The Nine: Practices for becoming a lifetime follower of Jesus


– Early followers of Jesus were called people of the Way. (Acts ch 9, 22)
– They were also called “believers” – the word believe and trust are the identical in the Greek language.
– Information alone will not transform a person.

Step One: Give up

– Surrender your life and your will fully to God.
– “Your will be done” (Mt. 6:10)

The Human Condition

Two Problems: Romans 7

1. I do things I don’t want to do,

2. I don’t do things that I do want to do.

– The solution is not trying harder

– Every one of us has a heart that is a little idol factory – where we want what we want.

What Surrender looks like: Jesus

“Whoever wants to become my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”
Matthew 16:24

– The first step to a lifetime of following Jesus is NOT to exert my will and try harder but to surrender my will.

Surrender Defined

Step One “We admitted we were powerless over our problems, that our lives had become unmanageable,

Step 2 “We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity if we’d let him.”

Step 3 is, “We made a conscious decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God.”

–From the 12 Steps (A.A.)

A. Three phrases: (from AA) I can’t. God can. I think I’ll let him.

– Surrender is not mindless obedience or robotic conformity.

– Surrender is NOT a weak act for weak people. It is the pathway to power

– We think, if I surrender to God, I might miss out…

– The more I depend on God, the more independent I actually become in real life.

B. Surrendering our will to God

– Is not a one-time decision. (Luke 9:23)

– Our wills are powerful, but can get easily depleted

There is one thing the will can do, and never grow tired; that is surrender

– If you find surrender hard, you are not alone

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me;
yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42