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They Are Inseparable

From that time on, Jesus began to proclaim this theme: 'Reform your lives!' The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand
Matthew 4:12-23 or 4:12-17

Sermon Topic Repentance

Sermon Week Third Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A

Scripture Summary Matthew 4:17


From the very beginning Jesus clearly stated that His call to us to follow Him and His appeal to us to transform our lives are inseparable. To follow Jesus is to change your life, necessarily. You cannot be the person He wants you to be apart from Him. To be a follower of Jesus you must let go of everything you have crowded in at the center of your life that is not God-centered. "Reform your lives!" are the first three words Jesus speaks as He begins His public ministry. This is not a once-in-a-lifetime transformation Jesus is calling for. It is an ongoing, continuing change, a process of growth and development that stretches out over your entire life.

Many people-most people, perhaps-really fear change. It's too risky for them ever to think about altering the status quo. That includes many of us nominal Churchgoing, outwardly pious Christians. We drift along really deceiving ourselves into the belief that we are followers of Jesus, forgetting that the call to follow and the call to change are inseparable. We don't want to change in the radical way Jesus spells out for us in His teachings. We see it as a threat to our most treasured prejudices and our personal comfort and security.

Some of you may have heard about a university town in which the local bank was trying to help married students with their financial problems. They hired as many male students' wives as they could, but problems arose when the wives became pregnant and would stay on the job longer than the bank officials preferred. Consequently, the bank adopted a rule which re4uired the pregnant wives periodically to stand with their toes against a wall, and when the time came that any part of their anatomy bumped the wall, they would have to leave their jobs. One of the wives was so incensed at this indignity, she went to the National Labor Relations Board and claimed unfair, discriminatory tactics. The Board agreed with her and ruled that this same test would have to be applied equally to all employees. As [...]

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