Summary: Sermon on Luke 9:57-62 - Putting God First
PUTTING GOD FIRST
ILL -- It is well with my soul
A story was told of a man named Horatio Spafford who faced many trials. He was a Christian lawyer from Chicago and a friend of DL Moody. In 1871 the Great Chicago Fire took almost everything he owned. That same year his only son died. Two years later in 1873 he placed his wife and four daughters on the luxury liner Ville de Havre sailing from New York to France for a vacation. Spafford expected to join them in about three or four weeks after finishing up some business. The trip started out beautifully. But on the evening of November 21 the ship was suddenly struck by another vessel, the Lochearn, and sank thirty minutes later, with the loss of nearly all 226 people on board. On being told that the ship was sinking Mrs. Spafford knelt with her children and prayed. A few minutes later, in the confusion, three of the children were swept away by the waves while she stood clutching the youngest. Suddenly the youngest child was swept from her arms. Mrs. Spafford became unconscious and awoke later to find that she had been rescued by sailors from the Lochearn. But the four girls were gone. Back in the United States, Horatio Spafford was waiting for news of his family, and at last, ten days later (after the rescue ship had reached Cardiff), it came. "Saved alone" was his wife’s message. That night he told a friend named Major Whittle, "I am glad to be able to trust my Lord even when it costs me everything," He took the first ship he could find to England to meet his wife. As they were passing the spot his daughters had died he wrote this hymn. The music was named Ville De Havre after the ship:
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea-billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.
Brothers and sisters, when we think of the word "discipleship", what comes to our minds? For someone like Horatio, at the end of the day, he could say that, "I am glad to be able to trust my Lord even when it costs me everything."
Today we will be looking at the topic of "Putting God First", looking at a passage in Luke, chapter 9, verses 57 to 62. Let’s turn to our Bibles to the Gospel of Luke, 9, 57 to 62. Shall we stand and read God’s Word together? Reading from the NIV, Luke 9, verse 57.
Let us pray together.
Dear Lord, grant us wisdom and speak to us through Your Word today, as we look at what it truly means to be Your disciple, and the cost of discipleship. I pray that You will speak forth Your Word through me, and may the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts be pleasing in your sight, O Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.
The context of today’s passage is a journey, a journey that Jesus is making towards Jerusalem, and as He walks along, people are coming up to join Him, even as He teaches more and more about discipleship. Earlier in this chapter, Jesus sends out the 12, and we also have His call for us to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow Him.
We’ll be looking at 3 people, their response and Jesus’ challenge to each of them. Through these 3 encounters, He also teaches us what it means to be His disciple.
The first man. Allow me to read verses 57 and 58.
1.Jesus challenges our comfort zones -- Radical discipleship involves costly sacrifice
Now instead of Jesus encouraging and working to make more disciples, in fact, it seems that He actually discouraged and dissuaded people from being his disciples.
Here was a man, all passionate and on-fire for the Lord, responding to his call to discipleship, saying "Hey Jesus, I will follow you wherever you go!" Now which church or which pastor wouldn’t want a disciple like that? Even without Jesus initiating, he comes to Jesus and says, Me, Lord, me, Lord, I will follow You! Imagine that you are giving a message, and before the altar call, you already have people coming forward to respond to the Lord.
But Jesus knew this man’s heart, and in this instance, it was his comfort zones that needed challenging.
Instead of welcoming this man to join his band of disciples, Jesus said, in v.58.
You see, Jesus was not going to Jerusalem Hilton Hotel, jetting around in his own private jet, drawing a huge income and budget, no cars, no fancy ministry, no large following. He was literally preparing Himself, heading towards Jerusalem, to fulfill the Father’s will, to take on our sin and shame, and to die a cruel death on the cross.