All of Me
by Greg Hanson
Sunrise Wesleyan Church
September 10, 2006
Main Passage: Luke
In 1914, the Irish
explorer Ernest Shackleton set out with a team of men with the goal of
crossing Antarctica on foot… a total of about 2400 km. It was a very
dangerous mission to be sure, and things didn’t go exactly as planned,
as you may already know.
Shackleton began the mission with a team of 28 men, plus 68 husky dogs
which had been shipped from Winnipeg. And they all set sail together on
a ship called the “Endurance”. But as the ship approached the point
where the foot-part of the expedition was to begin, it became caught up
in the ice. In fact, it was stuck in the ice at sea (the Weddell Sea)
for about 11 months, until finally the ship was squashed by the ice and
sank to the bottom.
So where did that leave Shackleton and his crew? Well, they had to
abandon ship and were stranded on the ice floes. Five months they spent
on the ice. Fortunately for them, it was during the summer months. So
they were even able to get in some hockey and football, as you can see
Of course, it leaves one to wonder how they survived. I mean, what did
they eat? I assume much of their provision went down with the ship.
Interesting that there’s no dogs in that photo, isn’t it? I’m just
Well, the expedition was to take them to Antarctica. But the whole time
they were on the ice floes, they were drifting away from the continent.
But they did have some luck, because after spending 497 days at sea,
both on the ship and on the ice, they were finally able to lower their
three lifeboats into open water and travel to Elephant Island.
But oddly enough, there were no elephants on Elephant Island. In fact,
there were only a few penguins and seals there for food. Shackleton and
his crew were still in a bad situation.
So Shackleton and five others set out on a small 22-foot boat… look at
the size of that [PowerPoint]… and miraculously crossed over one of the
most dangerous sections of ocean in the world, and landed successfully
on the island of South Georgia. But that was not the end, and there was
no time for dillydallying. They still had to travel over rough terrain
and glaciers and mountains. No one had ever successfully crossed the
island that way before. But they pressed on, until they reached a
whaling station and were able to get help. Even then, it took four
attempts over the course of 3 ½ months, but a rescue ship was finally
able to reach Elephant Island and rescue the other survivors, capping
off one of the most successful failures of all time. In fact, the 90th
anniversary of that rescue was just over a week ago (August 30, 1916).
Chuck Colson’s BreakPoint, August 30, 2002]
It was a dangerous mission right from the start. So how did Shackleton
recruit the men who would risk their lives and accompany him? Well,
that’s a good question, and there’s actually a lot of debate about it.
But according to some, the men who joined him volunteered to do so as a
result of an ad Shackleton had placed in the newspaper. This is
supposedly what the ad said…
“Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long
months of complete darkness, constant danger. Safe return doubtful.
Honour and recognition in case of success.”
And because of that ad, men came from all over to sign up and join the
crew. And before they set out, Shackleton made them a promise. He
promised them that none of them would die, and then told them, “Follow
as I lead, do what I say must be done, and I’ll get you home.” It took
him two years to do it, but he did it. Not one member of the crew
But you do understand what he was asking of the crew, don’t you? He was
asking them to trust him. He was asking them to follow his
instructions. He was asking them to place their lives in his hands. He
was asking them to give him their all… 100%. And if they would do so,
he promised them that he’d get them home.
Well, that reminds me of something Jesus said…
Mark 8:34-35 (NLT)
“If any of you wants to be my follower, you
must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow
me. If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if
you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News,
you will find true life.”
Jesus says, “Trust me. Follow my instructions. Give me your all. Place
your life in my hands. And you will find true life.”
And understand, Jesus issued a warning of His own. He said right up
front that it wouldn’t be easy. He said it would cost something. He
said there could be danger and persecution around every corner. He
didn’t pull any punches. He laid it right out there.
John 16:33 (NLT)
“Here on earth you will have many trials and
sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
In fact, in Matthew 24, Jesus issued a warning to all believers who
will be alive just prior to His Second Coming. I don’t know when that
will be and I’m not going to take any guesses. But I know it won’t be a
very pleasant time for followers of Jesus then.
Matthew 24:9 (NLT)
“Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and
killed. You will be hated all over the world because of your allegiance
There. You sure you want to sign up?
You know, most weeks here at Sunrise we talk about how Jesus can
restore meaning to your life, how He can bring you joy and peace and
forgiveness and life, how He can comfort you and encourage you and
sustain you, how His way of living is the best way of living… we talk
about all those things. And they’re all true. But let’s not neglect His
warnings that things won’t always be rosy. Let’s not be so naïve to
think that we’re somehow exempt from all this hardship and persecution
that Jesus foretold.
So when those times come… whether they come full force or in little
doses… when those times come, where will your allegiance lie? You claim
to trust Jesus; will you trust Him then? You’ve promised to live for
Him; will you be faithful then? You’ve pledged your life to Him; will
you lay it down freely, if that is what is required of you, then?
That’s what I want to ask you to consider here this morning. This is
not going to be an easy message for you. It’s not intended to be. I
want to present you with the challenge that Jesus gives to all of His
Luke 14:26-27, 33 (NLT)
“If you want to be my follower you must love
me more than your own father and mother, wife and children, brothers
and sisters--yes, more than your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my
disciple. And you cannot be my disciple if you do not carry your own
cross and follow me.”…
So no one can become my disciple without giving up everything for me.”
Are you sure you want to sign up?
Because those weren’t just words. For many believers, those words have
been literal. Just in the past 100 years, 35 million followers of Jesus
have been martyred.
Let me give you an example. There’s a movie that we’re going to watch
as a church this winter called “The End of the Spear.” It’s based on
the true story of five men who risked everything to reach one of the
most violent tribes in the jungles of Ecuador. 50 years ago this year
(Jan. 8, 1956) those missionaries made contact, and were slaughtered by
the tribe. The movie is the story of what lead up to that event, and
what happened afterwards.
But those missionaries knew the risk. They knew that there was a good
chance they wouldn’t survive. In fact, one of them, Jim Elliot, once
“If that’s the way God wants it to be, I’m ready to die for the
salvation of the Aucas.”
~ Jim Elliot
How could Jim Elliot display such courage… such resolve… such
dedication? Because he knew Jesus meant it when He said…
Matthew 10:39 (NLT)
“If you cling to your life, you will lose
it; but if you give it up for me, you will find it.”
You still want to sign up?
Or how about Rachel Scott? Rachel was a 17 year-old high school student
who had plans to become a missionary to Africa, but one fateful morning
in her Columbine high school she was shot in the back. And as she laid
face down on the ground one of the shooters picked her head up by her
hair, held a gun to her head, and asked her if she believed in God. She
knew that she would either have to recant her faith or die. She chose
Just in the past couple of weeks, there were four missionaries in China
who were arrested for what was called “superstitious activity” and they
were tortured. One of the female missionaries even had her hair ripped
We’ve even had a missionary speak here at Sunrise whose name I can’t
mention on our website because it might endanger his life. It’s a
dangerous world in which to be a disciple of Jesus.
You still want to sign up?
I recently mentioned to you that there is one follower of Jesus who is
martyred every three minutes someplace in this world. Even here in
North America there’s a growing culture of intolerance toward anything
You still want to sign up?
In the Bible, in the Old Testament, Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego
came face to face with that question. They were given the choice
• obeying the king and worshipping a golden statue, or…
• being faithful to God and possibly losing their lives because of it.
And what did they choose? They told the king…
Daniel 3:17-18 (NLT)
“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace,
the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your
power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, Your Majesty can be sure
that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have
They knew what was at stake, they counted the cost, and they chose to
Now what you need to
know is that Jesus loves you. He really does. And He wants the best for
you. But He also expects a lot of you. And what He won’t stand for are
hypocrites… people who claim to live for Jesus right up until the point
it costs them something.
Being a disciple… being a follower of Jesus… will cost you something. I
don’t know what. I don’t know how much. But it will cost. I believe
that what you get in return far outweighs anything it could ever cost
you, but it will cost you. In your notes…
Being a Disciple of Jesus Means…
the future regardless of the cost.
Luke 9:57-58 (NLT)
As they were walking along someone said to
Jesus, "I will follow you no matter where you go."
But Jesus replied, "Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests,
but I, the Son of Man, have no home of my own, not even a place to lay
Jesus Himself would travel around and wouldn’t necessarily have a place
to stay on any particular night. Following Jesus means that you may not
know what the future holds, but you choose to follow anyway.
2. Leaving the
past regardless of the pull.
Think about those first
disciples of Jesus. Several of them were fishermen. That was their
livelihood. It was all they had ever done; it was all they knew. If I
were them, I would have been a little more hesitant to leave all that
behind and to travel and be apart from family for long periods of time,
all in order to follow Jesus. But look what they did at their first
encounter with Jesus…
Matthew 4:19-20 (NLT)
Jesus called out to them, "Come, be my
disciples…" And they left their nets at once and went with him.
They left their past behind them in order to follow Jesus.
3. Seizing the
moment regardless of the inconveniences.
As Paul wrote to the
Christians in the city of Ephesus…
Ephesians 5:15-17 (CEV)
Act like people with good sense and not like
fools. These are evil times, so make every minute count. Don't be
stupid. Instead, find out what the Lord wants you to do.
You know, the prospect
of dying for my faith is scary. And at the same time, there’s something
oddly glamorous about it. But the toughest thing is not dying for
Jesus… it’s living for Him. Dying for Him is an instant; living for Him
is a lifetime. Day in, day out. Every day. 24/7.
And that’s the highest calling: to live for Jesus. In your notes…
When Jesus died
for you, it was an all or nothing thing.
And when you live for Him, it’s also an all or nothing thing.
If you’re going to
follow Jesus, it’s going to take everything you’ve got. 100%
commitment. He won’t settle for anything less. He’s either Lord of all,
or He’s not Lord at all.
So will you live for Him? Will His priorities be your priorities? Will
His values be your values? Will His instructions be your marching
orders? Will His Word be your life manual? Even when no one’s watching,
will you live with integrity before Jesus? The choice is yours.
Do you want to sign up?
Because if you do… and if you mean it… there’s no limit to what God can
and will do through you. John Wesley recognized that, and he said…
“Give me 100 men who love God and nothing else, who hate sin and
nothing else, and I will change the world.”
~ John Wesley
Jesus asks for all of you. He demands your undivided loyalty. You can’t
serve two masters. Will you give Him everything you’ve got?
SHOW VIDEO – Wholeheartedly (SermonSpice)