Cost Counting - Part 2 / Luke 9:57-62 NIV
KEY TO REMEMBER - When it comes to basics of following Jesus - choosing His will and His choices over our own - we need to be reminded BOTH when times are good and we are victorious AND when times are tough and we are frustrated and defeated. It’s not just the down times that can cause us to fall away, but also the good times. In ALL times we must remember that there are costs to following Jesus!
REMINDER FROM LAST WEEK -
(1) Daily Denial - take up cross daily;
(2) Life Losing - want to save your life then you must lose your life to Jesus;
(3) Life Logic - not a win if we gain entire world but lose Jesus;
(4) Shame sharing - We don’t want Jesus to be ashamed of us at the judgment so we better not be ashamed of Him now.
3 MORE Costs To Following Jesus.
#1 - Takes us to _______ places with _______ expectations.
“As they were walking along the road, a man said to [Jesus], ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’ Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.’” Luke 9:57-58
This is a warning about easy commitment. A warning against instant enthusiasm. Jesus says (multiple times and in multiple ways), COUNT THE COST of following me. The life of a disciple isn’t easy. It can be a hard life and you should know that going in.
“Foxes have dens and birds have nests…” Jesus tells us that the creatures of this world have a home here - even foxes and birds. But not Jesus (Son of Man). He is an outsider. He is not “at home” here. Indeed in this corrupt, evil world Jesus is homeless.
So then if the One you claim you are willing to follow anywhere and everywhere, remember that He is not at home here. And if the One you follow is not at home here, what makes you think that you will be at home here?
#2 - Proclaiming the kingdom of God takes priority over _______
“[Jesus] said to another man, ‘Follow me.’ But he replied, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’” Luke 9:59-60
Is Jesus being deliberately insensitive to a family member who has just lost a loved one? Absolutely! Jesus put it into graphic terms: “Let the dead bury their own dead.” Insensitive. Hard. Difficult saying. Makes us wrestle with why Jesus would say such a thing.
(a) First, there is nothing greater in the world now or in the world to come than being invited by Jesus to follow Him. This is an offer that goes so far beyond anything we have any right to expect (because of our sin, because of His greatness and deity) that there is always and only ever ONE answer - YES! THANK YOU! Any other answer falls short.
(b) Second, shows us the priority and urgency of proclaiming the kingdom of God in this messed up, sinful, decaying, hopeless world.
#3 - Focus on the ________ takes priority over ______ .
Perhaps you’ve heard the saying that you’re so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good? Not a Jesus saying! The next exampled person gets the “LORD” part right but still doesn’t understand the priority…
“Still another said, ‘I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.’ Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.’” Luke 9:61-62 NIV
You can’t mow a straight line by looking backwards. How do you do it? By keeping your eyes at the furthest point and moving straight to that point! Jesus tells us that there is a “fitness” for service in the kingdom of God. You want to be fit to serve the King of kings and Lord of lords? Your focus on the next world over this world is the key!
Before we think to ourselves that Jesus expects too much, let’s consider the importance of what we are in this for. The restoration of the world. The reclamation of all that has been lost. The freedom of those bonded into the slavery of their addictions. The redemption of those who have been lost forever. The renewal of relationship with God Almighty. The revival of faith and hope over hopelessness and disease. The stakes are high!
Consider what has been asked for so much less…
Reggie Lee (actor) - “You want something? Go get it with single minded devotion.”
Bill Parcels - “If you’ve ever won a championship, then that’s all you’re interested in doing.”
Vince Lombardi - “Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.”
Chuck Mangioni - “Give It All You Got” Instrumental song for the 1980 Winter Olympics. Official theme song.
President Kennedy - “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”
lifehack.com - The 8 things successful people sacrifice for their success: (1) time; (2) stability; (3) personal life; (4) sleep; (5) health; (6) quiet times; (7) sanity; (8) immediate desires.
Two Great Tragedies of Life:
(A) That I never focus my life on anything beyond me for today. No sense of greater goal than myself. No willingness to give up today for better tomorrow. Many (if not most) people are in this category.
(B) That I sacrifice myself for a goal that is not worthy of who God has created me to become. Am I worthy “for service in the kingdom of God?” No higher purpose. No higher calling.
My Challenge: Does my life demonstrate the__________ ?
To get BOTH right: (1) a goal bigger than me today and (2) the right goal - service in the kingdom of God under the Lordship of Jesus Christ! Paul:
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20NIV
Conclusion: Ask myself this question - “Am I satisfied only with the salvation of Jesus?” Do I want only to be forgiven of my sins, receive a clean slate, and then go on and live for myself and for my own purposes? Or do I see God in me as THE Change Agent that changes my plans, my purposes, my goals, my desires? “Am I focused on the Lordship of Jesus?”