Summary: Jesus requires your all. Do you give it? A message on commitment.
How Far Will You Go?
Introduction – Burning the Boats
On April 21st, in the year 1519, the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortez sailed into the harbor of Vera Cruz, Mexico. He brought with him only about 600 men, and yet over the next two years his vastly outnumbered forces were able to defeat Montezuma and all the warriors of the Aztec empire, making Cortez the conqueror of all Mexico. How was this incredible feat accomplished, when two prior expeditions had failed even to establish a colony on Mexican soil? Here’s the secret. Cortez knew from the very beginning that he and his men faced incredible odds. He knew that the road before them would be dangerous and difficult. He knew that his men would be tempted to abandon their quest and return to Spain. And so, as soon as Cortez and his men had come ashore and unloaded their provisions, he ordered their entire fleet of eleven ships destroyed. His men stood on the shore and watched as their only possibility of retreat burned and sank. And from that point on, they knew beyond any doubt there was no return, no turning back. Nothing lay behind them but an empty ocean. Their only option was to go forward, to conquer or die.
Cortez knew how important it was for his crew to understand there were no options. He burned it all because he was committed to a cause. There was no price too high to pay. They would succeed or die trying!
Jesus, too, understood there are no options for those who follow Him! We have nothing else to fall back to. It’s all or nothing!
Let’s examine the text today to discover what God demands from those who name Him as Savior!
The first thing we notice is…
The Cost Required 57-58
The first man stated that he wanted to follow Jesus. Jesus gave him discouraging words because discipleship is not easy. It has a cost!
Before we build a house, buy a car or join an organization we must discover what it is going to cost us personally. You will have to endure hardships. There are no guarantees for success. In fact, in the Christian walk, you will fail…many times. But God notices your willingness to abandon your former life and persevere through the trials. Believers must pick up the cross daily and die to self. So what do we die to? There are five.
You must die to your Position. That’s your status in life. You are no longer your own. You have been bought with a price, therefore, you are His servant. Act like it!
You must die to your Possessions. In America, we have plenty of stuff. You can tell when our garages, attics and storage facilities are overflowing with things we don’t need, purchased with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like, in a world we don’t belong!
You must also die to your Privileges. That means you give up all your rights. The government doesn’t owe you and God doesn’t owe you. You have no privileges so quit bellyaching about what you deserve! If you got what you deserved, you would be in hell right now.
You must die to your Pursuits. We all love doing what we love to do what we love to do. Have you ever wondered what God wants you to do? What activities are you involved in which limit or restrict your work for God? If your hobbies or interests take more attention than the things of God, maybe we need to reexamine our pursuits in life.
Finally, you must die to your Profession. Often we are married to our jobs or career. They can become more important than our relationship with the Lord.
When God called me to follow Him, I ran into a problem. I loved professional football…especially the Dallas Cowboys! They were MY team. I would miss church on Sundays to watch them because I was a committed fan. (Note--I probably should’ve been committed!) Anyway, after my salvation experience, I went cold-turkey off of football for three years. I watched very little because Jesus became more important to me!
Not only do we need to notice the cost required but we must also understand…
The Commitment Involved 59-60
The second man was told to follow Jesus. His response was one delay. Yes, Lord, but… is a message of procrastination. It is putting off today what one MIGHT do tomorrow. The only problem is there is no promise of tomorrow. Jesus gave him a sense of urgency. It was an urgency of proclaiming and possessing the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
What kind of commitment do we need to know? Let’s look at four.
First there is a commitment of your Time. Time is one thing that is never renewable. It can only be used once and never be reclaimed. Yet, we use time as if it is a commodity which can be purchased. Often, I have found that some people spend inordinate amounts of time on Face Book. Why? To say, “I’m brushing my teeth now?” When you stand before God and eternity, what will you say on how you used your time here on earth? Was it used for self-centered reasons or for God’s glory?