Summary: A challenge to count the cost of following Jesus

Luke 14:25-26 (NLT)

Great crowds were following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, [26] "If you want to be my follower you must love me more than your own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, more than your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.

The Curious vs. The Committed

 Many were following Jesus

 Talk of the town

 Miracle worker

 Jesus defined a true follower

 Commitment

 Sacrifice

Many Who Play Church

“The figures for the laity volunteering at church are relatively constant at 25% from 1991 to 2005. In terms of our tipping the help (if that’s what it is), Barna reports that only 4% of Americans actually tithe ten percent or more of their income (although a far larger percentage say they do).”

Source: Barna Research Group: State of the Church 2005

How Deep Is Your Love?

 To be a true follower all other loves must be secondary

 Commitment and devotion to Christ comes before commitment and devotion to anyone or anything else

 Split devotions would lead to half-hearted commitment

 Relationships may be lost because of your devotion ot Christ

 Even love for yourself must be secondary

 The greatest devotion is evidenced through sacrifice

Luke 14:27 (NLT)

And you cannot be my disciple if you do not carry your own cross and follow me.

Discipleship Means

Cross Bearing

 Roman prisoners were required to carry their own cross to execution

 Showed devotion and submission to the authority of Rome

 Warned others of the consequence of defying Rome

 Jesus challenged the superficial to weigh the cost of discipleship

 Discipleship requires total submission to Christ

 For many it meant their lives would be taken

Luke 14:28-30 (NLT)

"But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first getting estimates and then checking to see if there is enough money to pay the bills? [29] Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of funds. And then how everyone would laugh at you! [30] They would say, ’There’s the person who started that building and ran out of money before it was finished!’

Half-Hearted Attempts

 Many start out on the journey, but lose heart

 The emotion fades

 The trials come

 Times get tough

 Counting the cost requires recognition that the Christian life does not guarantee “easy street”

Luke 14:31-33 (NLT)

"Or what king would ever dream of going to war without first sitting down with his counselors and discussing whether his army of ten thousand is strong enough to defeat the twenty thousand soldiers who are marching against him? [32] If he is not able, then while the enemy is still far away, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace. [33] So no one can become my disciple without giving up everything for me.

The War is Waging

 There is a war raging

 Your loyalties

 Your time

 Your affections

 Your talents

Give It Up

 The cost of discipleship is full surrender

 Everything is in play

 Relationships

 Reputation

 Career

 Home

 Family

 Money

 Possessions

1 Corinthians 1:25 (NLT)

This "foolish" plan of God is far wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is far stronger than the greatest of human strength.

The Trade Off

 The strength of God

 The wisdom of God

 The provisions of God

**Powerpoint available on request

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