Sunday, July 14, 2013
The Cost of Discipleship (Part 2)
It is only fair to properly warn you that being a disciple of Jesus will cost you everything. But it is something that you cannot live without. It is worth everything.
Luke 14:28 says, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it?”
What builder is going to lay the foundation of a tower without first checking to see if he can afford the final cost? In the same way, you must be sure you can afford the final cost of being a disciple.
“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple… And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple…So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:26,27 and 33
Yikes. Those are some pretty intense callings. What is Jesus talking about when He’s saying “hate” you family? Take your cross? Forsaking all?
When He says, you must “hate” your family, He is speaking figuratively. In comparison to your love for God your Father, all other earthly love must seem like hate. Not meaning you must be hateful and dislike them. Not at all. We are always called to love. But, our relationship to other things and people cannot even be likened to our love for God. This type of intense love for Him should cause us to take up our crosses (live the way He lived – in sacrifice) and forsake everything that would try to hold us back from following Him wholeheartedly.
That is a high calling. At this point, you could turn around and leave. You could say, “I can’t do it. He is asking for too much.” Many people forsake God when they realize what type of life He calls them to live. But friend, remember where you were. Remember what life you escaped because of His love!
“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world [culture], according to the prince of the power of the air [Satan], of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among the, we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses made us alive together with Christ.” Ephesians 2:1-5
He saved you from much. You were on a hell-bound race and He plucked you out. How could you turn back now? He has chosen you as an addition to His family. He has removed your filthy, disgusting rags and has clothed you in garments of white, fit for the kingdom.
Salvation is only the beginning.
A scarred, broken young lady stood before a crowd. Her hands were chained and she hung her head. The garment she wore was tattered and smelling. Her hair hadn’t been brushed in a few months. The crowd was strangely quiet. They were supposed to be bidding to buy her, but no one must have wanted the smelly, scarred girl. The auctioneer was throwing out lower and lower prices, but no one dared to move. When the auctioneer almost gave up, a man at the back of the room offered a huge, unthinkable sum. One that even the wealthiest man wouldn’t offer to pay for the strongest, best looking slave alive. Sold! To the man with the million dollars! Her new master ushered her into his vehicle and drove her to the new home. She knew that when she got there she would be beat and forced to work. So she waited. But something else happened. As soon as she arrived, she was given a warm bath, good food, and beautiful clothes. Her hair was cut and restyled. Her wounds were attended and ointment was put on her scars. Then, standing before her master she cried. “Sir, what do you want with me?”
In a gentle, loving voice he replied, “Sweet child, I have bought your freedom. You are free to go and do as you please.”
But she wouldn’t leave. She begged him to claim her as his own. “Sir, nowhere I could go would be better than sitting at your feet. I will follow you my entire life.”
What could be better than following our Savior forever?
Our dear, precious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ called out to the disciples that were fishing "follow me!" The call of the Gospel is the same today. He says, "Follow me!" Don't just accept forgiveness and forget Him forever. It doesn't work that way. Hear the call, follow the call to pick up your cross daily, deny yourself and follow Jesus Christ to love, purpose, and fulfillment. Where else would you rather be? His companionship in persecution is much more joyous and wonderful than solitude in times of blessing.
"Follow Me," Jesus said, "And I will make you fishers of men."
^ A much higher calling than any other.