Summary: Once we have received Christ as our Lord and Savior, everything changes! Not only are we washed clean, but have a true Calling to serve Him! Here we examine what Christ has asked us to take into account before jumping right into this calling.
The Cost: Have You Counted it?
I want to thank Jordan for getting us started on series of messages every believer should take into consideration. A few weeks ago we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus, but as we learned last week, this event of salvation is truly just the starting point in our lives!
Ephesians 4:4 (NKJV)
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling
Once we have received Christ as our Lord and Savior, everything changes! Not only are we washed clean, but we now have purpose—a true Calling to serve Him!
Today, we want to examine what Christ has asked us to take into account before jumping right into this calling, and that is “The Cost of Being a Disciple of Christ”.
Luke 14:28-33 (NIV)
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’
31″Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
It’s important to understand the context from which Jesus is speaking in regards to this passage. It says that there was “a large crowd” following Jesus. And at this point in time, Jesus was the trendy celebrity to be seen around, and everybody wanted to be His disciple.
But as you can see by what we just read, Jesus is not into popularity contests. Jesus wants followers, not fans. And so he lays it out simply: If you want to truly be one of my disciples, you better first understand what that means!
What’s truly incredible about God’s Word, is how it is still relevant today. This passage in particular serves to purposes for us now:
- An “Are You Sure” warning label of what the Christian Walk means
- A reminder to His disciples that you were asked to count the cost
1. Die to Self
Luke 14:26 (NIV)
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple.
Before we step further, let’s examine this word “Disciple”.
We have seen that, as references to the twelve, the words “apostle” and “disciple” could be synonymous. However, just as the term “disciple” could mean other followers of Jesus than the twelve in the time of His ministry, so also after His resurrection the term “disciple” had a wider meaning as well, being clearly applied to all His followers.
The common bond of meaning for the various applications of the word “disciple” was allegiance to Jesus .
Robert Sloan (Holman Bible Dictionary)
So to say we are Christ’s Disciples is to pledge our total allegiance to Jesus. But if we look back at vs. 26, that cost seems kind of harsh- “Hate everybody but Jesus!?”
Jesus is not saying hate your family and friends in the literal sense here. Jesus is telling us that we must not place anything (even our own life) above him. It has to be God first, and everything else falls in line under that.
Folks, that’s a huge cost isn’t it? It flies right in the face of what society tells you to do. But Jesus says, “You want to be my Disciple, this is what is required of you.”
Romans 12:1 (NLT)
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.
The word sacrifice is a giving up of something valuable, and often it’s a painful thing to do. Most people place high value on themselves, and their life. Jesus wants you to give it to him.
The life lived as a living sacrifice says, “I have my plans and way of going about things, but I recognize God that your love is better than my life, and so I give it freely to you.”
Jordan showed us last week what that looks like. We all have the capacity to be used by God in unique ways. It is up to us to seek out God’s will in how to make that happen.