Tonight, I am speaking in Orange County, California, on the topic of suffering. We will deal with the oft-asked question, “How can a God of love allow suffering?”
I hope you can join us. I will preach the same message this coming Sunday at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, where it will also be webcast.
Now, back to our topic for this week–discipleship.
Jesus said that we are to go into all the world and make disciples. But before I can make one, I have to first be certain that I am one myself.
After all, it takes one to make one.
We have been looking at the requirements of Discipleship from Luke 14. So far, we have discovered that . . .
- The disciple must love God more then anyone or anything else (Luke 14:26).
- The disciple must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Jesus (Luke 14:27).
Now, for the third thing . . .
We must count the cost
Luke 14:28-30 tells us: “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it–lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.'”
Being a true follower of Jesus Christ is not easy.
If you are a spiritual baby, then just go home to Mommy! But if you want to be a real man or woman of God and you want your life to matter, then come on!
It costs to follow Jesus
This passage is a reminder that the Christian life is not a playground but a battleground!
I won’t lie to you. It costs to follow Jesus, especially in this day and age. If you are a true Christian, you will be branded as intolerent, narrow-minded, a fanatic, Bible-thumper, and a Jesus Freak.
Jesus told us this would happen. He said that if they hated Him, they would hate us too (John 15:18). But He also promised us that He would bless those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake (Matthew 5:10).
This is why Jesus tells us we must count the cost to follow Him.
There are people who will make impulse purchases. Thats why they offer you free credit cards, even though you do not qualify. They are banking on the fact that you will tempted to buy something now, and then spend the rest of your life paying off the high interest charges.
Many people get married before counting the cost, rushing through without really getting to know each other. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Keep your eyes wide open before marriage and half shut after.”
In the same way, some will make commitments to follow Jesus without counting the cost.
It’s more than worth the cost, but don’t make an impulsive commitment to do this. Don’t follow Jesus just because your friends do. Count the cost and make your own commitment.
Yes, it costs to follow Jesus. But you know what? It costs a whole lot more not to.
Whatever you give up to follow Him will be more than made up to you. It’s God’s trade-in deal.
Jesus said, “Mark my words, no one who sacrifices house, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, land–whatever–because of me and the Message will lose out. They’ll get it all back, but multiplied many times in homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land–but also in troubles. And then the bonus of eternal life! This is once again the Great Reversal: Many who are first will end up last, and the last first” (Mark 10:29-31 THE MESSAGE).