- OPENING PRAYER – Ask one person to open the meeting in prayer.
- GROWTH QUESTIONS – Ask everyone the Growth Questions.
- ATTENDANCE – Take attendance through the DG Attendance System.
- TODAY’S LESSON – Go over this week’s DG lesson.
- GIVING – Encourage everyone to give on the App.
- CLOSING PRAYER – Ask for prayer requests and pray.
THE BLESSING AND COST OF FOLLOWING JESUS
Matthew 8:14-22 NLT 14 When Jesus arrived at Peter’s house, Peter’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a high fever. 15 But when Jesus touched her hand, the fever left her. Then she got up and prepared a meal for him. 16 That evening many demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. He cast out the evil spirits with a simple command, and he healed all the sick. 17 This fulfilled the word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah, who said, “He took our sicknesses and removed our diseases.” 18 When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he instructed his disciples to cross to the other side of the lake. 19 Then one of the teachers of religious law said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” 20 But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.” 21 Another of his disciples said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.” 22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me now. Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead.”
- 400 years before Jesus was born, the prophet Isaiah talked about how Jesus would be able to heal when He came because of what He would accomplish on the Cross.
Isaiah 53:4-5 (CEB) – It was certainly our sickness that he carried, and our sufferings that he bore… He was pierced because of our rebellions and crushed because of our crimes. He bore the punishment that made us whole; by his wounds we are healed.
- DEFINITION – Healed (therapeuō): to relieve of disease, cure, thoroughly make whole, restore to health
- Jesus demonstrated beyond a shadow of doubt that He was the promised Messiah and the Son of God by His power to heal with a touch and cast out demons with a word.
- Jesus’ willingness to heal Peter’s mother-in-law of fever demonstrates that He cares about all of our suffering, no matter how small.
- Today, we too can be healed and delivered by Jesus, if we will simply turn from our sins and invite Him to lead and guide our lives.
- When we surrender our lives to Jesus, we can be made whole and healthy.
- When we refuse to surrender our lives to Jesus, we must carry the weight of our sin, sickness and disease alone.
- Jesus demonstrated His authority and identity as the Son of God by casting out demons with a simple command and healing the sick with just a touch.
- Jesus promised that His authority to do these miracles would also be given to His disciples.
John 14:12 NLT “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.”
- As believers, Jesus promised us that we will do the same works and GREATER than He did while He was on the earth.
- Today, all disciples of Jesus Christ can and should expect that the Holy Spirit who worked through Jesus will work through them. We can do the same miracles that Jesus did and more!
- DEFINITION – Excuse: attempt to lessen blame or responsibility; a reason or explanation put forward to defend or justify a fault or offense.
- The man who asked Jesus to allow him to go bury his father was actually asking for permission to wait until his father passed away. This could have taken years.
- Jesus would not allow this man to excuse himself from following after Him.
- DEFINTION – Dead (nekros): lifeless ,spiritually dead, destitute of a life that recognizes and is devoted to God because it is given up to sin
- Jesus’s stern rebuke of this man’s excuse made the stakes clear. Jesus did not allow him to pretend that he just needed more time. He made it clear that he was on the road to a spiritual dead-end.
- Jesus’ call hasn’t changed for us today. He asks us to leave behind anything and everyone that would keep us from surrendering our dead lives of sin and finding real life in Him.
Luke 14:26 (ERV) – “If you come to me but will not leave your family, you cannot be my follower. You must love me more than your father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters—even more than your own life!”
- How sad to think that someone might use their family as an excuse to continue in sin and ultimately lose out on eternal life as a result.
- We need to be especially wary of the “good excuses,” the ones that sound good to everyone else, but that we know inside of ourselves are just excusing us from the call of God.