Monday, November 13, 2023

Half-Hearted Discipleship

Monday, November 13, 2023 

Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For
which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the
cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and
is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, 'This man began to
build and was not able to finish. ' ...So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not
give up all his own possessions. Luke 14:27-31;33

Half-Hearted Discipleship 
Jesus never made commitment easy. Many have attempted to relate to Christ according to their concept of commitment rather than God's standard.  Jesus had a standard - something that He used to determine who He would use in His Kingdom work.  We tend to put a great deal of emphasis on "deciding to follow Jesus."  We can even reach the place of begging people to accept and believe.  It’s interesting to note that Jesus was not so concerned about whether people came to Him but HOW they came.  Possibly we should be more concerned with whether or not Jesus has accepted our commitment.

We have all heard the variety of excuses people use to avoid coming to or following Christ.  None of these excuses are new and most were given to Jesus when He called men to follow.  What are some of the more common excuses that lead to half-hearted discipleship?

The Selfish-Emotional Response
This response is based in a philosophy that says the end of all things is the happiness and pleasure of man.  Base appetites drive this. "As long as I get something I want I will follow."  One who follows only to get something will never understand the value of sacrifice and service.  God does have much to give and a great desire to give it.  It is proper discipleship that gives Him the ability to bless.  The GRACE of God is FREE not CHEAP!  His blessing cost God His Son and costs us our lives.  Have all who have professed understood?

The Procrastinating Response
One of Satan's greatest tools is Tomorrow.  Most people don’t want to believe that  procrastination is the same as rejection. But we will never BECOME tomorrow what we refuse to BE today.  Great disciples do today what weak disciples put off until tomorrow. (A cards of thanks, daily Bible Study, a time of prayer) Take even just a small part of your free time to commit to doing the things the Holy Spirit lays on your heart and you will see growth as a disciple.  Make it a priority.

The Peer Pressure Response
No other influence can encourage or discourage as our friends can.  However, waiting for the approval of the world to follow Christ is utter foolishness.  Even if you do receive their approval, you may find yourself accepting their interpretation of what that means as well.  Scripture warns repeatedly about not being men-pleasers but God-pleasers.  Who do you seek approval of as to the level of your discipleship?  It’s a fair question for all of us.

The truth is, God is jealous for us.  He wants to own our heart and He deserves our undying devotion. The decision to accept Jesus as your Savior is not to be taken lightly.  It is not a childhood whim to follow because everyone else is doing it.  It is a serious life-changing experience that should be given great consideration as to the level of commitment we are willing to give. Jesus knows your heart. Jesus only requests that we "count the cost" before we respond in commitment to Him.

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