We are pleased to present the sermons of Dr. James Merritt, one of America’s great expository preachers. For more than 40 years, Dr. Merritt has preached God’s Word through the local church he pastors, as well as through Touching Lives weekly television broadcasts. 

Dr. Merritt’s messages are available here via digital download, along with outlines, note pages, PowerPoint slides and other resources. These resources are available for preachers and Bible teachers to use in touching a lost world with the timeless message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Betting the Ranch

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Scriptures: Luke 9:23-26

What does it mean to be committed to Christ? What Jesus seeks and what churches sometimes seek can be different. Often churches look for decisions. Jesus is looking for disciples. In our culture many make a "decision for Christ" but can miss the true call of being a lifelong disciple of Jesus. In Luke 9 Jesus defines discipleship with one of the strongest statements in all of the New Testament--a challenge for every Christ-follower today. He tells us to deny ourselves, die to ourselves and to follow Him wholeheartedly. In fact, the word most appropriate to apply to this kind of discipleship is not "following", but rather "surrendering". In this message, Dr. Merritt unpacks what surrender to Christ means, and the rich and eternal reward for those bold enough to go "all in" with Jesus.

"How many of us are honest enough to say that we will serve Jesus, obey Jesus, and honor Jesus as long as we don’t have to pay too much, go too far, or leave our comfort zone. Jesus said, 'If you are going to follow Me, step one is deny yourself.' That means you have to put Jesus before you, above you, ahead of you and instead of you. You’ve got to get your life to the point where it is all of Jesus and none of you. The idea is not just following behind someone as they walk further ahead, but to walk beside someone as you go in the same direction. To follow someone meant then that you submit totally to the authority of that other person. You give up all of your rights. You give up all of your freedom. You give up all of your desires, all of your wants, all of your ambitions and surrender to the person that you are following." --Dr. Merritt

Keywords: all in, follower, disciple, committed, Jesus, Christian, surrender, discipleship, deny, cross, die, devoted, disciplined, ambition, dreams, desires, authority, Christ

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