“I don’t know what it has been like for pastors in other cultures and previous centuries, but… the persons whom I lead in worship, among whom I counsel, visit, pray, preach and teach, want shortcuts. They want me to help them fill out the form that will get them instant credit (in eternity). They are impatient for results. They have adopted the lifestyle of a tourist and only want the high points… The Christian life cannot mature under such conditions and in such ways.”Eugene Peterson
This isn’t just dirt. It has a purpose!
GROWTH requires SACRIFICE – “Deny yourself…”
The Rocky Ground
We want quick and easy… but that’s not what’s offered to us! (Luke 9:23)
GROWTH requires CONSISTENCY – “Take up your cross daily…”
How do you make sure you don’t end up blind to the thorns?
– Check yourself
– Get others’ perspective
– Expect pruning
GROWTH requires CHANGE
“Followers of the Sermon on the Mount have long noted how anti-individualistic it is. People who finally stumble or are dragged to the way of the cross often attempt to live this Sermon on their own…Douglas M. Jones
This sermon is not a code for individual behavior. It is given to the church, and the church has to take the lead in living it in community. People who try it on their own quickly burn out.”
The end goal is NOT to just become good soil.
It’s to allow God to work in you to produce something bigger than you can do on your own.
- DENY YOURSELF
- TAKE UP YOUR CROSS
- AND FOLLOW