Friday, April 19, 2024

A Call to Follow

 Friday, April 19, 2024

Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. “For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, after he has laid the foundation and cannot finish it, all the onlookers will begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man started to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ “Or what king, going to war against another king, will not first sit down and decide if he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand?...  In the same way, therefore, every one of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.  Luke 14:27-31;33

A Call to Follow
Jesus never said commitment would be easy. We sometimes try to relate to Christ according to our own  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 have learned a lot in the past few months about what it means to truly follow Jesus and live The Jesus Way. Jesus is serious about our relationship with him. He says we must come after him daily. Being a disciple of Jesus in an everyday recommitment. on our part. It is a daily decision to take up our cross and follow him. 

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 him.  

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.
The one who loves his life will lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me. Where I am, there my servant also will be. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. John 12:25-26

Devotional Archive