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Follow Me: Success According to Jesus

Follow Me: Success According to Jesus

Sep 24, 2017

Preacher: John Welborn

Series: Follow Me


September 24, 2017 
Pastor John Welborn
Follow Me
Success According to Jesus
Mark 4:1-9, 14-20
I. Following Jesus Requires that I Listen to Him 
“Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them:” 
Mark 4:1-2
“And he said to them,‘To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables,” 
Mark 4:11
“Jesus used parables to both hide the truth and to reveal it. The crowd did not judge the parables; the parables judged the crowd.” 
Warren Wiersbe
A Parable of Jesus Accomplishes Three Things:
· It Begins as a Picture: It grabs our attention & we analyze it.
· It Becomes a Mirror: As we study it, we begin to study ourselves.
· It Turns into a Window: We now see through the parable to understand God’s truth and the world around us.
II. Following Jesus Compels Me to Respond to Him 
“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And, as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had not root, it withered away. Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain...The sower sows the word. And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, they immediately fall away. And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.’” 
Mark 4:3-7, 14-19
Hard Heart: The tragedy of the hard heart is that the seed of the gospel cannot penetrate before it gets stolen away by Satan himself.
“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
1 Corinthians 1:18 
Shallow Heart: While the first type of heart dismisses/rejects the gospel out of hand, the second group initially receives it, but eventually discards it. 
“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.” 
1 John 2:19
Distracted Heart: This group never “rejects” the Gospel at all; it just never completely grips their lives. 
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide…”
John 15:16a
“A love for the world and a love for the word are incompatible and mutually exclusive; the one will choke out the other.” 
John MacArthur
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink & sex & ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” 
C.S. Lewis (The Weight of Glory)
III. Following Jesus Results in Fruit for Him 
“And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.’ And he said, ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear…but those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.’”
Mark 4:8-9, 20
“Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” 
Matthew 7:20
How Does Jesus Define Success? Listening, Responding & Producing Fruit!
“What does it profit a man to gain the whole world & forfeit his soul?”
Mark 8:36
“Our greatest fear in life should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” 
Francis Chan
Is your heart like one of the fruitless soils? If so, humble yourself & ask God to soften your heart to his Gospel (He most definitely will). Then you can repent & truly trust in the crucified, risen Jesus so producing fruit will become natural! That is Success According to Jesus!
Sources and Further Reading Opportunities:
· Bible Exposition Commentary – Warren Wiersbe (1996)
· Strong’s Concordance – James Strong (1890)
· Tony Evans Book of Illustrations – Tony Evans (2009)
· Swindoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations & Quotes – Charles Swindoll (1998)
· Holman New Testament Commentary – R.L. Cooper (2000)
· The New Bible Commentary – D.A. Carson (1994)
· NIV Application Commentary – Gary V. Smith (2001)
· Word Pictures in the New Testament – A.T. Robertson (1933)
· MacArthur New Testament Commentary – John MacArthur (2015)
· Insights for Living – Charles Swindoll (2017)
· New American Commentary: Mark – J.A. Brooks (1991)
· Mark: Jesus, servant and savior – R. Kent Hughes (1989)
· Taking the Gospel Deep – Will Toburen (2013)
· 4 Responses to the Word of God – Matt Carter (2012)