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a. It\u2019s not just believing the facts of His existence \u2013 who He is, and what He\u2019s done. The devils believe these things, those who are already in hell believe these things, but that by itself isn\u2019t enough to save them.
b. You must place your whole hope of entering into heaven on what Jesus has done and is doing; you must look to Him in faith and call upon Him to save you; you must trust Him to do it.
a. We follow Him by listening to what He says in His Word and doing it; we
must follow His example of love \u2013 the love that He showed to His Father, the
love that He showed to His brethren; we must follow the examples of the
saints as they followed Christ; and we must follow Him as He sovereignly
opens and closes doors according to His will/Providence.
b. We must follow Him no matter what it costs.
(i) Most are willing to follow Jesus as long as the path is easy.
(ii) But we must follow Him no matter how difficult it gets, and no matter
2. Perhaps the Lord will use it to encourage you who haven\u2019t trusted Him to do so; perhaps He will use it to encourage you who have struggled to pay that price to be willing to pay it.
a. He made you, gave you your existence, brought you into this world. This
isn\u2019t something your parents did, it was something God did: \u201cSo Boaz took
Ruth, and she became his wife, and he went in to her. And the LORD enabled
her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son\u201d (Ruth 4:13).
b. He has taken care of you every day you have lived: \u201cHe waters the mountains from His upper chambers; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of His works. He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and vegetation for the labor of man, so
that he may bring forth food from the earth, and wine which makes man\u2019s heart glad, so that he may makehis face glisten with oil, and food which sustains man\u2019s heart\u201d (Ps. 104:13-15).
c. And of course, the greatest gift He has offered you is His love demonstrated
by giving you His infinitely precious Son to save your soul from destruction:
\u201cFor God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that
whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did
not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be
saved through Him\u201d (John 3:16-17).
B. Second, you should trust and follow Jesus because this is what He commands you
1. The Lord has the right to require this of you for several reasons:
a. He has the right not only because you are His creation, but also because you
belong to Him.
(i) The things we make from the materials we own belong to us.
(ii) God made you from the materials He created, and you belong to Him.
(iii) \u201cKnow that the LORD Himself is God; it is He who has made us, and we
(i) God is the Lord of Creation. Jesus, His Son, has been given all authority in heaven and earth; He is the King of all kings, and the Lord of all lords (Rev. 17:14).
c. And, of course, we should not refuse Him because He has the power to
enforce what He commands.
(i) You\u2019ve heard the expression, \u201cMight makes right\u201d: the strong can enforce
2. Will you rebel against the One who owns you, the One who has the right to
command you, and the power to enforce His will?
a. Jesus commands you to trust and follow Him.
b. It\u2019s certainly in your best interest to do so.
C. Third, you should trust and follow Jesus because of the blessings you will gain in
this life if you do.
1. The Lord doesn\u2019t tell us to follow Him for nothing. Think of the blessings He
a. A conscience free from the fear of judgment: Jesus says, \u201cTake My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls\u201d (Matt. 11:29).
b. He will meet all your needs; you never need to fear that you won\u2019t have
enough to survive: \u201cDo not worry then, saying, \u2018What will we eat?\u2019 or \u2018What
will we drink?\u2019 or \u2018What will we wear for clothing?\u2019 For the Gentiles eagerly
seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these
things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things
will be added to you\u201d (Matt. 6:31-33).
c. He promises that things will go well for you: \u201cBe careful to listen to all these
words which I command you, so that it may be well with you and your sons
after you forever, for you will be doing what is good and right in the sight of
the LORD your God\u201d (Deu. 12:28).
b. But think about the things you won\u2019t have to deal with:
(i) The guilt of having injured someone.
(ii) The physical damage to your brain, lungs and liver that drug, cigarette or
alcohol abuse causes.
(iii) The horrible mess that immorality can bring in your family relations.
(iv) Jail and prison for committing crimes.
(v) People seeking revenge against you for injuring them.
(vi) The poverty, disease, sickness and injuries that result from sin.
(vii) You will suffer tribulation because of the cross \u2013 and will the better for
a. Even if you lived to be a hundred or a thousand, it will still be just a moment
compared to how much time is yet to come.
(i) James tells us, \u201cYou arejust a vapor that appears for a little while and then
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