The Journey ~ Part 2

My wife and I watched the first season of Lost last week. All 24 episodes. We don’t know anything about the show and have only seen the first season. But we love it.

In this first season (don’t tell me ANYTHING), what I love is that these characters are starting to figure out who they are and where they are going. Not everyone knows why they are on this journey, but each person is starting to understand by overcoming a past, overcoming an identity crisis, overcoming some obstacle to become something greater.

They are LOST but are being FOUND. They are finding their true identities and their true direction, their real purpose in life. Many are embracing their situation and finding life.

Following Jesus is actually very similar. Here’s what Jesus says about following him: “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?” Matthew 16:24

Sacrifice. Adventure. Suffering. Dedication. Incredible generosity. Loving even your enemies. Dying to yourself. Carrying your cross. Letting Jesus lead.

That’s the journey. It sounds anything but blah, mundane, or boring, don’t ya think?

I want to ask you this morning: Do you know who you are, where you are going, and what it is going to take? More importantly than these actual answers: Do you know who you want to be, where you want to go, and what you need to do to get there?

If you’re going to beat the trends of burnt-out and semi-committed teenagers, the first thing you must do is to SAY YES TO JESUS and let Him DEFINE WHO YOU ARE.

Who are you? I want you to turn to a few people next to you and describe yourself in 3 words.

There are a lot of ways we can try to figure who we are. We can decide ourselves. We can let other people tell us who we are. Or we can let Jesus tell us.

I remember the first time I said yes to Jesus. Like you, I was at a camp for a week and had experienced unbelievable joy, fun, and love. When the speaker gave us a chance to respond, I said “YES, Jesus. You are my Lord and my King. I will follow you to the ends of the earth.”

Something transformed inside of me from then on. My dreams became bigger, my identity became more complete, my heart changed if ever so slightly.

This choice became a part of who I am. For many years, it didn’t always define me the way it should, but there were glimmers of times where SAYING YES to JESUS defined who I was.

Remember, I said glimmers of times…In my journey, there have been many ups and downs.

During my down moments, I lived like a chameleon. You know what a chameleon is? It is this crazy lizard looking creature that can actually blend in to its surroundings. I could be Christian John or I could be party guy John. I could be guy who occasionally treated the uncool kids well or the guy who became the center of attention at someone else’s expense.

Around the middle of college, I became aware that living like a chameleon was not living a great story. In reality, I didn’t know who I wanted to be. I said yes to Jesus only when I felt like it. I brought God along only when He met my needs or made ME happy.

When I lived like a chameleon, that kind of life was all about ME and not about Jesus.

So who are you? I know some of you think you know who you are, but I want to tell you who God thinks you are According to the Bible…You are…

•    Christ’s dear friend (Jn 15:5)

•    United with Christ, “one spirit” with Christ  (I Cor 6:17)

•    Bought with an infinite price and forgiven (Col 1:14)

•    Possessed with the mind of Christ (I Cor 2:16)

•    Inseparable form God’s love (Rom 8:35-39)

•    One who will NEVER be abandoned (Mt 28:20)

•    One for whom the Lord throws a party (Lk 15:7-10)

Even more importantly than who you are — is WHOSE YOU ARE. When you say Yes, you belong to Jesus. Don’t be the driver. Let Christ sit in the driver’s seat. Surrender your ME desires, your ME identity for an identity from Christ. Let HIM lead.

Say YES to Jesus. Don’t be a chameleon. Surrender to Him. That’s the first step.

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