Because You Say So

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What does it look like to make Jesus the Lord of your life? In this message, we learn that disciples aren’t perfect, but they are quick to repent.

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Alright. Hey everybody. Come on, it is good to be here today. Whether online or in person, I am so glad that you are here with us and we are right in the middle of a series called Becoming.

And we’re taking a couple weeks to talk about what is life as a disciple look like, asking our self this big question “who am I really becoming?” And we’ve covered a lot of ground over the last few weeks. And so if you’ve missed any of those I want to encourage you go back, watch online, because they kind of build upon themselves. And I want to just jump right in today, you see one day a rich young ruler came to Jesus and asked, “Jesus, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” That’s interesting. Here’s a guy, he’s rich, he’s young and he’s a ruler, which means he has all kinds of wealth and resources. He lives a life of comfort and convenience. He has authority, power, influence, perceived significance. He thinks he’s got all the answers. And yet he knows something is missing. He’s got the whole world in his hands but his soul is hollow.

See, he’s looking for purpose. He’s looking for meaning. He knows there’s more. He knows there’s got to be more to this life than what he’s currently experiencing. And Jesus responds back to his spiritual hunger, his spiritual thirst by saying, “Well, you know the commands. Do not commit adultery, do not lie, do not steal, honor your father and mother.” And the man responds right back at Jesus, “Well, all these I’ve kept since I was a boy.” In other words, he comes back with arrogance, pride, moral superiority if you will. And so it says Jesus looked at him and loved him and said, “One thing you lack, go sell everything you have, give it to the poor. You’ll have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me it.” It says, “At that, the man’s face fell sad and he turned around and walked away because he was unwilling to let go of what was in his hand to receive what Jesus offered to give him in his heart.”

You see, the man wanted eternal life, but he wasn’t all that interested in kingdom life. He wanted the blessings of God, he just didn’t want to really obey God. He wanted the freedom of Jesus, he just didn’t want to follow Jesus. He wanted the gifts of God, but he didn’t really want God himself. This is a good guy, he’s successful, he showed up at Jesus’s gatherings. And so my question for you is based on that story, is that man a disciple? Is he a disciple? He went to church, he’s a good dude, he’s got good morals, he’s successful, but he wasn’t willing to follow Jesus when asked. Is he a disciple?

Now, I want you to compare that to a fisherman by the name of Peter, who after a long night of failed fishing, had cleaned up his nets and his boats and Jesus comes walking down the shore and asks Peter if he could borrow his boat for a few minutes. And Peter, kind of confused, says, “Sure.” Jesus gets into it with Peter, pushes off from shore, a crowd’s there. Jesus preaches for a while. When he’s done preaching, he looks at Peter and says, “Peter, put out in the deep waters, let your nets down for a big catch.” And Peter looks at Jesus like, “Oh Jesus, we fished all night, man. We didn’t catch a single fish. You’re a carpenter, you don’t know nothing about fishing. It’s the day. We don’t catch fish in the day. We do it at night. But because you say so, I will do it.” Pushes out into deep water, drops the net down. As he pulls it in, it’s so full of so many fish, the net begins to break, the boat begins to sink. And in that moment Jesus looks at Peter and says, “Don’t be afraid, come and follow me.” And in that moment, Peter let’s go of his fishing net, his boat, his life, his business, his family, his relationships. And for the rest of Peter’s life, through the ups and the downs, the good and the bad, the valleys and the mountaintops, he follows Jesus.

Is he a disciple? So what’s the difference between those two men? It’s one really simple word, lordship. Peter was willing to make Jesus lord of his life, the rich young ruler was not. Peter was willing to obey God, the rich young ruler was not. You see, inherent in this concept of being a disciple is this understanding that Jesus becomes our lord. In fact, Jesus says, “Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” Straight up, Jesus says, hey, if you want to be my disciple, a learner, a follower, one who becomes like the one they’re following, a student, then I become your lord, the leader, the authority, the master, the one who gets to define truth and make decisions, the one who gets to sit on the throne of your heart.

And if I am not your lord, then you are not my disciple. In fact, to follow me you have to pick up your cross. You say, what does it mean to pick up our cross? It means we have to be willing to die to ourselves. It means we have to be willing to be made uncomfortable and be inconvenienced, stretched out, surrendered, submitted to Jesus, who he is and what he invites us to do. In fact, Jesus says, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and do not do what I say? Come on, that’s a fascinating verse in the Bible. That’s like a legit question right there. Why do you call me Lord, Lord and do not do what I say? In other words, Jesus says like straight up, let me go ahead and let you know that if I’m your Lord, you will obey what I say. And if you don’t obey what I say then I’m not your Lord, something else is your lord because you are a disciple of whomever you obey.

And what we don’t like about this is there’s a cost. There’s a cost. It’s inconvenient, it’s uncomfortable. We have to submit and surrender, we have to give trust over to someone else. And the truth is there is a cost, it will cost you the world to be a disciple of Jesus, but he will give you back the kingdom. It will cost you the world’s ways, and the world’s thoughts, and the world’s patterns, and the world’s ideals, and the world’s success, and the world’s language and conversation, and way of life, but he will give you back the fullness of the kingdom. Like that’s what he’s saying to the rich young ruler. He’s saying, hey, give what you got, take what’s in your hand, the things of the world, and give it back to the world and you will have treasure in heaven. It will cost you the world to be my disciple, but I’ll give you back the kingdom. And I think we’re in a season where God’s calling us back.

And we’re having to acknowledge this reality that we got to move past cheap grace and just showing up to church, and just kind of knowing about God, and identifying with God because there are lots of people out there who live just like the rich young ruler and would call themselves a disciple of Jesus. But then Jesus says, but wait, why would you call me Lord, Lord and not do what I say. This is why Peter nails it on the head when he says, because you say so. This is uncomfortable, it’s inconvenient and it makes no sense. But because you say so, I’ll do it. I’ll be your disciple and you be my Lord. You see, what I think sometimes we forget is that once we’ve been included in Christ we lose the right to make our own decisions. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? You are not your own, you are bought at a price.

Like once I become a follower of Jesus, I give up the right to determine the direction of my own life. I give up the right to define truth, and what I’m going to do, and where I’m going to do it, and how I’m going to do it, and what I want, and how I want. No, no, I now am a disciple, a follower, a learner. He has bought me with a great price and now he gets to sit on the throne of my heart and lead me into a life of freedom. This is discipleship and there is a cost, and we don’t talk about the cost enough. American Christianity is about praying this little prayer and then going back to whatever life that we were living and thinking we’re a disciple in Jesus’ name. But you by all of your own admission acknowledged the rich young ruler was not a disciple. But the American church would call him an epic disciple. Why?

Because he’s rich, he’s young, he’s a ruler and he showed up at church. But he didn’t do one thing Jesus asked him to do. Come on, when Jesus calls us to follow him, he says come follow me and I will make you fishers of men. Come follow me and I will make you. There it is again, inherent in this journey with Jesus is we’re disciples, he’s lord. We follow, he makes. And we all know the concept of following. Follow the instructions on the box, follow the directions that your boss or your teacher has given you, follow the guidelines, follow the speed limit and yet we look at all those things we’re told to follow and we think they’re optional, that they really don’t apply to us, they apply to someone else. And because we think they’re optional we think that following Jesus is optional, that the instructions, the directions, the guidelines he gives us are up to how we feel that day.

But that’s not true. We’re called to follow him. In fact, that’s why when people get baptized the thing we ask the question, we say, is Jesus Lord and will you follow? Is Jesus Lord? Is he now a leader, are you a disciple and will you follow him? That’s the whole point. And when we start to follow him, he starts to make us, shape us, mold us into his image and to his likeness. And so then we have to actually ask ourselves this question, if I am not changing am I actually following? This is why I’ve been asking you every week for the last few weeks, who are you becoming? Are you growing? Are you changing? Are you maturing? Are you getting more free? Are you growing in faith, hope and love? Because if you’re not changing, then that means Jesus isn’t making you. And if he’s not making you it’s not because he’s unable, it’s because we’re not following. And if we’re not following it’s because we’re not obeying. And if we’re not obeying it’s because Jesus isn’t really Lord.

This is the life of a disciple. And what I love is when he says follow me, he doesn’t — it’s not this giant chasm and these leaps we got — it’s just one next step at a time. Follow me in relationship, this is why all these last few weeks they build to this point because some of you are stressed out. You’re like this is a hard teaching. Yes, it is. But the last few weeks of what we talked about changes how you hear it. All of a sudden, follow me one next step at a time, when God says step here, just step there. And when he says step here, just step there. And I get it, it’s uncomfortable, it’s inconvenient, we don’t like it but if I’m a disciple and he is Lord then by faith I got to move forward. And the problem is for a lot of us is we follow Jesus just enough for salvation but not enough for abundant life. Like the rich young ruler we show up because we want eternal life, we’re not necessarily sure we’re interested in kingdom life.

Come on, look what Jesus says, “My sheep listen to my voice. I know them and they follow me.” His sheep hear him, know what their next steps are and they follow. So if I’m never following I have to ask, am I really his sheep and is he really my shepherd? Who are you becoming? Are you with me on this? Now look at this, check this out what Jesus says. He says, “Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit; but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” It’s fascinating. Jesus says a good tree will bear good fruit and a bad tree will bear bad fruit. Good tree can’t bear bad fruit, bad tree can’t bear good fruit.

And what he’s talking about is salvation. He’s talking about this reality that the moment I put my faith in Jesus I become a new creation, I’m now the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, I’ve been made holy, I’ve been set apart, I am forgiven, set free, a beloved son or daughter. In other words, my root has now just been made holy and righteous. And if my root is holy and righteous then my life starts to become holy and righteous. But if my root is unrighteous then my fruit will be unrighteous. I mean have you ever heard somebody say something like this, they say, oh yeah, years ago I got saved. oh man, I was at a church service and I got saved but I didn’t change, I just kept living my life and doing my thing and going my own way and then years later, man, I rededicated my life to the lord and then everything about me changed. You ever heard that story? Maybe that’s your story?

Okay, can I just tell you something? The first time, you didn’t get saved. You heard the gospel, God was working on your heart. A seed got planted but to say I got saved but I didn’t change goes against Jesus’s words. You can’t get saved and not change. You’re a new creation, a completely new nature, a completely new reality that if it was really true it would start to show up in your life. And some of you, you’re like, hang on a second bro, you can’t judge me. I’m not judging you. I’m just saying Jesus says inspect your fruit. So just — I’m not even asking you — like I don’t even want to know your fruit. You look at your fruit. That’s why I’ve been asking you who you becoming. I’m not asking you to tell me who you’re becoming. I’m asking you to say, by your own fruit, is there evidence that you’re actually a disciple? Jesus is not just savior, he’s Lord.

If he died on the cross and rose again from the grave for you, he is more than a savior, he is Lord. And what you have to understand is that your beliefs will always show up in your behaviors and your behaviors will always reveal your beliefs. So just track with me on this for a second. Your identity determines who you are. What you believe is true is how you actually live your life. And you know this is true. If you think it’s cold outside you’ll dress warm. If you believe it’s hot outside you’ll wear shorts. If you believe it’s going to rain, you’re going to bring an umbrella or a coat and be prepared for that, right? Your behaviors reveal what you actually believe is true. And that’s what Jesus is telling us here, if we actually believe in him as our lord and savior, that we are a disciple then the behaviors of our life will be good fruit demonstrating that we believe in a good God.

Come on, come on, you know this is true. Like you can know everything there is to know about being healthy, working out, macros, micros, whatever all those fancy words are, what kind of food you should and shouldn’t eat, rest, workout regimens and routines, you can know all of that stuff but if you never actually do it do you really believe it? No. No. Because your behaviors reveal what you really believe. Listen, all throughout the Bible you see this juxtaposition of these two concepts. This concept of this understanding that the words believe and hear actually mean to obey. Throughout the Bible when you read and it says they believed or they heard, it actually means that they obeyed them, they applied it to their life.

And there is a huge difference between knowing and believing. You can know it informationally, but believing is in here. And then there’s a huge difference between listening which means you actually had the words go in your ears and hearing which means you actually start to believe and apply. The rich young ruler knew and listened, Peter believed and he heard. That’s the life of a disciple. In fact, check this out, Jesus says, “If you hold to my teaching you are really,” say it with me, “my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” We love this verse. People that don’t believe in God love this verse, right? And we walk around, we say, you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

You will know the truth and the truth will set you free. Okay. But we forget the first word of that verse. Then. You can’t hold on to an if then statement by just holding on to the then. Oh my goodness. Then. Oh yeah, then, then, then. What’s the if? How do I get the then? You got to go to the if. We love this verse minus that word, we do not like this verse. We don’t even know it’s in the Bible. If you hold to my teaching, if you obey you are really my disciples. That’s not me guys. I’m not saying it, he is. If you obey, you’re really my disciple. It means you’re really a follower, a learner, a student and I’m really your lord, your leader, the influencer of your life, and then because you’re obeying it then you will not only know here, you will experience my truth. Oh no.

It’s a whole new era people. Then you will experience the truth and then you will experience that freedom. Okay, think again about like health, eating right, physical fitness, rest, all those different kinds of things, are you free just because you know that you should do those things? No. If you obey them and actually apply them to your life then you will experience that truth and the experience of that truth brings you into freedom. It’s the same with Jesus. If we actually obey what he says, we start to experience the way, the truth and the life and then we start to experience a life of freedom. And when he says, if you hold to my teaching, if you obey me you’re my disciples.

In other words, what he’s saying, and if you don’t obey me you’re disciples of something or someone else. And to choose to disobey what God asks you to do is to choose then, next verse, to live a life of deception and bondage. Think about it. It’s an if then statement. So the opposite is also true. If I obey what Jesus asked me to do then I will experience that truth and that truth will lead me into a life of freedom. If I resist or rebel against that truth then I choose a life of deception and bondage. Straight up, it’s your choice. This is why Jesus says, “I tell you the truth anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.” In other words, if you actually believe in me your behaviors will start to change and transform and you’ll start to become shaped more into the image and likeness of who I am, talking like, living like, acting like, thinking like me.

Now I know some of you, take a breath, if you were here last week, here’s the deal we get all stressed out we’re like, so then as a disciple I have to be perfect? No. Was Peter perfect? All right, then there’s hope for us. It’s not perfect, it’s quickness to repent. Disciples are not perfect but boy they are quick to repent. A disciple when they are confronted, convicted, challenged with truth they are quick to repent. They’re not perfect but the moment they realize they’re going off track their own way doing their own thing they’re quick to repent, change their mind and change their direction to get in alignment and agreement, to be in submission and surrender to the lordship of Jesus.

Revelation, truth that we hear and believe is supposed to lead to a repentance. And repentance is simply becoming who you already are in Jesus. The delta again of a disciple is who you are versus how you’re currently living. Repentance is how we close that delta, to bring into alignment my actual life with who God says I already am in Jesus. So hear me, disciples never, never, never have to feel condemnation, guilt, shame. They don’t have to live in this perpetual state of am I in trouble, did I do something wrong? No, the grace of God is always drawing us forward into this life of repentance to receive and believe the forgiveness and the freedom of Jesus. In fact, that’s why God says, I have loved you. Hey, He’s loved you with an everlasting love. And I have drawn you with loving kindness.

He’s drawing you. He’s inviting you to repent, to change your mind, to change your perspective, to come into agreement with Him, to be like God, what you say is my truth whether I feel it or experience it or even understand it right now. And what you can take such great confidence in is that the spirit within you longs to obey more than the flesh against you wants to rebel. If you can get this one concept it will change your whole dynamic. So many of us think, I just am the sinner saved by grace, trapped in this perpetual life of sin management, behavior modification. I’ll never get over this. It was — my grandfather struggle with it, my father struggled with it, I’m going to struggle with it. Yeah, if that’s your attitude you’re going to struggle with it. But how about the spirit that God has put within me longs to submit and surrender to his kingdom more than the flesh wants to rebel and resist against it?

Come on, change your mind. Look at what this verse says, it says. “I will put my laws, my commands, my ways in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people.” If you are His people and He is your God, then already in your heart are His ways and in your mind are His commands. All you have to do is continue to renew your mind and repent and come into agreement with what God has said is already true. And if this verse is true then to continue to live a life of disobedience goes against your very nature, which is why sin is exhausting because it’s like a fish trying to fly or a bird trying to swim. It’s not what they were created for anymore. Are you with me?

Come on, this is why it says grace teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions and live self-controlled, upright and Godly lives in this present age. Grace is at work in your life as a follower, a believer, a disciple of Jesus freeing you from the ways of this world and empowering you to live a kingdom life. That’s so good. This is so good. And I know some of you you’re sitting here and the struggle is it’s like we’ve we talk all the time about grace and we talk grace and grace and grace and then you hear a message on obedience and it’s almost like I don’t — I don’t know what to do with that. Stop. Stop. Jesus’s obedience determined your identity. You’ve been saved by grace through faith not of yourselves, not by your works, is the gift of God so you can’t boast. There is a righteousness that comes through faith apart from the law Jesus’s obedience changed you once and for all.

We obey not to become, we obey because we already are.

Obedience is the process of becoming who we already are in Jesus. Oh, that’s freeing. You see, if you can catch this with me, you can obey God out of one of three reasons, out of fear, out of duty or out of love. You can obey God out of fear, duty or love. You can obey God out of fear and this is the person that is terrified of getting it wrong, terrified of God, terrified of the consequences, did I get it right, did I get it wrong, do I need to do this, do I need to do that, is this enough, this is not enough, I don’t know, I don’t want to get in trouble, I don’t want to get it wrong. That’s fear. That’s the orphan spirit at work. But fear is never a motivator in the kingdom of God. You can obey God out of duty, that’s religion.

This is what I have to do for God. You know, I mean He did die for me so I guess I got to do this for Him. I don’t really want to do it if I’m honest, but I kind of know I got to do it. It’s kind of like the dishes, you know. Or you can obey God out of love, out of falling in love with Him. In fact, Jesus says, “If you love me you will obey what I command.” We read that verse and we hear it like this, if you love me you will obey what I command. My kids say when I put my lips together it means I’m angry. That’s not how He’s saying it. He’s saying, hey, once you fall in love with me, it will be easy to do what I ask you to do. Think about the people in your life that you love. Is it really that hard to do things that you know they like? It’s not.

So when it’s really hard for us to obey God, the real problem is love. And this is why we say be Jesus focused, focus more on his love for you. If you don’t have love right now, let that love start to fill up your heart, let that love start to change you. This is why 1 john 1:5 says, “This is love for God: to obey his commands; and his commands are not burdensome.” They are not this sense of obligation and weight and responsibility that He wants to put on us. There is this invitation to eternal and abundant kingdom life in Jesus’ name. So can I just like ask you like straight up based on everything we’ve been talking about, is Jesus Lord? Like is Jesus Lord? And here’s the problem, you can’t say like, oh well, he’s lord over a few things. He’s either lord of all or he’s lord of none. So ready like straight up, is Jesus Lord of your finances?

Do you do finances the way he says? Do you tithe? Do you give God back the first best 10% portion of your income? Straight up, it’s what it says. Do you see money as a tool to be used for kingdom purposes or a treasure to worship? That’s a discipleship issue, it’s a lordship issue. How about sexuality? Like straight up, is your sexuality in alignment with the lordship of Jesus when he says that sex is between one man and one woman in a covenant relationship for life? If you’re anything outside of that then it’s a discipleship issue, it’s a lordship issue. How about relationships? Do you do relationships the way that God says, choosing to forgive, apologize, refusing to be offended, pursuing unity, letting things go, laying down your life, loving others as yourself? If not, it’s a lordship issue, it’s a discipleship issue. How about your mind?

Is your mind in submission to the lordship of Jesus, like submission to the finished work of him? Like when he says you’re forgiven and free even when you’re aware of your failures and your problems, do you allow his truth to be superior to your feelings? It’s a lordship issue, it’s a discipleship issue. Come on, like what was the last thing God asked you to do? Did you do it? Straight up, it’s lordship. And you’re like, but I didn’t want to do it. I know. Because we want to hold on to the things of the world in our hand when he offers us the fullness of the kingdom in our heart. Like do you invite God into your decisions? See, we think like the problem is with lordship we think it’s all about right, wrong, good, bad, that’s duty. That’s like the commands that are already in Scripture that we already know, that’s the lowest form of lordship.

We think that’s like next level, like oh my goodness actually tithe, actually forgive someone? Just so you’re clear that’s like the lowest form of lordship. That’s like the understanding of Peter, come follow me. Because you say so lord, I will do it. That’s the lowest form. The highest form is inviting God into the daily decisions of your life so his kingdom can be fully released in the world around you like this, is it okay to buy a car? You’re like I’m trying to think, is there a verse in the — I got a car. Here’s lordship. Jesus, should I buy this car right now at this price? He might tell one follower yes and one follower no. Why? Because he’s doing different things in their life. Hey, Jesus, should we do this sport? Sports bad? No. But he might tell one follower yes and tell another follower no.

Why? Because he’s doing something in their life. Hey, how should we spend our time? He might tell this follower to do this and this follower do that. Why? Because he’s leading us all on a journey with him. That’s lordship. That’s the next level. How do I live my life and use my resources and walk with him and change the world? But here’s the paradox, we get all excited about bringing the kingdom out there but we’re not so sure we want the kingdom in here. That’s lordship. When we pray, Father, your kingdom come in the world around us, we want to serve the city and be hope carriers and all that stuff, it’s bringing the kingdom into the world. But we can’t be excited about bringing the kingdom out there and rebelling against Him in here. This is discipleship. This is lordship. And should you feel bad right now? No. But you might need to repent. Oh my goodness, God’s even given us a good way to move forward with Him so we don’t have to feel bad when we’ve been doing our own thing.

Yeah. Why? Because all the guilt and the shame and the condemnation, it’s already been done on the cross. Listen to me, every place you refuse to obey God is a place where you don’t trust His goodness. That’s how you have to think about it. If God asks me to do something and I don’t do it, what really at the end of the day what I’m really saying is I don’t believe you’re good to me in that area. I don’t believe you’re the way, the truth and the life in that area. I don’t believe you’re going to give me abundant life in that area. I’m going to go this way and go find it on my own. It’s the only conclusion you can draw, right? How do you call me Lord, Lord and not do what I say? So come on, who’s lord of your life?

Who sits on the throne? Who makes the decisions? Is it finances? Is it work? Is it hobbies? Is it your past, your sin, your shame? Is it your feelings, your emotion? You are a disciple of whomever you obey. You are a learner, a student, a follower of whomever you submit and surrender to, whoever gets to call the shots. And the problem with a lot of us is in our mind we’re like the rich young ruler, that’s why I wanted to start with that because in our mind we live a good life, we’re successful, we’ve got some influence, we’re showing up at the church gathering, we’ve kept some commands and we rationalize being disobedient in the little things because, oh, we’ve been obedient in the big things. Hear me, if you’re disobedient in the little things, eventually you will become disobedient in the big things.

This is why Jesus says if you’re faithful with a little you’ll be faithful with much. And if you’re unfaithful with little you’ll be unfaithful with much. If he’s not lord over the small eventually he won’t be lord over the big. If I don’t have the faith to follow him in the small eventually I won’t have the faith to follow him in the in the big. And why? Why don’t we do this? I think we like to be our own lord. We like sitting on the throne of our own heart calling our own shots until the storm hits and then we’re totally willing to give the keys over. Second reason is unbelief. Straight up, I just don’t think we believe that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, that he came to bring us abundant life. Every place we disobey God, it’s because we question His goodness. And then the third if you can catch this, just to try to pull all this together, is I think oftentimes we follow people more than we follow Jesus.

At the end of Jesus’ time on earth, when he’s about to be ascended to heaven, he tells Peter that Peter’s going to have to do some things that he’s not necessarily going to love. There’s going to be some uncomfortabilities and some inconveniences. And while he’s telling him about a next step he’s going to have to take, Peter looks over at John and says, but what about him lord? Jesus looks at Peter, he says, hey Peter, what is that to you? You follow me. Hey Peter, I’ll work on lordship with John, but I’m working on lordship with you right now. So don’t be worried about John, you just be worried about what I’m asking you to do right now. And I think that’s how so many of us get caught. What about them lord? What about how they live and where they’re going and what they’re doing? Are you going to ask them to do that? Do they have to do those things? Or everyone else is doing it. And if all of a sudden I start making decisions based on what other people are doing, they’re my lord.

And hear me, some of you, I know you got so beat up in this last season from people. People coming and going and making decisions that confused you and their unbelief and people that professed one thing but then started living another thing and those are up — okay, but listen to me, don’t follow them into the world, follow Jesus into the kingdom.

Let this be the moment you say I’m more interested in being a disciple of Jesus than I am being a disciple of that person because I’m a disciple of whomever I obey. And if I make my decisions based on what they have done, then they become the lord. I give them the throne. Only you can decide who gets to sit on it. There is a great invitation from Jesus to come and follow him. He looks at you and he loves you.

And he’ll ask you to do some things that maybe aren’t all that comfortable, but if he is lord then I can trust him and follow him into a new life. You see, let me close with this. There are three questions that I think are incredibly important for all of us to ask along the way. And if Jesus is really lord and I’m living as a disciple then at any point in time you should be able to answer these three questions. What has Jesus been saying to me in this season? Where is Jesus inviting me to submit to his lordship to come under who he is and what he has done? And what is my next step? At any given time if we’re actually following Jesus, we should be able to — and my hope is that these questions become so fluent in our church that we start talking to each other about them all the time because sometimes it’s so easy to forget and then someone just asks you, what has Jesus been saying to you lately?

And you almost have to stop and be like, oh, maybe, uh, man, he’s been speaking, ah. Okay, he’s been speaking to me about my finances and inviting me to trust him in that area. And he’s actually been asking me to come under his lordship and do it — and do it his way which I’m scared to death to do, but I know my next step is to just trust him and start giving. Does that make sense? And for whatever it’s worth I don’t know why this week though as I prepared and prayed for you, finances — God kept bringing finances into this message like none other. And probably because it’s so easy for us to live like the rich young ruler with more faith in our portfolio than in Jesus himself. So some of you today is an invitation for freedom. But come on, what has Jesus been saying to you? Where is he inviting you to submit to his lordship? What is his next step?

Don’t go away sad because you say so lord. This makes no sense, I don’t get it and boy I don’t like it. But because you say so, I will. I want you to make me as I follow you and I’ll follow you through obeying you. And I choose to obey you because you are a lord of goodness and grace. So close your eyes with me. Come on, what’s God saying to you today? Right now in this moment, what are — what are the answers to those questions? What’s God been saying to you over the last few days, last few weeks, last few months, even these last few minutes?

Where is He inviting you to submit to his lordship, to trust him, to follow him, to acknowledge him? And then what is a next step? What’s one step God’s asking you to take to forgive that person, to let go of that thing, to choose to believe this truth even though it goes against how you feel in this moment or in this season? This is the journey of discipleship, not out of fear nor duty, not out of striving nor struggling, out of grace and love that draws us and changes us.

Come on, as the Holy Spirit convicts and challenges and confronts, don’t feel bad, don’t feel condemned, don’t feel shame. That’s how the kingdom of darkness wants to make you feel, so you retreat and hide. Instead, when you’re confronted and convicted and challenged, feel loved, feel seen, feel heard, feel wanted and valued that God knows you and is engaged with you to that level that he’s saying, come on, I love you, let me help you be free. Let go of this thing in your hand that I can give you the kingdom in your heart. Jesus, may you be the lord of all areas of our life and may we be disciples in Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

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