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.

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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.

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