Summary: what it takes to be a disciple
The Costs of Discipleship
July 20, 1997
Intro: Did you ever hear about the pig and the chicken who got together one day on the farm. They got to talking about how nice their farmer was, and that they should do something nice in return for him. The chicken made the suggestion that maybe they could have a bacon and egg breakfast for him the next morning. The pig said, "Sure! For you that’s only a small contribution, but for me that’s total commitment."
This morning we don’t want to talk about small contributions, but we want to talk about total commitment, what it means to follow Christ and be his disciple. Let’s look at Matthew 8:18-34.
What does it mean for us to follow Christ?
I. We will not seek to accumulate material wealth
*you’ve all heard about the millionare who died and in his will wrote, Being of sound mind and body I spent everything I had.
-Why is it we are such a materialistic people? Because of pride! Selfishness! Greed!
*A Christian is a follower of Christ: Christ had no where to lay his head. Not many of us have the same problem.
*Rich young ruler came to Jesus - Jesus told him to give away his wealth - he went away grieved for he had great wealth. Jesus commented how hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God. It is easier for a camel to enter through a sewing needle’s eye.
*Jesus told us that the love of money is the root of all evil. Do we love money and wealth?
*Jesus told us in Luke that if we would come after him and be his disciple, we must deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow him. We are called to lives that will not necessarily be comfortable.
##When we consider the cost of following Christ, are we willing to forsake material wealth.
II. We will need to properly view family and relational ties - 21-22
*When we follow Christ, it may mean we will be outcasts in our own family
*baptism for Jews: believed, family concerned, baptized, family considered them dead
*Luke 14:26 - If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my disciple.
-love for God so great, love for family is minimal
*commitment to Christ means might not be at family reunions, etc.
Are you willing to leave home to follow Christ?
III. We will have our faith tested - 23-27
Following Christ is not a way of having unquestioned faith. Rather it is a constant testing and reaffirming of our faith. Faith that is never tried is only partial faith.
*Christians are like tea bags: their real strength is shown when they get into hot water!
*Why did Jesus say his disciples had little faith???
-They had the power to stop the winds
-They knew Jesus had the power - yet they believed they were perishing
-Jesus said they were going to the other side (18)
-They still didn’t understand the deity of Christ: "who can this be?"
Are you willing to let God "pull the rug out from under you?" His strength shows thru our weakness.
IV. We will engage in a spiritual warfare - 28-34
Whether we want to fight a spiritual battle or not, we are in one. We can ignore our enemy and be defeated, or we can admit our enemy and fight to win.
*the demons knew who Jesus was and what he would do. They knew he was going to cast them out, even though he never said it. Many times Satan knows our God better than we, his children, do.
*Demons do exist. They are real; they have power; but they are under God’s rule; greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.
*We have authority over the demons. Luke 10:17-20
The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name." He replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."
*We are told to take our armor in Ephesians 6. Are you prepared for battle?
Are you prepared to pay the price for following Christ?
Why would we want to pay so great a price? The rewards are worth it.
Be a Christian: the retirement benefits are out of this world.
Matt. 13:45 - Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
Give God everything you have, so that in turn he may give it back to you.