Glad to be back with you. Ginger, Ella, and I took a small vacation last week. While it was good to be away, it is good to be home as well. I want to say how proud I am of Clay Callahan and all the youth for leading our services last Sunday. Clay preached his first sermon for us and I have been told he did an exceptional job. In fact, I was told that the church was so packed you had to add chairs. If that is the case, I will be gone more often.
I want to introduce my sermon this week by asking a question, have you ever quit something? It could have been a sports team, a club, a job. On Sunday, I will tell you the story of me walking away from my childhood dream...I think you will like it.
In our text this week (John 6:56-71), several disciples who followed Jesus quit. They had followed him for a while, and then they decided to walk away. They had seen miracles and healings. They had heard sermons, and probably even participated in His work. But before long, His teaching became more and more difficult. Our text even quotes their frustrations by saying, "This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?" With that, they move on, back to the comfortable, perhaps returning to their old lives, or perhaps going to find someone else to listen to, though we cannot know for sure.
Jesus looked at the Twelve Disciples whom he had chosen personally and asked, "You don't want to leave also, do you?" And church, that is the question of the morning.
We, as Christians, have a choice...do we follow Christ, or do we not? To be perfectly honest, we can leave at any time. What we cannot do, however, is call ourselves Christians if we only follow Jesus part of the way. We can call ourselves seekers. We can call ourselves explorers. We can even call ourselves admirers, but not true followers of Christ-if we only go part way.
So my question for you to ponder is this: what are you this day? Are you an attender? Are you a seeker? Are you an admirer? Or are you a follower of Jesus? Be sure you know before you answer, because if you are a follower, then that means one thing...denying yourself, taking up the cross, and walking step by step to the grave.
Thanks for reading,
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