Matthew 16

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Be a Follower

January 7, 2018 | Matthew 16:24 | following, goals

The new year is upon us and with it many of us are setting goals we’d like to accomplish this year. We want to be winners and leaders. We want to achieve greatness in some arena of life. We want self-fulfillment. These are admirable goals, yet the way the world seeks such goals is very different from the way the Lord would have us take. For the Lord teaches us that the way to winning is losing, the way to self-fulfillment is self-denial, the way of greatness is serving. He teaches that in order to become a great leader, you must first learn to be a follower.

The world’s path is very different from the Lord’s. The world’s way may seem to work for a season, but many of us have tried to climb the ladder of success only to find that it was leaning against the wrong building. A man achieves that big promotion, but loses his family in the process. A woman tries to be a super-wife, a super-mom and seek super fulfillment in her career, but all she feels is super-burned-out. A teenager wears the latest fashions, listens to the latest tunes and tries to use all the latest lingo, but still feels alone and unaccepted at school.

Yet, as people of faith, we are not to live as the world lives. We’re supposed to be different. We don’t follow a philosophy, we follow a Person. We don’t follow a system, we follow our Savior. In the book of Matthew, Jesus described what it meant to answer the call to come after Him and be one of His followers. We can answer the call to be a follower of Jesus.

Lose to Find

May 14, 2017 | Matthew 16:13-26 | identity

How do you answer the question, “Who am I?” For many of you, you’ve tied your identity to your name, “I’m John or I’m Susie.” Others might say, “I’m a father or mother, or I’m a husband or a wife, I’m a son or daughter, I’m a teacher, I’m a nurse, I’m a coach, I’m a dog-lover or cat-lover. How do you answer the question? In Tim Keller’s book, Making Sense of God, he describes two ways that people have found their identity. One, he calls the “traditional path,” where the individual finds identity from the community in which they are born and grow up. The second path, Keller calls the “modern” or “secular” approach. This is the new emphasis on looking “inward” to find the true self, where one’s desires and dreams are to dictate one’s identity.

In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus told His followers that they must lose their former sense of self in order to find their true identity in Christ. The only way that we can discover our true, God-given identity is by losing our former one and finding our true identity in Christ. How can we find our true identity in Christ? The text gives three steps to finding your true identity in Christ.

Be a Disciple

February 5, 2017 | Matthew 16:24 | discipleship

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In the book of Matthew, Jesus described what it meant to answer the call to come after Him and be one of His disciples. We can answer the call to be a disciple of Jesus.