Summary: This message was inspired (outline borrowed) from another pastor. The call of Christ is more pressing and demanding than the average believer considers it to be.

Following Christ

Luke 9:57-62

* In his book "None of These Diseases”, S. I. McMillen, tells a story of a young woman who wanted to go to college, but her heart sank when she read the question on the application blank that asked, "Are you a leader?" Being both honest and conscientious, she wrote, "No," and returned the application, expecting the worst. To her surprise, she received this letter from the college:

* "Dear Applicant: A study of the application forms reveals that this year our college will have 1,452 new leaders. We are accepting you because we feel it is imperative that they have at least one follower."

* One preacher asked a pastor-search team why their church was not presently growing, if in fact, it would ‘grow’ if he came to be their pastor. The chairman said, “We have always lacked leadership.” While I know what the chairman was ‘attempting to convey’ I ask this question; “Was it really lack of leadership or lack of followship.” The modern day mantra is that real leaders are leaders because people naturally follow them. Based on this concept, Jesus was probably NOT a leader. He was capable of garnishing a crowd early on, BUT He always seemed to thin the crowd out with His demands. Perhaps people follow initially, but then fall away, is that indicative of bad leadership?

* Were I to ask this group, “Are you following Jesus?” Most would say, “Yes.” Hopefully & prayerfully this would be accurate, but the question is, “Does my followship measure up to HIS call, His standards, and His requirements.

* This morning we ended the message with our text tonight. He expects us to be sold out, to reach out, and to carry out His mission (until we drop out of this life and find our home with Him in heaven). But have we (you) really counted the cost. Over in Luke 14, Jesus asks who would start to build or go off to war without figuring out the cost factor. Let read our text and consider three simply costs which impact us every day (Luke 9:57-62)

* In this narrative, we find 3 men, 2 who came to Jesus and one whom Jesus called. Please notice that no one gave Jesus an outright ‘no’, yet their response did not measure up to Jesus’ requirements. This shoots in the foot the concept that ‘whatever you give Him, Jesus is obligated to accept it because, after all, we are busy people, with many connections, with many things to do, and personal responsibilities.’ This mind set is a tragedy born in the modern day church. Consider the cost to following Christ on His terms;

1. You have no earthly security – Security is big stuff for us today. In the aftermath of 911, we are all about security. We even have a new ‘arm’ of the Executive Branch of government call “Homeland Security.” Metal detectors, X-ray machines, and being frisked are some of the inconveniences we endure to make sure we are secure. Men, women, boys and girls, have a deep desire to be secure. In order to achieve this we choose leaders to follow.

* Every time elect a president, generally we elect someone to follow who will offer us and our homeland ‘security.’ Verse 57 reveals a man who casts a vote for Jesus to be His security. Think about it; this statement was blind followship because He didn’t know where Jesus was going. Who’ll do that? Who’ll just follow blindly? Obviously, this man saw something unique in Jesus and, at least ostensibly, was ready to follow Him ANYWHERE.

* When we feign our commitment to follow Him Jesus does what He always did (while on earth), He lets us know what we can expect. To this man He said, “Okay you want to follow me? Know this; birds & animals have more on this earth than we will have, it won’t be easy because this world is not my home, I’m Just passing through.” Think about Jesus’ trek; He left all His glory & wealth in heaven to come to this strange land called earth. He had to borrow a coin to tell a story, a donkey to ride in Jerusalem (fulfilling the prophecies), and even had to borrow a tomb to be buried. There was nothing on this earth that held enough allure for Jesus because He knew that this world is a temporary place.

* Nothing on earth is secure or sure. Do you have your eyes on the news & weather channel? In the last years we have witnessed hurricanes, Tsunamis, earthquakes, and more which one could argue is the earth finally revolting against mankind. The Bible tells us that earth & heaven will pass away. There is no security on earth, only in Jesus.

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