Christian life can be hard and difficult. There’s a cost to following Jesus, but not following Jesus costs us so much more. Finding our joy in Christ is key to following Jesus in the long run.
- Verses 19-20 – Jesus is real about the cost of following Him. The Christian life can be hard and following Jesus doesn’t protect us from suffering. If we don’t realise this we might be tempted to stop following Him when life gets hard. It’s like being the rocky ground in the parable of the Sower.
- Verses 21-22 – There can always be other priorities that get in our way of following Jesus. If we continue to say ‘I’ll follow Jesus more passionately when I ______________’ we might place ourselves in danger. The other priorities might lead us to stop following Jesus; we cannot serve two masters. It’s like being the thorny ground in the parable of the Sower.
- The Joy of the Lord – We need joy in God. Nehemiah said ‘the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). ‘Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength’ (Isaiah 40:31). Combining these we see that as we wait on God our joy is renewed in the Lord. Joy can be fought for, but it comes as we wait on Him. Meditation is key.
Small Group Questions
- What stood out for you tonight?
- How have you personally struggled with the issues highlighted tonight?
- Read Philippians 4:4-9
- What would it look like to practically apply these verses to your life?
- What difference would they make in your life if you were to take them seriously and live them out?