There are many obstacles in our lives that keep us from giving our full attention to God’s mission. Deep down we’re not as passionate as God is, to serve others. Our lives are mostly surrounded by career, family, entertainment, vacation etc. This is why the passage calls us to make sacrifices in our lives so that we can serve others who need Christ. This passage also calls us to suffer just like Christ, in order to reach people with good news of the gospel.
We often define happiness based on how successful we are in our endeavors. If things in life are not as desired, then we will not be happy. But Jesus does not define happiness based on the good things that happen in our lives, he defines happiness even when bad things happen to us. He presents a counter-intuitive perspective on having a happy life. Listen to the sermon to find out.
Christians are called to handle conflicts (to whatever extent) in a different way and in a different place called Church. In other words, Christians are forbidden to take their brothers to court. Why are they forbidden? Because of the gospel! In this passage, we learn how the gospel becomes the basis on which we deal with conflicts and forgive one another, regardless of the kind of sin committed.
Suffering is a result of sin and sin dwells in our lives, our hearts and in our minds. Our culture often deals with suffering by trying to avoid it, not knowing the fact that suffering is the inevitable part of life. But the bible actually encourages Christians to face suffering with faith in order to grow in Christ and to draw closer to Him, because only God is the solution for all our sufferings. In this passage, we learn how to depend on the Lord in times of suffering.
God already showed us in scriptures what it means for us to be His children, and what it costs us to follow Him. In many ways, the Cross of Jesus Christ is the way of Christian Life. He humbled Himself to the cross and sacrificed His own life for us, He suffered for our sake, He endured all kinds of rejection from His own people. In this passage, we see how the Cross becomes the model for christian life.
When Jesus was crucified, people around Him watching said “if you’re the messiah then come down and save yourself”, but Jesus didn’t come down from the cross because of you and me. He went through the punishment that you and I justly deserved, so that we don’t have to be punished. If Jesus did not die for us then we would not have forgiveness of sins (the greatest need of the world). Crucifixion was a worst form of punishment and that’s exactly what Jesus went through. Jesus chose the worst life possible on this earth so that we would have the best life possible in Heaven with God for eternity… Christ is God’s Wisdom for us. He is the solution for every problem in this life.
Crisis and suffering show character. In the Jesus’s hour of trial, He prophesied that all of His disciples will betray him when their lives are at stake. He did not waver when his life was at stake. In this sermon, you’ll see how Jesus faces his hour of trial with patience and Joy because of His infinite love for his sheep and how that becomes a model for us to face trial and suffering having received the forgiveness for betraying Him, our Savior.
Jesus calls all his followers to be his disciples. What does this call look like in daily life? In this sermon, Pastor Venkatesh explains that being Jesus’s disciple means to love him above your family and vocation.