Service Is Not Optional

Pastor Timothy Corder leads the congregation in a compelling study urging the body of believers to work. The Pastor uses the passage Matthew 16:24 to kick off the service. This also doubled as the deacon ordination for 2015!

”Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
Intro: Mark and Luke’s gospel record ‘this” same statement by Jesus. It’s important. God reiterated it! We Must Ultimately Follow The Leadership Of Christ!
Why is Following Leadership so important?
a). To be in obedience to the Word of God, we must learn how to follow leadership. I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul. Nelson Mandela said in Invictus-the movie.

William Ernest Henley But 1 Pet 4:11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
b). To prepare the followers to become leaders. “Civilization is in danger when those who have never learned to obey are given the right to command.” (If you are not a good follower, you will not be a good leader.) Philippians 2:11-16a- every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. 14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. (be the kind of follower you want) *Following Leadership Involves Three Things:
1. “Submission” Voluntary 
Submission-surrender; yielding to obey authority. 
A. Mostly we must choose to submit to our leaders.
Heb. 13:17, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” (Your spiritual leaders must give account to God for how you followed them. That is why; we must learn to follow to keep from being ashamed at the judgment seat).
B. Submission must be done with right motives:
1. Because of our fear of man (faulty)no one is going to beat you. 
2. Because we want to obtain favor (faulty)
a). gain (position)
b). gain Recognition (popularity) 3. Because of our faith in God submit out of respect for authority-God! Daniel-Joseph. (any thought of control is just an illusion) 
*In our efforts to follow, it may mean we will have to sacrifice. 
Luke 9:57-62, As they were walking along the road, a man said (J)to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”(Sacrifices will need be made) 59 He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”(harsh or boot camp) 61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” 62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” Remember Lot’s wife: Gen19:25-26 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. (looked back wonton – for I recon the suffering not worthy to be compared) The main thing that we will have to sacrifice in order to follow leadership will be our pride. (Nobody likes being told what to do! But every follower must add the word humility to their dictionary and learn to live by it daily)
*Sacrificing for the Lord will involve two things: personal chose
B). A Personal Challenge-John 21:19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” … 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” 22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 
3. “Service” as we prepare to ordain two the third thing is service. 
This is the key to being a good follower. You are not following man, although man may be who you see. You are serving the Lord! The apostle Paul obeyed, taught Titus to obey, who in turn taught others. Titus 2:15-3:2 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you. 3 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone. Now, when you serve the Lord with humility and joy, God will give you an honorable life . John 12:26, “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 honor.”
This will help you with your parents, your boss, your teachers, and your other leaders. SERVE AS UNTO CHRIST! 
Conclusion: The greatest leader that ever lived was the greatest follower who ever lived, Christ! Jn 5:19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. We must learn to follow His example! I Pet. 2:21, “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps…” Control is merely an illusion. Invictus By William Ernest Henley Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeoning’s of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds and shall find me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.

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