Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Luke 14: 25-33

Great crowds were traveling with Jesus,
and he turned and addressed them,
“If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother,
wife and children, brothers and sisters,
and even his own life,
he cannot be my disciple.
Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me
cannot be my disciple.
Which of you wishing to construct a tower
does not first sit down and calculate the cost
to see if there is enough for its completion?
Otherwise, after laying the foundation
and finding himself unable to finish the work
the onlookers should laugh at him and say,
‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’
Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down
and decide whether with ten thousand troops
he can successfully oppose another king
advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops?
But if not, while he is still far away,
he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms.
In the same way,
anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions
cannot be my disciple.”

What is the cost to be a disciple of Jesus? Quite simply, it costs you your life. When you choose to be a disciple of Jesus you become a doulos, a slave, more commonly translated as servant. Everything that you have becomes his. One cannot be a doulos and still have the comforts and desires of their life. If you do not give all that you have and all that you are over to Jesus you are not really a disciple.

Everything that I have in my possession belongs to Jesus. I am his steward caring for these things until his return. I am to use the things in my possession to care for those under my care.

When I go to communion every week I do not go to receive something. I do not go to get. I go to give. I go to pledge an oath to the death that I am the Lord’s doulos, his slave. That I will live for him and die for him if necessary. If more people actually understood what happens when you receive communion I believe that the communion lines would be much shorter than the confession lines. In confession you go to receive, to receive absolution for your sins. You go to healed and made new. You go to communion to give that new, healed body to God for the glory of his kingdom.

This is the cross a Christian carries. We no longer belong to ourselves. We belong to God for him to use as he will. We don’t stand with the crowd as Jesus walks by with his cross. We don’t ride horse back with the Romans on the way to Calvary. We walk beside the Lord carrying the same cross that he himself carries.

Consider the cost carefully before picking up that cross and following the Lord. Know that you are pledging your entire self, all that you are, all that you do, and all that you have. You place everything in the hands of Jesus to do with as he sees fit.

Not my will but yours be done.

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