*Call to Worship
We gather today as professed followers of Christ;
but do we follow Him everywhere?
We shout praises for all He has done;
but do we praise in times of strife?
Let us encourage each others this morning, and always, to cling to the Lord, to follow Him wherever He may lead.
Let us worship God!
*Prayer of Confession
We proudly boast that we are Christians, when we are safely surrounded by other believers; but too often disappear in a crowd of skeptics. We want to follow You, even when the path is not clearly marked; but we fear losing what we have gained on earth. We truly believe that we would follow You to the cross; but we are weak when confronted with the pain that often comes with being Your child. Help us to understand that in giving up ourselves and all that pleases us in this life, we will surely be led to an eternity of joy and comfort in Your arms. …
*Assurance of Pardon
Jesus freely gave Himself to be crucified; only asking that we surrender our lives to Him. We carry but a small piece of the cross He bore, yet He freely gives us His complete forgiveness and mercy.
Thanks be to God!
Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection
21 From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
The Cross and Self-Denial
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?
27 “For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. 28 Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”