Summary: What does it take to follow Jesus? Find out in this message about the tower builder and the king.

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"Consider the Cost"

Luke 14:25-35

Have you ever got involved in something, only to realize afterwards that it wasn¡¦t what you thought? Even though they told you what was required, for some reason it just didn¡¦t sink in¡Kand so you found yourself feeling like an unhappy camper just halfway into your endeavor. Such was the case at Bridger Wilderness Area. Though it is called a ¡§wilderness¡¨ area, and though the word ¡§hike¡¨ is used in the trail instructions and guides, here¡¦s what people wrote after their experience. That¡¦s right ¡V these are actual responses from comment cards given to the staff members:

¡§Trails need to be reconstructed. Please avoid building trails that go uphill.¡¨

¡§Too many bugs and leeches and spiders and spider webs. Please spray the wilderness to rid the areas of these pests.¡¨

¡§Please pave the trails¡KChair lifts need to be in some places so that we can get to wonderful views without having to hike to them.¡¨

¡§The coyotes made too much noise last night and kept me awake. Please eradicate these annoying animals.¡¨

¡§A small deer came into my camp and stole my jar of pickles. Is there a way I can get reimbursed? Please call.¡¨

¡§Escalators would help on steep uphill sections.¡¨

¡§A MacDonald¡¦s would be nice at the trailhead.¡¨

¡§Too many rocks in the mountains.¡¨

Amazing eh? These comments and complaints indicate that the people who made them do not really understand what it means to stay in a "wilderness area." They were looking for something convenient and comfortable ¡V ¡§wilderness¡¨ on their terms ¡V but not truly a genuine wilderness experience. In a similar way, many people today do not understand what it means to be a genuine follower of Jesus Christ. There are multitudes that often follow Jesus or claim to be a Christian but they want to do it on their terms and not his. They do not truly comprehend the biblical definition of discipleship as laid out in Luke 14:24-35. Would you take you Bible and turn to that passage and let¡¦s look at what Jesus says it takes to really follow him¡K

Wile you¡¦re turning to that section of Scripture, I want to dispel a myth for you ¡V this is not an optional step for those who call themselves Christian. No, this is an essential step in the process for all believers! Let me explain¡K

In Matthew 28 we are called to ¡§make disciples¡¨ ¡K to develop devoted followers/learners of Jesus¡¦ lifestyle! That¡¦s one thing we are called to do! It¡¦s not a two-phased program consisting of evangelism and discipleship, as many view. No, I don¡¦t buy into that dichotomy of the Great Commission. Instead, I see our mandate as one call ¡V to make disciples. We¡¦re not called to evangelize, then disciple. No, that¡¦s a false dichotomy that leaves many believers thinking they have the option of following God after they believe in God. I couldn¡¦t disagree more! Those that believe follow. Period! And that¡¦s what we, his followers, are called to engage others in ¡V following him! You see, I believe discipleship is the one process of spiritual birth, growth and reproduction.

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