Take a minute to think back on your teenage years... go ahead and close your eyes.
What did you remember? Maybe something about school, a close friend, a vacation you took, or a teacher or coach that impacted your life.
What about your parents? Were you an obedient teenager? Me? Nope! I obeyed but I took liberty in
bending the rules. I remember this one time at diving practice (3 meter spring board) I came in so late. I DID NOT want to be there. Not because I wasn't good, but because my parents made me do something. Because they were making me do something I took the liberty of stretching how far I could bend the "on time" rule. Needless to say I lost in that battle. I ended up doing 100 Tiger Reminders - 1 Tiger Reminder = up and back down of 15 flights of bleachers.
Let's take a look at Matthew 16:24 ESV:
Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
Here are some things to take in while we think about Matthew 16:24
Quote: A.W. Tozer says, "The true follower of Christ will not ask, 'If I embrace this truth, what will it cost me?' Rather he will say, 'This is truth. God help me to walk in it, let come what may!' "
Definition: Obedience is the grateful response to God's Word that leads us to submit to his authority and do his will.
Evaluation: We obey God because he has authority over our lives and has made his commandments known to us in Scripture. Have you committed to fully obeying God in all that he commands? How has your level of obedience affected your spiritual formation?
You see... if I equate my level of obedience in my teenage years to following Christ I would put it pretty low. I'd be running a lot of Tiger Reminders!
We obey, Christ, out of love for Him and desire to please him, not out of an attempt to earn our way into heaven.
Drill Down Questions:
1. How has being obedient motivated me to know God more?
2. In what ways am I failing to obey God in my life?
3. Have I fallen away and need to recommit to being obedient?
4. How is my temperament affecting my obedience, both positively and negatively?
5. In what ways do my natural dispositions need to be tempered so I can be more obedient?
6. How do I need to change my attitude to become more obedient to Christ?
7. What commands in the Bible do I find most difficult to obey?
8. Is my failure to obey caused by lack of trust in God? Is it rooted in a refusal to give up a particular pattern of sin?
9. How is my emotional life affecting my obedience?
10. How does my obedience affect my understanding of God's Word?
11. What commitment can I make that will allow me to obey God immediately in whatever he requires?
12 What authorities do I need to submit to so I can be more obedient to God?
If you're a teenager and you just read this, please don't do what I did as a teenager. Trust me! 100 Tiger Reminders ain't a walk in the park. Not to mention it was a 100 degrees in the pool area. Be smart! Listen to your parents!
Live for His glory... Succeed for His kingdom!