Part 1

Introduction: Famous speeches that precede historic moments. They focus the moment for everyone involved. They call for determination and dedication because they involve momentous decisions. And the significance of the speech lives beyond the historical moment. One famous speech that outlasts its moment in history was given on ...
June 18, 1940 – Prime Minister Winston Churchill before the House of Commons anticipated the Battle of Britain. "The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, "This was their finest hour."
The words of Jesus also liven beyond their moment in history. Not only because of their importance but also because the one who spoke these words is living still as Lord. Matthew 10 is Jesus’ speech to the twelve before sending them on a mission. He focuses the moment not only for the twelve, but for all disciples who hear these words.
Read Matthew 10:16-39

The temptation we have to avoid most of all is self-preservation. If we do that we lose ...
Whoever finds his life loses it, whoever loses his life finds it – what other than Christ and his cross orders our life? What other than Christ and his cross do we confess? These other competing principles and powers are our teachers and we become disciples of these – but we lose our focus on the cross. And we cannot decide to be disciples of Christ and another.

Chris Benjamin

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Morning Sermon, 19 September 2004

Making Disciples for Jesus Eager to Serve Others
Notes for the Sermon – "Focusing Daily on Jesus and His Cross" – Part 1
September 19, 2004

Matthew 10:16-39.

  1. Review these principles about God’s mission and making disciples:
    1. Like the Twelve, we are also s_______ by Jesus.
    2. We make disciples for _____________.
    3. Making disciples means b__________ a disciple.

  2. Focusing on Jesus and his cross defines ...
    1. The D___________________ of disciples
    2. The D___________________ of disciples
    3. The D___________________ of disciples

  3. Determination of Disciples
    1. Jesus uses the image of "sheep among w___________."
    2. Determination to follow Jesus brings us into c_____________.
    3. If we are anxious about defending ourselves Jesus says, "Do not w___________." Why?

  4. Dedication of Disciples
    1. Jesus uses the image of a "student and a t_____________."
    2. Dedication to Jesus when the culture turns against us can make us a___________."
    3. Friends, family, culture, city, and nation turned against Jesus and he remained dedicated to G______.
    4. Jesus gives three reasons (10:26-30) why we should not be a_________.

  5. Decision of Disciples
    1. Worry, fear, and anxiety about circumstances and responses from others weaken our determination and dedication. We cannot control others, but we can make the right d______________.
    2. We must reinforce our decision daily by f________ on the cross.
    3. Jesus uses the image of a s__________ rather than peace to describe the importance of the decision we make to follow him.
    4. The greatest temptation we face is self-p_________________________.
    5. "Whoever finds his life loses it and whoever loses his life for Christ finds it."

Making Disciples for Jesus Eager to Serve Others
"Focusing Daily on Jesus and His Cross" – Part 1
Driving It Home Discussion Guide
September 19, 2004
  1. Read Matthew 10. How do Jesus’ words to the Twelve inspire us in our mission to our culture? How can this teaching help us make disciples?

  2. Why is Jesus so strong on allegiance? Why does he describe the decision to follow him as "taking up a cross?" Does this language seem too strong? Does it somehow apply less to us than it did to the Twelve? If so, why?

  3. Do you know people who’ve lost the support of family or culture because of their decision to follow Christ? How would you describe their faith? Where do they get the determination and dedication for their decision to follow Christ?

  4. What worries, fears, and anxieties weaken your determination and dedication as a disciple? Are they things you can change? How does a focus on Jesus and the cross enable us to overcome worry and fear?

Living the Lesson:

  1. What distracts you from focusing on the cross? Do you find yourself struggling to preserve your own life – your success and security? How does the cross challenge this? Read Hebrews 13:11-16.

  2. As a church, what are some of the obstacles we face in being mission focused in our community and in the world? How much effort do we spend trying to separate from the world? What are some real ways our church can try and engage the world around us for Christ? How are you personally going to participate in this? If something needs to be changed, how will you contribute?

  3. What would our worship and ministry be like if we, as a church, continually focused on Jesus and his cross? What would change? What would remain the same? How can you help all of us focus on Jesus and his cross? How can we help you?

  4. Jesus sent the Twelve into mission with "minimal resources" (see Matthew 10:7-15). However, he asked them to do some incredible things? What can we, as individuals and as a church, learn from this?

Prepare for Oct. 3 – "Daily Focusing on Jesus and His Cross – Part 2"

    Read 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; Philippians 3:7-11; Romans 6; Galatians 2:20.
    (To prepare for Sept. 26th emphasis on Jesus and His cross in communion: Matthew 26:36-46; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34.)

Chris Benjamin

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Morning Sermon, 19 September 2004

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