Summary: What is the true cost of commitment? Are you willing to pay it?
The Cost of Your Commitment
Commitment is not found in the location of your body, but instead the location of your heart. (ie. Athlete, student)
Illus: In 1947, a professor at the University of Chicago was scheduled to teach an advanced seminar in astrophysics. At the time he was living in Wisconsin, doing research. He planned to commute twice a week for the class, even though it would be held during the harsh winter months. Registration for the seminar, however, fell far below expectations. Only two students signed up for the class. People expected the professor to cancel, lest he waste his time. But for the sake of two students, he taught the class, commuting 100 miles round trip through back country roads in the dead of winter. His students did their homework. Ten years later, in 1957, they both won the Nobel prize for physics. So did the professor in 1983. God doesn’t need large numbers only a committed few.
There is a cost in being committed to God.
I. The Setting
Multitudes flocked wherever Jesus went (Luke 14:25).
A. Some were drawn to His simple stories and clear teaching about spiritual things; others came in hopes of being healed.
B. Still others came out of curiosity, hoping to see some miracle ... like crowds hovering around the scene of an accident, craning their necks to see the out-of-the- ordinary.
C. Patriots also came-those who, under the restive dominion of Rome, were eager to find a young revolutionary whom they might recruit as a spokesman for their cause.
II. The Terms of Consecration
Looking over the sea of faces that followed Him, Jesus explicitly stated the terms of consecration which He required of His disciples (vv. 26-27, 33).
1. A Personal Relationships. The first and most stringent of the terms is found in verse 26.
Luke 14: 25And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, 26If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
No one could ever accuse Christ of beating around the bush or hedging on tough issues. No election-year politics here. Just the truth, unsheathed and unblunted.
Jesus’ purpose in such a statement…
- Stagger the crowds and wake them up from half-baked commitment
- Thin the crowd to the committed
Someone has written: He who wishes to follow Christ must choose Him so unconditionally as Lord and Guide that he makes all other loyalties and ties absolutely subordinate to his the will of God!
- This is not a condemnation of family
- It is a picking of sides (Joshua “as for me and mine”)
Jesus asks for nothing less than our hearts… which (by the way) cannot be given in halves).
Matthew 6:24 24No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (wealth).
John White (Cost of Commitment) wrote: “All relationships, no matter how intimate, must be secondary to our relationship with Christ. To hate one’s family means to be so committed to Christ that however much it costs me to be away from that circle, I must cut myself ruthlessly from its comfort and follow Him barefoot on rocky pathways.”
It will also cost you…
2. A Personal Reckoning
Expanding on the words "even his own life," Jesus told His followers that to be His disciples they must be willing to sacrifice even the most personal of desires. Look again at the text…
27And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple
As these Roman-ruled Palestinians heard His words, they must have pictured the all-too-familiar scene of criminals trudging to their execution, carrying on their shoulders the very crosses on which they were to suffer.
Jesus confronted His listeners with the reality that following Him could cost them their lives… literally! And He offered no padding to cushion their shoulders from the splinters of that cross and no anesthesia for the nails.
In Romans 12:1, Paul calls on the same dedication to death…
Present your bodies as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God… which by the way is your reasonable service!
I’m glad God hasn’t asked me to die for Him… Oh but he has!
What it means to offer a Living Sacrifice:
- Offer up your flippancy and “Count The Cost”!
28For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.