Important Instructions from Jesus Our King (Part 4)
The Gospel of Matthew
Sermon by Rick Crandall
(Prepared February 17, 2022)
*Please open your Bibles to Matthew 10.
Most of you know that in this chapter, Jesus was about to send His twelve Apostles out to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
In vs. 7, the Lord commanded them to preach that the kingdom of Heaven was at hand.
And to confirm this vital message, Jesus gave the Apostles the power to perform mighty miracles.
In vs. 8 Jesus told them, "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons.
Freely you have received, freely give."
*This was their mission, but the Lord also filled this chapter with important instructions that still apply to His followers today.
For example, vs. 16 teaches us to walk in the wisdom of the Lord.
There Jesus said, "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves.
Therefore, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves."
*Jesus also wants us to be aware of our adversaries, so in vs. 21-22 the Lord said:
21. "Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.
And you will be hated by all for My name's sake.
But he who endures to the end will be saved."
*Jesus also wants us to be encouraged by how much God values our lives, so in vs. 29-31 He said:
"Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin?
And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will.
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."
*God wants us to be encouraged by how much He cares for us, and there are more important lessons for us today.
These instructions focus on our love for the Lord, so please think about that as we read Matthew 10:32-42.
*Today's instructions focus on our love for the Lord.
1. FIRST: WE SHOULD LOVE JESUS ENOUGH TO CONFESS THAT HE IS OUR LORD.
*Our first love, our greatest love must be for the Lord God Almighty.
And one of the most important ways to show our love for Jesus is to confess that He is our Lord and Savior.
We see this truth in vs. 32-33 where Jesus said:
"Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.
But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven."
*Jesus said that we need to "confess" Him before men.
Let me remind you that the original word has the idea of agreeing with someone, and saying the same things they say.
Confessing Jesus before men means that we agree with God.
We are in unity with Him.
We say the same things about Jesus that He says about Himself.
We take an open stand for Jesus Christ, and start to speak out for the Lord.
Or as Jesus told the Apostles in vs. 27, "Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops."
*We show our love for the Lord with a public confession that we have trusted in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
In our church, we ask people to do this by walking down front during the invitation and telling me the great news that you have received Christ.
Then we ask you to be baptized as another public way of confessing Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
We also ought to confess Christ in our daily lives both with words and actions that show Jesus is our Lord.
*Some of us remember a man named Evel Knievel.
It's not spelled E-V-I-L like the word for bad, but E-V-E-L.
This man was a motorcycle daredevil who made some amazing jumps back in the 1960s and '70s.
He jumped at many places, like Las Vegas and the Snake River Canyon.
Evel also suffered some life-threatening falls.
Trying to jump over the fountains at Caesar's Palace left him in a coma for 30 days.
Evel is also in the Guinness Book of Records for having more broken bones than any other person.
He had 38 broken bones!
*Evel Knievel died in 2007 from lung disease.
He was 69 years old, and it's amazing that he lived to be that old.
But the great news is that Evel is going to live forever, because he trusted in Jesus Christ earlier that year!
Here's part of his testimony:
*"Before the Daytona Bike Week this year when I started thinking about God more and more, I called people to talk to them.
I don't know why, I just did.
I called a friend I hadn't talked to in 30 years, Eldon Wright from the New Hope Community Church in Portland, Oregon.
I talked to him, and he called me back a week later, saying, 'I've had my whole church praying for you.'
*And I said, 'That's not the first time that this has happened.
My daughter's had her entire church praying for me in Bozeman, Montana, and my ex-wife Linda had her church praying for me in Butte, Montana, and she has prayed for me for 25 or 30 years that I would become a Christian!'
I get hundreds of letters from people saying we read an article about you where you don't believe in organized religion.
You've got to believe in Jesus Christ.
*So, I don't know what in the world happened.
I don't know if it was the power of the prayer, or God Himself, which was reaching me while I was driving or walking down the sidewalk or sleeping . . . the power of God in Jesus just grabbed me!
It just took hold of me.
It was so strong.
I can't tell you how strong it was, and I became a person who was filled, just filled with Christianity.
All of a sudden, I just believed in Jesus Christ.
I believed in Him!
I don't know what happened to me.
The second night in Daytona, I rose up in bed.
Then I just got on my knees and prayed that God would put His arms around me and never, ever, ever let me go.
*I know that there's more to life than what I've had.
I wrote a book called, "Evel's Ways," where I wrote about my tough life growing up.
I was a wild person doing crazy things.
I wrote about my motorcycle jumps.
I wrote about the jump in the Los Angeles Coliseum when I jumped 52 cars all lined up and stacked up. . .
*I wrote in my book that I've had a life better than any king, president or prince.
That's hog wash!
Because I didn't have Jesus Christ in my life.
I had five Rolls Royces.
I've had five Ferrari's, the Stetsons, the Lamborghini's.
I've had two jet airplanes.
I flew one alongside of the other so I could read my name, Evel Knievel, on the side of the other one. . .
*I've had the diamonds and the gold, the racehorses, women, and the booze.
I tell you, I've been a sinner!
You're looking at a real sinner, but not anymore.
This leap of faith is the greatest leap I've ever taken."
*Before this unexpected Christian died of lung cancer, he left instructions for his tombstone.
Rather than requesting words about his daring feats, Evel wanted his grave to proclaim the most important thing in his life, and in any life.
So, he instructed that his grave marker simply say: "Believe in Jesus Christ."
*Evel Knievel loved Jesus enough to confess that He was his Lord and Savior.
And Christians, so should we!
2. WE SHOULD ALSO LOVE JESUS ENOUGH TO CHOOSE THE LORD OVER OUR FAMILY.
*This may sound harsh, but loving the Lord moves us to make the right choices in life.