The Redeemed Life

a Christian blog cultivating spiritual growth

06 January
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Luke 14:25-34 – The Cost of Discipleship

Luke 14:25-34 – Listen

 25 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.  34 “Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?

Redeemed Mind – Learn

There is a big part of me that doesn’t want to talk about this passage.  But being honest with God and others means dealing with everything God said, not just the pretty, comforting things… darn.

This is a hard passage because those who have something against Christianity, Christians, or Jesus will gravitate to one word: hate.  From that one word, they will choose not to listen to anything else and set up a “straw man” of Christianity that has little to no substance.  According to the ESV Study Bible, “’Hating’ is a Semitic expression for loving less (cf. Gen. 29:30–31; Deut. 21:15–17; Matt. 10:37).”  The basic idea is: if you love anyone or anything more than God (wife, husband, kids, money, job, etc), then Jesus says you’re not really a disciple.

Redeemed Heart – Worship

Allow me to make a confession:  there are many times when I read my Bible and in my arrogance I cringe and think, “God!  Why the heck did you have to go and say that!”  Its going to make it so much harder to share your message if you keep saying dumb stuff like that!”  Like the child of an alcoholic father, I find myself fumbling for excuses and answers that normalize the things that I find to be embarrassing…  This is one of those passages that challenges my pride and makes me question where my heart is at when I share Jesus with others.

I recently finished reading a book by Francis Chan called “Erasing Hell.”  What really struck me was the way he openly struggled with the hard things that Jesus has to say about judgment, punishment, and wrath.  And in the end, I too came to the realization that I have to stop apologize for God, and apologize to Him for being so embarrassed of His words.

Redeemed Life – Grow

When Jesus draws the line in the sand and defines what it means to follow Him, He also pleads with His hearers to count the cost of following Him.  He says you are expected to calculate whether you think its worth it to follow Him or not.  It means taking a brutally honest inventory of your life, relationships, desires, and dreams… and then consider if it is worth letting them all go to follow Jesus.

This is serious business people.

The faith we are called to is not full of puppies and rainbows.  It is a gritty, sacrificial, painful marathon that Jesus predicted only a few will finish well.  Jesus called it “bearing your cross.”  The imagery that Jesus uses is the equivalent of a modern day death sentence – and the strange paradox is the invitation to come and die is actually an invitation to live eternal life.

Fellow readers: have you counted the cost?  Are you willing to let it go to follow Him?

 
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