Take your Bibles, please, and turn to Matthew, Matthew chapter 10, and let's stand once again for the reading of God's word, two verses. Matthew 10:38-39. Thank you for the beautiful music today. And if you don't have a Bible this morning, you can find the Scripture and the notes inside the bulletin. I encourage everybody to do that every week and follow along with us there. And this morning we're going to read Matthew 10:38-39. And the message is entitled "Happiness is Serving Christ." We're going to learn how to find happiness through serving. And I trust that you'll have an open heart today; a very profound two verses, just two short verses. I really feel you could write books of these verses, there's so much packed in here. But we're going to unpack some of it today, and I hope it'll be a blessing to you.
Matthew 10:38, "And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." All right, let's read those two together, verses 38 and 39. Ready, begin: "And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." Let's pray together.
Dear Lord, we thank you for the wonderful word of God. We thank you that it's infallible and preserved for us to this very day without error. We ask that you'd help us to grow and be strengthened by the word this morning, and we pray this in Jesus' name. Amen. You may be seated.
Most of us when we were saved we were truly amazed by the work of the cross. We were humbled by the blood that was shed at the cross, we were overwhelmed by the love of the cross, and we responded to the invitation of the cross. We're thankful for what the cross has provided for us. But somewhere along the way in your Christian life you've come to the verses I read this morning, and there's similar verses in the New Testament, where the Bible tells us to take up our cross and follow Jesus. And this is a point in life where we are tested and challenged with what is called discipleship. Are we going to merely be satisfied with knowing God's forgiveness and thankful for what he did on his cross, or will we be willing to take up our cross and follow him?
It seems everybody's at least interested in knowing about what the cross does for us. And sometimes we come to church with the idea of, "What do I get out of it?" But the question today is not, "What do we get out of it?" But because of his cross, how can we serve him? And are we willing to take up our cross and follow him?
Now when the disciples heard the word "cross." Believe me, it was no glamorous term in the first century. It was not something you wore around your neck for jewelry or anything like that. It was certainly a very strong picture of some type of indignity, a type of suffering, a type of excruciating pain. In fact, there had been a time just a few years before Christ when there was a man named Judas the Zealot. He was a Jewish zealot who created an uproar in Jerusalem, and many of the Jewish people rebelled against the Roman captivity; and because of that, there were more than 2,000 Jews that were crucified just years before Jesus was crucified. In other words, that word "cross" would bring back bad feelings and memories and thoughts of indignity into the minds of the Jewish people. And yet, here they were being told, "Now that you understand the cross of Jesus, it's time for you to take up your cross and follow Jesus," an amazing thought indeed.
These disciples are going to learn that following Jesus does not necessarily mean that you have your best life every day. Following Jesus doesn't mean you get your way every day. Following Jesus doesn't mean that you are without burdens in your life. And Jesus is challenging them to not only the issue of salvation, but in these verses, the issue of truly being a disciple or a follower of Jesus Christ. He's reminding them that the Christian life is not all about self-satisfaction, it's all about following the Lord Jesus Christ. And so I want you to learn with me today that happiness, according to the Bible, is not found in seeking self-satisfaction, but it is found in following the Lord Jesus Christ and serving the Lord Jesus Christ.
I want you to notice in your outline there the price of discipleship, the price of discipleship. This is a foreign concept in many modern churches, but let's learn about it today. It is a paradox indeed in the Christian life, this idea that we would bear a cross; but I want you to notice what it tells us in verse 38. It says, "And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me." Now what does it mean to take up our cross? It means in the first place that we must be willing in the Christian life to deny our self, to set aside our prerogatives, and to serve others.
Mark 8:34 says, "And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, 'Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.'" The word "deny himself" means that we would lose sight of ourselves, set aside our own interests, be willing to lay aside what we would do in order to do what he has called us to do, in order to do what he wants us to do.
Warren Wiersbe said, "Christians cannot serve Christ without taking up the cross." This means being crucified to self, and sometimes it means bearing his reproach. Not everyone's happy that you're a Christian; you may have to bear that cross. Not everyone's thrilled even that these couples are in church today that we saw a moment ago, but they must be faithful in following and serving the Lord. And so we see that we are to deny self, that is to deny our self-interests.
One of the happiest men that I ever knew was a man named Leo Walther. Many of you knew Leo, and his wife is here this morning in the auditorium. Leo went home to be with the Lord a few years ago. We named a building after Leo here on the campus. That's him on the right side there. And Leo was saved at age 57; many of you know his story. We wrote his story in a book called In Desert Places, it's out in the bookstore. A wonderful story of a man who came to see his son baptized here at Lancaster Baptist Church, and on that day he realized that he needed to get saved, and at age 57 Leo Walther accepted Christ.
And immediately, God began to change his life. He sold his liquor store in the Los Angeles area; he wanted out of that. He moved to Lancaster and he began to serve God. He would duplicate DVDs and send them to missionaries. He would serve meals to college kids. He served as an usher. He would take girls to banquets if they didn't get asked out by those bums that didn't ask them out, you know. He just kind of looked to help and serve and encourage.
And many times Leo said to me, many, many times, "I'm happier than I've ever been in my life. These are the happiest days of my life. I'm so glad that I can serve the Lord Jesus Christ." Things that used to interest him weren't as interesting anymore. He was an avid golfer, a scratch golfer, and he golfed a little here and there, but that wasn't what made him happy anymore; serving Jesus made him happy. There was just something about serving the Lord Jesus Christ.
I think that everyone here would say, "You know, I'd like to finish my life with that kind of happiness. I'd like to finish my life with that kind of joy and really knowing what matters and how it's joyful to serve the Lord Jesus." You know, John 12:26 says, "If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour." You see, it's a joy to serve the Lord Jesus Christ, but we must set aside our self-interests. We must also set aside our self-thought.
You know, many of us, if we're not careful, we lose so many blessings in life by focusing so much on our self. I want you to look at verse in the notes this morning, Acts 20:24. The Bible says, "But none of these things move me," this is Paul the apostle speaking; notice this phrase, "neither count I my life dear unto myself." Would you say that phrase with me, please? "Neither count I my life dear unto myself."
You see, sometimes we frustrate ourselves because we count our lives dear unto ourselves. We're thinking so much about ourselves, our plan, our goals. We focus on self when the Bible clearly teaches us to deny self. Now the Bible's not telling us that we should ruin our health, never brush our teeth, never comb your hair, never take care of yourself. That's not what it means to deny self. But it means that when the Lord is calling you to serve, to help, to give, to care, to love, it's not always going to be convenient. And many times we're willing to serve God if it's on our timetable, if we have a little extra change, if we don't have to sacrifice in any way. But a disciple many times will inconvenience himself or herself in order to fulfill what God is calling them to do. One author said, "Over the years I've learned not simply to think less of myself, but to think about myself less. When I'm thinking most about Jesus, not me, I am most happy."
So many people today are consumed with what rank they want, what job they want, what income they want, what savings they want, what vehicle they want, and life is wrapped up in self. But here the Bible calls us to deny our self and to follow after Jesus Christ. Notice that, secondly, following Christ.
Now let me say this morning that we ought not to follow Christ merely from the spirit of determination, but it should be from a heart of devotion. There needs to be a time in your life when being a disciple is not just about, "All right, I'm going to work hard and get to church, and I'm going to give my offering, and I'm going to do this and that. I'm going to be determined." There is a place for determination; but the very best way to serve God is not from a heart of determination, but rather from a heart of devotion. Paul the apostle said, "The love of Christ constraineth me; because I thus judge, that if one died for all, then all were dead."
You know, folks, we want to make sure that we have not just a responsibility to the Christian life, but a relationship in the Christian life, that we're here today because we want to worship and know the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, listen, you can't be a follower of Christ if you're unwilling to bear the cross of Christ and then follow after him. Paul said in Galatians 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
How many of you are glad that he loved you and gave himself for you? He loves us, he gave himself for us, and God says, "I want you to follow after me because of what I've done for you." And so there's a price to discipleship, and the price is denying self and following after the Lord. Now what you may deny or set aside and what someone else may deny or set aside may be totally different, but the spirit is the same: "Lord, I want you to have first place in my life. I want to set aside whatever it is that would hinder me from following after you." So there's a price to discipleship.
But notice, secondly, there is a problem of selfishness. One of the reasons that the world is not being reached, one of the reason that revival, perhaps, is not being known is because we're so focused on self in this day, because oftentimes we're unwilling, whether it be to pray, whether it be to witness to someone, whether it be to help a neighbor or talk to someone in their time of need. Sometimes self gets in the way. Sometimes ego gets in the way – E-G-O, edging God out – and we begin to dominate, and our will is dominant. And when the selfishness takes over there are some problems that come, and I want you to notice the first one is that there is a limited passion, a limited passion. Let me tell you what I mean by this.
Look at verse 39. It says, "He that findeth his life shall lose it. He that findeth his life." So here's the limited passion. This person is only passionate about themselves, he's finding his life, but that's all it is to him. "He that findeth his life." He's focusing on his career, his identity, his goals. "He that findeth his life." The Bible says, "You might find your life, if that's your limited passion, just living for you, but you're going to miss the big picture. You're actually going to lose your life because there's more to life than you. There's other people in this world than you. There is a family, there is a community, there are people who need to know the Lord."
It's a futile search, this search of finding your inner self, finding yourself. And so it is, it is a very futile and limited passion. And the tragedy is the world is constantly telling us this is the meaning of life, to find yourself, to live for yourself. There's Self magazine, there's Glamour magazine, there's self-improvement books, self-help books, all of the emphasis on finding and living for yourself. And the fact is that when you're thinking of yourself you're always unhappy, because pride begins to settle in, and because suddenly we find ourselves grow engrossed in just thinking of ourselves. And if all of our focus is on ourselves, then everything else is out of focus. If we're focusing merely on our wants and our needs, then we're not focusing on our family and on the other needs.
Look at what it says in Ecclesiastes 2:21. It says, "For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion." In other words, you're working for all these things for yourself and you're going to leave it to someone that didn't even work for it. And Solomon says, "This is also vanity and a great evil."
Notice verse 22: "For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the fun? For all of his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity." In other words, when you travail and you don't rest and you're just living for self and living for your own goals, God says, "It's all vanity; you're missing the point. It's not about self, it's about the Lord, and it is about living for others."
A person that is all wrapped up in himself makes a very small package. And I love what Randy Alcorn said: "What we need is to be so gripped by Jesus and his grace that we truly forget about ourselves? Why would we want to think about ourselves the lesser when we can think about him, the infinitely greater? This happens directly when we worship and serve him, and also indirectly when we love and serve others for his glory." In other words, friends, don't live with a limited passion. Don't live simply for yourself, to find yourself. There are greater passions in this world, a passion for God, a passion to serve others. And so we see the tragedy of selfishness is that there is a limited passion.
And then, secondly, there is a loss of purpose. When someone is living for themselves they never fulfill the purpose of God for their life. Now notice that in verse 39 it says, "He that findeth his life," there's the limited passion, "shall lose it," there's the loss of purpose. He's going to try to find his life, he's going to limit his scope to himself, but he's going to lose it. He's going to lose his purpose.
Now we lose purpose when we fail to focus on Jesus Christ. The Bible says in Philippians 1:21, "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." This was the purpose of the apostle Paul. And yet we lose that purpose when we focus on self. We never grow in Christ as we should. We never find the joy and the peace of Jesus Christ that was designed for us.
Secondly, we lose purpose when we fail to invest our life for Jesus Christ. Notice in John 12:24, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal."
Now here's the thought. Think of this kernel of corn. Dr. Don Sisk has often preached about this to us. If you take a little bit of that which is yours – in this instance, a kernel of corn – and you invest it into the ground, it brings forth a great harvest. One kernel of corn can, perhaps, bring a couple of hundred kernels in that head of corn. And God says, "If you're whole life is about hoarding your corn and you're not investing your life, then you are losing the purpose of life.
The purpose of life is not to live just for ourselves, just for that job promotion, just for that 401(k), just for our private time. The purpose of life is to invest in others, whether it's a mentoring word to a young person or an admonition to a child whether it's encouraging a word of love to your spouse, or teaching a Sunday School class, or singing in the choir, or giving to mission, the purpose of life is to take that little kernel of corn that God has given to you and to sow it so that it will abound unto goodness and unto righteousness.
It's amazing to me how selfish our society has become, and we must all battle it. Several years ago in the Oxford Dictionary, their word of the year was the word "selfie." Remember that word? And it's kind of relatively new, really, the word "selfie." And I think most of us probably have taken a selfie or two, and we've gotten with some friends and said, "Let's take a picture of ourselves," kind of a new phenomenon. But the idea of selfie or selfieness – if I could use that term – is something that prevails in our society today. And yet the focus on self is so great. Even the focus on taking pictures of ourselves is so great, that in the years 2011 to 2017 there were at least 250 people in the process of getting a picture of themselves in some cool and dangerous place who died taking their selfie.
And what I want you to know this morning is that when we live a selfie life, we actually lose our life. We actually lose focus on what life is really all about. In fact, John the Baptist, when he saw Jesus walking toward him on the banks of the Jordan River, he looked at Jesus and he said, "He must increase, and I must decrease." And you see, the only help and the only hope that we have of a decreasing self is an increasing Christ. The only hope of a decreasing self and an increasing Christ is that we would find perspective and that we would find opportunity to see the Lord the way we should see him. And so he must increase, I must decrease. And yet so many times it's just the other way around, because ego is "edging God out."
And we see here this morning the price of discipleship: "Take your cross and follow me." We see the problem of selfishness. We don't want to take up that cross, we want Christianity light, we want it our way. You know, we don't want to have to get too involved in church, we don't want to have to get too involved in serving. We'll take a few bucks of Jesus like we do at the gas station, but Jesus said, "That's not how it works." He said, "If you're going to follow me, deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me."
Notice, not only the price of discipleship, the problem of selfishness. But I want to close with this, the prize of serving, because there's joy in serving. There's happiness when we serve the Lord Jesus Christ. Now notice it, in verse 39 it says, "He that findeth his life shall lose it": there you have the problem of selfishness, "and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."
Here's the prize of the one that is serving the Lord Jesus Christ. The first thing that he enjoys in this prize is that he has freedom from selfish bondage. Rather than holding onto his life and his kernels of corn and his time and his goals, this person has freedom from that bondage. It seems that self-preservation and self-promotion have literally littered the landscape of modern-day America. It's all about self-promotion, it's all about self-preservation.
But God says, "When you just lose your life, you're going to find out you don't have to self-promote, you don't have to try to self-preserve. I will take care of you," God says. "If you'll just take care of my business, I'll take care of your business. I'll do the things that you could never do." You see, you can't really control your health and you can't really control the entire United States economy, but there is a God in heaven who says, "If you'll just throw yourself into serving me, I will take care of you." And so it is a daily decision that we must make to trust in him.
Notice in Luke, Luke 9:23, it says, "And he said unto them all, 'If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow after me.'" God is looking for people in the high desert of Southern California who every day will say, "Lord, I want to be willing to bear the burden, whatever it is, reproach, whatever it is, the challenges of this culture. I want to be willing to bear those burdens, take up the cross and follow you, Lord. And I'm going to let you worry about all the bondage of self-worry. I'm going to let you take care of those needs, because I'm going to take care of your work today, Lord. You show me where you want me to serve, and I'll be willing to do that."
I heard of a man that once asked George Müller – George Müller was a man that built orphanages in England during a time when the bubonic plague had taken many moms and dads away from the children. He built an orphanage for 10,000 children completely by faith. And someone once asked Müller, "What's the secret of your service for the Lord?" and he answered, "There was a day when I died, I utterly died. I died to George Müller, his opinion, preferences, tastes and wills. I died to the world, its approval or censure. I died to the approval or blame of my brothers in Christ and friends. And since then I have studied only to show myself approved unto God."
You see, the Bible says we should deny our self and take up our cross daily, every day saying, "Lord, what matters today is your will for my life." It's a daily decision. And let me tell you this: it is a stress-relieving decision, because when you're living for self, you're stressed about, "Don't touch my car. Oh, the stock market's down like two-tenths of a point. I hate it when he makes me look that way." It's a stressful thing to live for yourself.
But look what the Bible says in Luke 17:33. I never saw this verse this way, Luke 17:33, "Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lost it; and whosoever shall lose his life," notice this phrase here, "shall preserve it, shall preserve it." That is to keep it.
My grandmother used to make preserves, you know, strawberry preserves. And, oh, I'd love it when she'd open up a can of those. And you know, the fact of the matter is God says, "If you'll just seek my face, I'll preserve your life. You're not going to go begging. You don't have to freak out and worry about, 'Is there going to be enough?'" It's not that we shouldn't save or be careful or plan, but God says, "If all your trust is in yourself, you're not allowing me to take care of you, you're not allowing me to preserve you."
And you can try to preserve your life, but the fact is God can do a lot better than you can. Notice what it says in Proverbs 11:24, it says, "There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty." In other words, there are those that think of themselves and they're holding, they're holding on, "I can't give a kernel of corn. I can't give an hour of my time." But it tends to poverty. And then there's others that invest and they share, and God meets their need. And, folks, that's the purpose of life, to live according to the Lord Jesus, not to be a reservoir of all of the blessing, but to be a conduit of the blessing into the lives of others. There's freedom from selfish bondage when you live for the Lord."
And then notice, secondly, there's the discovery of life's purpose. Now the Bible says in verse 39, "Whoever loseth his life for my sake shall find it." When you say, "Lord, it's not about me, it's about you and it's about serving," then you're going to find the meaning of your life. And I want to tell you how to find the meaning of life's purpose in three quick steps and we'll be done.
You want to know the meaning of life's purpose, let me give you three quick steps from the Scripture. Number One: You need to learn to see what Jesus sees. See what Jesus sees. It says in Philippians 2, "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others." Hey, how about seeing people the way Jesus sees them?
You say, "Well, I see some people and they bug me." And sometimes you say, "Well, I saw this guy at the mall and he had his pants hanging down and kind of had – looked like he had his pajamas on, and I just wanted to go up and give him a piece of my mind." I understand that. Sometimes people are out of order, kind of weird, they bug you. But wait a minute; when Jesus sees these people, guess what he has on them? He has compassion on them.
Now that's not always easy, is it? And sometimes we get frustrated, I recognize that. But we need to learn to see what Jesus sees. He sees the needs. Think about bus workers this morning. They go into the homes of about 400-500 children, many of them whose parents are passed out from the night before drinking too much. And they don't look at those people with distain, but they look at them with compassion and bring them into the house of God. Just try to see people the way Jesus sees them.
And then, secondly, try to serve people the way that Jesus would have us to serve. The Bible teaches us to distribute to the necessity of the saints. I think of next week taking the turkeys out into our community; and if you'd like to buy one of those turkeys, go to the church app, Lancaster Baptist app, and you can purchase a turkey dinner. We're going to deliver those next Sunday morning after church to hundreds of families. And just trying to see what Jesus sees and trying to serve who Jesus would serve, to give that cup of cold water in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
George Washington Carver once said concerning racism. He said to a friend, "Keep your hand in that of the Master. Walk daily by his side so that you may lead others into the realms of true happiness, where religion of hate which poisons body and soul will be unknown." In other words, just try to see it the way Jesus sees it. Try to serve the way that Jesus served. And then, try to sow what Jesus would sow. If you're going to fulfill your purpose in life you've got to see what Jesus sees, you've got to serve who Jesus would serve, and then sow what Jesus would sow.
And Jesus came to seek and to save the lost, to sow the gospel. That's why we have gospel tracts in the back of the church so you can take a gospel tract and sow the seed of the word of God. That's why we have soul-winning training so that we can articulate the gospel better and tell others about Jesus Christ, and just trying to sow the gospel: "Jesus Christ came to seek and to save the lost." And he told us, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
I think probably one of the happiest women that I ever knew was my mother, Maxine Chappell. She was a pastor's wife; she had a lot of pressures at time. I remember sometimes my dad would say to her, "Hey, we're going to bring some people over for dinner tonight," and she would have that look, like, "Oh, no," and she didn't have enough groceries at home. And somehow she always figured a way to whip some things up, and no one would have ever known she was stressed out. She put the meal down on the table, we all ate it. She enjoyed serving the Lord.
She was a bus captain in our church. She would go out and pick up children on the busses. And she loved so many people and loved in such an amazing way that she had to have two busses every Sunday. She brought over a hundred children to church every single week. She was the bus captain, I was the assistant captain. I carried a clipboard around and wrote down the names of the kids that were going to come to church, and we brought them to church – red, yellow, black, brown, white. Didn't care what their color, what their background, we just knew that people needed the Lord. And my mom taught me that there's joy in serving Jesus Christ. We would bring people to church, and mom was always just thrilled to serve people and to give to others. She'd go to the thrift store and buy clothes and toys, and at Christmastime buy gifts for all the bus kids; and she just had such a loving heart.
My mom, of course, is battling Alzheimer's, and one of the times that I remember when she had just a little clarity about a year-and-a-half ago; I went to visit my mom over in Phoenix, and I went into her memory care home and I said to the doctor, I said, "Would it be okay if I took my mom out maybe for a bite to eat?" He said, "Well, I'll tell you what: I'll let you do that, but you've got to promise to keep an eye on your mom, because she is a runner." That's one of the reasons we have her there in that memory care; for some reason she'll just take off. And he said, "She's a runner," and he said, "She's fast." And at that time I think she was 79, and I mean she just could get out and run. And so I said, "All right, I'll keep an eye on her."
I took my mom and dad to In-N-Out Burger, you know, we were going to live large and go to In-N-Out Burger. When we sat down, we were enjoying our hamburgers and French fries, and all of a sudden I looked up and she was gone. And I thought, Oh, my soul." And as I looked around, I saw my mom going from table to table to table with gospel tracts, and she was saying, "Do you know Jesus as your Savior? If you died today, would you spend eternity in heaven? Have you ever accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior?" Now she didn't know my name, she didn't know my dad's name.
They took away her driver's license, they took away her credit cards, but she hadn't forgotten the name of Jesus Christ. She hadn't lost the joy of serving like some ladies that I know and some men too, who just get tired of the battle and lose their joy. I'm glad that my last memories of my mom when she could speak were memories of joyfully serving Jesus, even when she had just a little mental capacity left.
The other day I went and saw my mom and she didn't know who I was, and I try to talk to her, she just stared at me. I said, "Mom, let's have a word of prayer." She perked up. She said, "Okay." I said, "Lord, I thank you for a godly mother, and I pray you'd help her." Every once in a while she'd say, "Yes, Lord. Thank you, Lord." There's just something still flickering there for the Lord. The joy of the Lord is her strength. And there's joy in serving Jesus.
Years ago there was a man who won the Pulitzer Prize for this picture I want you to see. This picture was taken of a little African girl; and the last moments of her life a vulture standing over her. Kevin Carter, he finally reached the pinnacle of his career; he found his life. He found his life. Pulitzer Prize, right? He was able to take this awesome picture and win the Pulitzer Prize; he found his life. But then the emails started coming: "What happened to the little girl in the picture? Did you get food to the little girl in the picture? Did you get the bird away from the little girl in the picture?" Kevin Carter, after getting so many of those emails, committed suicide. Oh, he found his life. He got the Pulitzer Prize, but he lost it.
My friend, you can get the new car, the new house, the banked up 401(k), you can get all these things; but if you don't deny yourself and serve, if you don't follow Jesus Christ, you're going to lose your life. Or you can lose it and say, "Lord, what do you want me to do?" and you'll find your life, because there's joy in serving Jesus Christ. And if you've never met Jesus Christ, you don't know him as your Savior, today you could open your heart and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and find that there's great joy in having your sins forgiven, and having a home in heaven. There's joy in Jesus Christ. We used to say it this way: "J-O-Y: Jesus, others, you." Let's keep him where he belongs, in first place.
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