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Counting the Cost: Part 2

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Total Commitment is needed to be a true disciple of Christ

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Intro: February 15, 1921. New York City. The operating room of the Kane Summit Hospital. A doctor is performing an appendectomy. In many ways the events leading to the surgery are uneventful. The patient has complained of severe abdominal pain. The diagnosis is clear: an inflamed appendix. Dr. Evan O'Neill Kane is performing the surgery. In his distinguished thirty-seven-year medical career, he has performed nearly four thousand appendectomies, so this surgery will be uneventful in all ways except two.
The first novelty of this operation? The use of local anesthesia in major surgery. Dr. Kane is a crusader against the hazards of general anesthesia. He contends that a local application is far safer. Many of his colleagues agree with him in principle, but in order for them to agree in practice, they will have to see the theory applied.
Dr. Kane searches for a volunteer, a patient who is willing to undergo surgery wile under local anesthesia. A volunteer is not easily found. Many are squeamish at the thought of being awake during their own surgery. Others are fearful that the anesthesia might wear off too soon. Eventually, however, Dr. Kane finds a candidate. On Tuesday morning, February 15, the historic operation occurs.
The patient is prepped and wheeled into the operating room. A local anesthetic is applied. As he has done thousands of times, Dr. Kane dissects the superficial tissues and locates the appendix. He skillfully excises it and concludes the surgery. During the procedure, the patient complains of only minor discomfort. The volunteer is taken into post-op, then placed in a hospital ward. He recovers quickly and is dismissed two days later. Dr. Kane had proven his theory. Thanks to the willingness of a brave volunteer, Kane demonstrated that local anesthesia was a viable, and even preferable, alternative.
But I said there were two facts that made the surgery unique. I've told you the first: the use of local anesthesia. The second is the patient. The courageous candidate for surgery by Dr. Kane was Dr. Kane.
To prove his point, Dr. Kane operated on himself! A wise move. The doctor became a patient in order to convince the patients to trust the doctor. 
Max Lucado, In the Eye of the Storm, Word Publishing, 1991, pp. 35-36.

Complete Commitment means Jesus must come first

Complete Commitment means Jesus must come first

Luke 14:25 NKJV
25 Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them,
Luke 14:25–26 KJV 1900
25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, 26 If 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.
Illustration: So far in 2018 the L.A. Dodger home game average attendance is around 45,900 per game. On the road the average attendance drops to 31,000. Why because even though they are fans and love to watch the team, they have to give up something in order to follow the team.
Luke 14:25-26
Explain: Two things come to mind-
Great multitudes “went” with Him- traveled along
Jesus always had large crowds following
feeding of the 3 and 5k, the busy street where a woman just wanted to touch his clothes, the house where the men lowered a sick man in because there was no more room to get through the doors.
Many were there to listen to him speak and to learn because they knew He was the Messiah. But there were many more there because they were merely fans. They watched the miracles and the show. They wanted something but rarely wanted to give anything up.
Jesus knew their hearts and minds, he knew why they were there
If anyone “Comes” to me- the word “come” or “erchomai” brings with it an idea of moving with a specific purpose in mind.
Jesus says if you come to me know this: I must come first!
Jesus isn’t telling us that we have to have extreme hostility toward our family and even ourselves
what he is telling us is that we must love Him more!
Application: We put roadblocks in our path
We tend to only love Him on certain days of the week, or when we feel like we need Him because we can’t handle certain situations.
our commitment to following Jesus only lasts until we have to sacrifice something.
It’s then that we go from being disciples to just mere fans and followers of Jesus Christ.
We put our jobs first, we put our families first, we put our hobbies first
We put everything first except the one who needs to be first
This is the idea that Jesus is trying to get through to his followers then and this is the same message that he is trying to get through to you today.
To be completely commited to be a disciple of Jesus then you have to put Him first.

Complete Commitment means you you must be willing to finish what you start

Luke 14:27–33 KJV 1900
27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

Complete Commitment means you finish what you start

Luke 14:
Illustration: One thing I have found out about being on a diet and beginning to work out again is that is is painful. The day after my first workout I was so sore I didn’t want to get out of the bed. The second day was worse than the first, but I realize that I can’t get to where I want to be physically if I give up just because I’m sore. We can’t get to where God wants us to be if we give up following Him just because life gets difficult.
Explain: Jesus leads off with the signature quote of bearing our cross. This would be the first commitment we see. But then there is more
Jesus explains to us that there is no fast track to discipleship- it requires
realizing the task ahead of you- what will it take? determination, discipline, courage, faith, sacrifice
Nehemiah and his wall
Satan wants nothing more than to see a believer fail and not get back up.
You will try and you will fail, but you have to keep getting up and keep trying because when you quit that is when the people will begin to mock you and say “see I told you he couldn’t do it!”
The problem is we try to do it on our own and therefore he gives us a new way to look at it in verses 32 and 33. There needs to be a vision so that we can overcome these obstacles and finish what we started.
We see this huge task in front of us just as the king saw a huge army in front of Him,
At first he says we can do this, but his advisors say to him “king we are outnumbered 2-1” and the king considers the cost and begins to see what this could mean for his people. He swallows his pride and says “send out someone to ask what it is that will bring peace between us and them. What am I going to have to give up in order for there to be peace in my kingdom?”
We are the “king” and the Holy Spirit is the delegation and God is the army that we are trying to go up against. It’s our will against his and Jesus says “whosoever does not forsake all” in other words give up everything , your pride, your motives, your way of doing things then you will have problems finishing what you started.
But when you decide to surrender to him and to make a complete commitment to his “conditions of peace” you will be amazed at the stumbling blocks you couldn’t move before that are removed and the supplies that were needed to continue building are suddenly available. With man everything seems impossible, but with God anything is possible!
Jesus first, finish what you start and now

Complete Commitment means no looking back

Luke 9:61–62 KJV 1900
61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. 62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
Examples: Lot and his wife; the Hebrews as they exited out of Egypt. Peter after he denied Christ but was called out specifically after the resurrection
Explain: If you think you alone when it comes to not being a commited disciple, think again; your in pretty good company.
There is a reason Jesus says this in Luke and we can see the love that Jesus has for his disciples in John chapter 21.
After His death they were devastated and we see they had already seen him but he was gone again.
Scripture tells us that they Peter, Nathanael, James and John and 2 more were together and Peter says, “I’m going fishing” and they said we will go with you. So they go fishing and catch nothing that night! The morning rolls around and Jesus is standing on the shore but they didn’t recognize him. He calls out and asks them for food they say We don’t have any and he says to them what he told them when they first me “try the other side of the boat” when they couldn’t pick up the net because it was so full Peter realized who it was and was so excited to see him he jumped out of the boat and swam to the shore!
I say all that to say this: They had began to look back and go back to what they were doing before Jesus called them to be His disciples.
They were discouraged and went back to what they felt comfortable doing.
Jesus saw this and reminded them of what he told them to do. He said during breakfast Peter, feed my lambs. I didn’t call you to fish, I called you to preach. You will have struggles, but I called you to preach. You will die but I called you to preach.
God doesn’t want us to look back and long for the days of our simple yet sin filled lives.
He tells us to go forward, focus on Him and work. If He were here today in this church He would say “keep tilling the ground and planting the seed and you will see the fruit one day”
But until then continue to being completely commited to serving Jesus! Put Him first, finish strong, and don’t look back!
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