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He Must Increase - 5/26/24

May 26, 2024    Riley Sampson

Today, we gather to renew our strength in the Lord, as His Word promises that those who wait upon Him shall be renewed. We come with open hearts, seeking conviction, encouragement, deliverance, and healing. We yield ourselves completely to God, letting go of pride and saying yes to His way. We thank Him for His faithfulness and provision, and we pray for His Holy Spirit to move among us.

This morning, we delve into Luke 14:25-30, where Jesus speaks to the large crowds following Him. He challenges them, saying that anyone who does not hate their family and even their own life cannot be His disciple. This strong language emphasizes the need to love Jesus above all else. Jesus also speaks about the importance of counting the cost before committing to follow Him, using the examples of building a tower and going to war. He calls for a total commitment, not just a superficial following.

As we reflect on this passage, we recognize that Jesus was not looking for a fan club but for fully committed disciples. Many in the crowd wanted just enough of Jesus to make their lives better, but Jesus demands a complete reorientation of our lives around Him. This is a call to give up everything for the sake of His kingdom.

We then turn to Matthew 6:19-21, where Jesus teaches about storing up treasures in heaven rather than on earth. He reminds us that where our treasure is, there our heart will be also. This challenges us to examine what we truly value and worship. We often sacrifice for what we worship, and Jesus calls us to worship Him wholeheartedly, not just when it is convenient.

The church is meant to be a battleship, not a cruise ship. This means we are called to engage in spiritual warfare, not just enjoy the comforts of Christianity. We are to worship and war together, recognizing that our battles are won through prayer, worship, and submission to God. This is exemplified in the story of King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles, where the people of Israel sought the Lord in prayer and worship, and God delivered them from their enemies.

Paul's example in Acts 20:22-24 shows us the heart of a true disciple. He considered his life worth nothing compared to completing the task Jesus gave him. This radical commitment is what Jesus calls us to. We must be willing to give up everything for His kingdom, not just seek comfort.

Corporate prayer is crucial in this spiritual battle. The early church understood this, as seen in Acts 2 and Acts 12, where they gathered to pray and saw miraculous results. Today, we often undervalue and underutilize prayer. We need to return to a place where prayer is central to our lives and our church.

As we close, we are reminded that Jesus must increase, and we must decrease. This means giving up our own desires and allowing Jesus to lead our lives completely. We are called to be part of a battleship, fully committed to the mission of God's kingdom. Let us not be content with just a little bit of Jesus but seek to give Him our all.