoming like him. This could be, this list could go on forever, but learning to forgive. Living simply, addressing sin and temptation like Jesus was able to do while he was in the desert, a pursue a calling and live in community and then bring Jesus’s way to the world.
Eat and drink with people far from God, care for the sick, teach the way of Jesus, preach the gospel, peacemake, stand up against corruption and then practice mercy or practice justice. These are things this is not exhaustive. This is just things that I’ve been working on personally to begin to practice the way of Jesus, I left this on screen long enough so you could take a picture. Guys in the world we’re living in today, everybody is asking and clamoring for you to follow them.
I want to encourage you not to do it. Don’t follow them, instead, follow the one who actually gives you life, follow Jesus, let’s pray. Lord, as we consider the communion that we’re about to take in a second and the bread and the juice, and as we think about just just taking it, Lord, I pray that we can think about you. We can think about what you’ve done for us and how you’ve helped us. God, I pray that we can want to become your followers.
Father, I know that we talked about so much today, but I pray that what is coursing through all of our veins is a new passion to be your disciple. God, let us remember that you were willing to die for this. Let us remember that you lived for this. And I pray, that Lord, that we can bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Broward County as it is in heaven Father, we love you, Dad.
We thank you so much. It’s in Jesus name. Amen.