Summary: We should count the costs of following Jesus. We must live a fully commited life, or our life is wasted.
Introduction: I want you to imagine with me just one moment. Ask yourself this question: “How would my life be different if I fully dedicated it to the Lord?” If you fully dedicated your life to the Lord, would you do the same things tomorrow? How would you spend your time? What sort of things would you listen to, what would you watch? What would your life be like if it were fully dedicated to the Lord?
I. A Question of Priorities (Luke 14:25-27)
A. Is Jesus telling us to hate our families?
1. No. Jesus is speaking in hyperbole.
2. We are called to love and honor our families.
a. Remember that the commandment “Honor your father and your mother” was given to adults, not only to children.
b. Paul said that anyone who does not care for his own family is worse than an unbeliever. (I Timothy 5:8)
3. But we are called to love God even more. If ever a choice has to be made, we must choose God.
B. Jesus reminds his disciples that they must “take up their cross,” that they must give more priority to the kingdom than to their very lives.
II. Counting the Costs (14:28-33)
A. Like the man building the tower, we must consider what it means to commit ourselves to Jesus.
1. I do not like the invitation song. I like to have time to sit down and talk with the person who has decided to become a Christian. I want to know that they have counted the costs.
2. We have to remember that our goal is to make disciples, not merely to baptize people. They must be fully ready to give themselves wholly to the Lord.
B. Like the king preparing for war, Jesus is evaluating his army.
1. He wants to know that his disciples are fully commited.
2. God doesn’t “need” us in an absolute sense, but he has chosen to work through us. Yet we must also be aware that if we fail him, he will accomplish his plans by other means. (Esther 4:14)
III. A Disciple Worth His Salt (14:34-35)
A. If salt loses its saltiness, it’s not worth anything.
1. Salt in the Jesus’ day came from the Dead Sea. It was impure salt, that would lose its flavor over time.
2. Can you imagine flavorless salt? What if they brought out a new brand of salt: “New, Improved. NO TASTE!” Would you buy it? What would you use it for? It would be worthless.
B. If we lose our distinctiveness, we lose our worth.
1. We are the salt of the earth.
2. Yet if we, as Christians, become just like the world, we are no longer “salty.”
IV. A Look in the Mirror
A. Am I ready to shoulder the cross?
1. Am I ready to leave my old life behind?
2. Am I ready to deny myself?
B. Am I ready to fully commit myself to God?
1. Jesus said that we must give up everything to be his disciple?
2. What is it that holds you back? Your children? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? Your job? What is it that you love more than you love God? What is it that you wouldn’t be willing to give up for him?
C. Am I willing to be salty?
1. It’s so hard to be different! We spend so much time trying to be like everybody else. We let the world tell us how to cut our hair, how to dress, what food to eat, what music to listen to… Yet we must choose to be different.
2. I’m not worried about you about Sunday. I think you know what to do on Sunday. But what do you do on Monday? Who are you the other six days of the week? The people that know you, would they laugh to see you here? “I never expected to see Tim at church!” Or would they say, “Well, of course. I could tell by the way he lived.”
D. Or have I chosen to throw my life away? If you don’t fully give yourself to God, if you don’t let him make you into something useful, your life is wasted. You’ve thrown your life away.
“He who has ears, let him hear.”