Faithlife Sermons

Following Jesus

Fall 2019  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  29:23
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Luke 14:25–35 NIV
Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If 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. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples. “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

The Cost of Discipleship

Luke 14:28–30 NIV
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
Jerusalem was in the middle of grand building project that had stretched across decades. Trying to build a Temple that was meant to glorify a hot-tempered egotistical leader. It wasn’t going so well. A big giant reminder in the middle of town.
Luke 14:31–32 NIV
“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If 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.
God’s people were considering violent revolution. Jesus is warning them that’s the wrong power to lean on. It’s a foreshadowing of the destruction of the Temple.
Salt has a purpose: to preserve things that are decaying. It can also heal and to add flavor. But if it sits on the shelf too long it goes bad. Do you hear what Jesus is saying?
He’s foreshadowing to his hearers that this is not about their entertainment. It was cool to come hear him speak i’m sure. But it’s about the meaning of his words, more than the experience. Jesus’ words and actions were going to get him killed. Those who followed him were going to be putting their comfortable lives at risk. Otherwise, they were just casual fans, not true disciples. Not yet part of the Kingdom of God. Discipleship wasn’t something they signed up for. It was something they lived daily.

We are called to count the cost

When Christ calls a man, says Dietrich Bonhoeffer, he bids him come and die.
Do you worship God regularly? Do you give to God financially? Is God Lord of your decisions? Are you only concerned with your own survival and thriving? With God do you focus on only moral questions or do you let God inform every part of life? God’s moral guidelines aren’t the meaning of life they are the guardrails of the boundaries of life (NT Wright paraphrase) Are you sharing in God’s mission? Do other people in your life observe you following Jesus?
Family cannot be in the place of God. Possessions cannot be in the place of God. Desire or jealousy for possessions cannot replace the desire for God.
Following Jesus is not a casual decision. It’s a life-changing one. One that we answer for. If we choose not to follow Jesus we stand already judged by our own decision. If we say we follow him, then our lives need to start looking like his pattern.

Jesus is Lord

This call from Jesus was intimidating if people had other plans for their lives.
But for those fully surrendered it’s a word of hope. There is one who shows the way. One who isn’t intimidated by the horizon or any dark powers. One who stands above any earthly authority with justice and love.
Jesus is inviting his followers to leave behind an average life and live a life that can change the world.

Jesus reshapes our whole way of life

It’s a fantastic way to live to trust Jesus completely with our lives. We don’t toss caution to the wind, we just live life in a different lane altogether.
Jesus responded with love to those who hated him. Jesus laid down his life instead of attacking. Jesus overcame death and sin, rather than fearing or giving in.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit God wants to dwell in our lives now. That makes so much more possible for us. Our lives can look a lot more like Jesus than we ever imagined.
We can deny ourselves, carry our cross and follow Jesus. We can keep family waiting just a bit as we answer life’s vocation: bearing the image of God in our world and reflecting back God’s glory in worship to God. Are there long days in the kingdom of God? Yes. Does it mean we don’t care for our families or ourselves? No. Is it hard to balance day in and day out? Yes. But balance really isn’t the best word. Because if you’re following Jesus you’re all in. Better yet, have your family join you in serving God and the world.
The bottom line is you CAN because of Jesus. By going to the cross and through the cross to the grave and through the grave to being the resurrection and the life to ascending to heaven as our living Lord, Jesus makes a salty sacrificial life possible! It’s a great way to live.
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