Summary: Whose tower is it that is being built? Who’s war is being waged? The answer to these questions can make all the difference in how we view our relationship with Christ.
OPEN: A man had heart bypass surgery. As he was recovering, his doctor prescribed an exercise program and it was emphasized that the patient had to do this program "religiously."
A few days later, the man returned to his doctor, and the doctor asked if he have been exercising. The patient replied, "Yes. Religiously."
"How is it going?" he asked.
The patient said, "Well, at 1st it was kind of tiring doing all those exercises once a week ..."
"Once a week!? I wanted you to do them every day!" the doctor exclaimed.
"But, you said to do them ’religiously.’ So, just like church, I did them every seven days."
APPLY: Now, there’s something not quite right about that.
This man’s recovery depended him taking his exercises seriously.
And it also depended upon him doing them more than once a week.
When the doctor said “Religiously” – he meant EVERY DAY - as if his life depended upon it.And it did.
Here in Luke 14, Jesus is telling us the same thing about being a Christian.
He says: We need to take our faith seriously.
We need to exercise it religiously.
We need to work at every day.
Because our very lives in Christ depend upon it.
Jesus said it again and again.
• "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Mark 8:34
• “… anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” Matthew 10:38
And here in Luke 14, Jesus declared:
“… anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:27
AND “…any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. Lu 14:33
Following Jesus is serious business.
Following Jesus requires us to exercise our faith regularly.
It requires us to work at our Christianity every day.
ILLUS: One minister was once asked if a certain man named John, belonged to the Church.
The preacher’s reply was, "No, although his name does appear on the roll."
The first man was a little confused and asked the difference between belonging to the church, and having his name on the roll.
"It’s like this," the minister explained,
• "John’s time does not belong to the Church.
• His energy and affections don’t belong to the Church.
• And not one penny of John’s money belongs to the Church."
To be perfectly honest, I don’t think there’s an ounce of John that really belongs to Jesus.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who WANT to go to heaven with Jesus - but hardly an ounce of them belongs to Him. And Jesus tells us these folks aren’t worthy of Him and are NOT His disciples because that’s their mindset.
Now, why should Jesus be so adamant about this?
Why should He care if we’re don’t give ourselves to Him as completely as we should?
Well, two reasons:
The 1st reason is because of how important our Christianity is to Him.
In Luke 14, Jesus tells us a couple of parables:
• A parable of a man who plans to build a tower
• And a parable of a king who is going to war
And Jesus tells us that these parables illustrate what it means to be His disciples.
And as I thought about that… it occurred to me what Jesus was talking about.