I am laying down my life for Jesus Christ and His Kingdom!

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1 The Pattern 1 Romans 12:1 2 (NIV) Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God this is your true and proper worship. Intro new series, The Pattern, a plan for following Jesus today! Phil 3:7 Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. This verse caught my attention earlier in the year, Paul taught people to follow a model, a pattern as they lived for Christ! We build our lives by design or default! All of us will establish a pattern for our lives! But what will it look like? What would it involve? Over the next few months I am going to outline for you 10 principles from this passage in Romans 12 that come together to give us a model for following Jesus. There will be more, but I figure if we can start with applying these, then we will make progress! I am laying down my life for Jesus Christ and His Kingdom! The pattern begins with surrender! offer your bodies as a living sacrifice Following Jesus is based on yielding our lives! It is not just difficult to follow Jesus without surrender, it is impossible! Jesus call us to surrender to Him! Matthew 16:24 25 Then Jesus said to his disciples, If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. Denying ourselves! This is the pattern! Living for God s kingdom! Following Him! The word calls us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices! To yield, to forfeit, to let go, to surrender! Here is where we begin to build a pattern in our lives! By laying down our lives! By denying ourselves! This is the foundation of our Christian lives! If we would come after Jesus, if we would follow Him. If we would be people of faith, then we must surrender! It is in laying down our lives that we find life! It is in laying down our lives that we enter into the purposes of God! It is in laying down our lives that we become established in God s will. 2

2 Corinthians 5:15 (NIV) And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. No longer live for themselves BUT for HIM! This is the laying down of our lives for the one who died for us! The pattern begins with surrender! Excuse me if I labour this point today! Somehow we have overlooked the call of denying ourselves and carrying the cross! Listen carrying a cross is about surrender! Bonhoffer When Jesus calls a man he bids him come and die! When Jesus said to his disciples, carry your cross, they understood what he meant! It meant surrender, sacrifice! That is why many left him, said this is hard! The pattern is set through sacrifice! Surrender is the plumb line for how we build our Christian lives! If we don t surrender then we will always be fighting for survival! To have our own way, to be blessed, Jesus in the garden fights with this very thing! Surrender! Paul in this passage outlines why we can offer our bodies as living sacrifices! Surrender is our response to the mercy of God! - Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice I love that phrase, in view of God s mercy! Mercy is the heart of God! Psalm 103:8 10 (NIV) The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. He does not treat us as our sins deserve! Everyone breathe that in today! This is why we can surrender to Him, he is merciful! He doesn t demand his pound of flesh! He doesn t treat us like we treat him! We can come before Him and safely surrender. Psalm 130:3 4 (NIV) If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? 4 But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. If he was different, he would crush us! He would impose a rule upon us! We would fight Him to our last breath, but with him there is mercy! Do you need mercy today surrender to Him. He is the compassionate and gracious God who loves us! Fighting Him only hurts ourselves! He pours out those precious jewels of the Kingdom mercy and grace! Hebrews 4:16 (NIV) Let us then approach God s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

3 Surrender is our acknowledgment of who Jesus is! holy and pleasing to God Who do you say Jesus is? If he is simply a teacher then we can only listen to his teaching, if he is a miracle worker we can hope he might do something for us! But if He is Lord then we surrender! Matthew 16:15 16 (NIV) But what about you? he asked. Who do you say I am? Simon Peter answered, You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Who do you say He is today? Your answer will determine if you lay down your life! If you will put Him in charge! When we reduce him, when we fail to understand him, we are hesitant to lay down our lives! When we think that we know best, that he cant really understand the challenges of our life, we take back control! We make different choices! When we are not sure what is happening, we lose sight of who He is! Listen to the testimony of the Word, Acts 2:36 (NIV) Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah. Jesus is Lord and Saviour! Thomas looking at the nail prints in the hands of Jesus exclaimed, John 20:28 (NIV) My Lord and my God! Jesus is the only one who can legitimately ask us to surrender to Him! He is Lord and Saviour! He is God, he is revealed to be the Son of the Living God! He is not like us yet he became like us! He was born of a virgin, entered the world, lived with the all the limitations of our humanity, and offered himself for the sins of the world! Philippians 2:6 12 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Who you say Jesus is determines how you surrender! Surrender is all we can offer! - this is your true and proper worship. What else do we have that we can offer to the Lord if not

4 ourselves! What does he need from us! What can I give him, poor as I am! Give my heart! The pattern of our lives is established by the offering of ourselves! It is the only thing of value that we have to give to the Lord! Our worship, our offerings, our lives, our time, all of them have substance only if we have offered our lives, if we have surrendered! To surrender means sacrifice but you can have sacrifice without surrender! Remember David, 2 Samuel 24:24 (NIV) But the king replied to Araunah, No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing. So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them. Without surrender our sacrifice means nothing! Luke 18:9 14 (NIV) Jesus told this parable: Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: God, I thank you that I am not like other people robbers, evildoers, adulterers or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get. But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, God, have mercy on me, a sinner. 14 I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. Offering ourselves is a humble act! We can so easily rely on other things, what we give, what we do! But it is the living sacrifice that we ourselves are that determines the quality of the life that we build. That sets the boundaries of the pattern of our lives. SO what am I saying today live according to the pattern! We build our lives by design or default! The biblical pattern for how we should build is to surrender to Jesus! To offer yourself as a living sacrifice! To lay down your own agenda for the sake of our Lord and King! Surrender is our response to the mercy of God - come and call on his mercy today Surrender is our acknowledgment of who Jesus is - who do you say He is Surrender is all we have to offer

5 - What can I give him? Response Lord, your word tells me to come before you today with confidence, because of your mercy and grace, and so I come and bring you my life. I lay my life before you, with all its hope and fears, with all its needs and wants, with all its pleasures and pain. I surrender to your mercy! Your great love for me, your unfailing compassion, your unconditional forgiveness. I thank you that you do not treat me as my sins deserve! I surrender to you, Lord Jesus. I thank you that in you I have everything that I need. Forgive me when I feel the need to take back control and push you aside. Help me to remember that you are my Lord and my God! I surrender myself as the only thing I have to offer. I lay my life and my days, my gifts and my treasures, my thoughts, words and deeds before you as my sacrifice to you. Be exalted O Lord, through my life! I surrender to you! Amen! Come and receive His mercy today! Discussion What we believe about God affects our willingness to surrender to him. How can we enlarge our understanding of Jesus? What areas are you tempted to wrestle back Lordship of you life? What are the results of not surrendering to the Lord in terms of Christian living? Pray for one another so you may offer your lives as living sacrifices

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