Sunday Morning 9-16-12

Posted by Sherry


Defining Discipleship 
Luke 14:25-35 
CBC 9/16/2012
actual responses from comment cards given to the staff members at Bridger Wilderness Area:
* Trails need to be reconstructed. Please avoid building trails that go uphill. 
*Too many bugs and leeches and spiders and spider webs. Please spray the wilderness to rid the areas of these pests. 
*Please pave the trails…Chair lifts need to be in some places so that we can get to wonderful views without having to hike to them. 
*The coyotes made too much noise last night and kept me awake. Please eradicate these annoying animals. 
*A small deer came into my camp and stole my jar of pickles. Is there a way I can get reimbursed? Please call… 
*Escalators would help on steep uphill sections. 
*A MacDonald’s would be nice at the trailhead. 
*Too many rocks in the mountains.
Citation: Mike Neifert, Light and Life (February 1997), p. 27 
  • PROBLEM:Visitors didn’t understand “wilderness area”
    • expected something convenient & comfortable
    • many don’t understand term: “Christian”
    • some claim to be Christian but don’t comprehend “discipleship”
  • POSERS:
    • go to church
    • profess to know Christ
    • read Bible
    • pray
    • give offering
  • Jesus confronts this problem”
TEXT:25 Now huge crowds were going along with [Jesus], and He turned and said to them,
26 If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his [own] father and mother [[a]in the sense of indifference to or relative disregard for them in comparison with his attitude toward God] and [likewise] his wife and children and brothers and sisters—[yes] and even his own life also—he cannot be My disciple.
27 Whoever does not persevere and carry his own cross and come after (follow) Me cannot be My disciple.
28 For which of you, wishing to build a [b]farm building, does not first sit down and calculate the cost [to see] whether he has sufficient means to finish it?
29 Otherwise, when he has laid the foundation and is unable to complete [the building], all who see it will begin to mock and jeer at him,
30 Saying, This man began to build and was not able ([c]worth enough) to finish.
31 Or what king, going out to engage in conflict with another king, will not first sit down and consider and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand [men] to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?
32 And if he cannot [do so], when the other king is still a great way off, he sends an envoy and asks the terms of peace.
33 So then, any of you who does not forsake (renounce, surrender claim to, give up, [d]say good-bye to) all that he has cannot be My disciple.
34 Salt is good [an excellent thing], but if salt has lost its strength and has become saltless (insipid, flat), how shall its saltness be restored?
35 It is fit neither for the land nor for the manure heap; men throw it away. He who has ears to hear, let him listen and consider and comprehend by hearing!
UNDERSTAND THE TERMS
  • Disciple - true follower of Jesus Christ
  • Christian - true believer in Jesus Christ
    • they mean same thing (my spouse or my wife...same thing)
    • if U don’t fit Jesus’ def. of disciple...UR not a Christian...
    • disciple - 269 times in NT
    • Christian - 3 times in NT
Acts 11:26 ...and in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.
  • Insert word Christian for disciple in following verse
  • 27 Whoever does not persevere and carry his own cross and come after (follow) Me cannot be My disciple [Christian].
    • are U persevering for the cause of Christ?
    • are U carrying ur cross for the cause of Christ?
    • are U following after Christ on a daily basis?
    • are U sure ur a Christian?
  • Crowd -  v25 ...huge crowds following Jesus...
    • not antagonistic towards Christ
    • not the uninterested in His life or message
    • positive attitude toward Jesus
    • they obviously mistook the positive attitude and interest for true discipleship (like many today)
    • they were CASUAL followers, not COMMITTED followers
      • along for the ride
      • unwilling to give up everything in their lives that conflicted with following Jesus in a committed way
      • want Jesus to solve their problems (money, relational, health...), but unwilling to obey Jesus completely
      • R U a part of that “...huge crowd...?”
TRUE DISCIPLE COMMITTED TO JESUS ABOVE EVERYTHING ELSE v26-27
  • Jesus comes first...before:
    • loved ones...(oh but Sunday is “family day”)
    • self-interest...
    • possessions...
    • careers...
    • hobbies...
    • goals in life...
    • even our very lives...
    • committed to Christ before anything else in life
      • first priority
      • more loyal to Jesus than any other
  • Metaphor - “carry ur cross”
    • criminal forced to carry own cross
    • everyone knew anyone carrying a cross was saying goodbye to everything and everybody...no coming back
    • following Jesus saying goodbye to old self, nature & ways
  • Illustration - “building a tower”
    • consider the cost of building the tower
    • Jesus not looking for one-sided commitment...
      • He does all the giving & blessing
      • We do all the receiving & living it up
      • that’s half-hearted commitment to expect blessing w/out any work on our part
      • There’s only one way to follow Jesus...100%
LARGE CROWDS
  • so many are only interested in LARGE CROWDS
    • Large crowds didn’t impress Jesus
    • committed people impress Jesus, not crowds
    • Church today -
      • is it about the crowd?
      • OR is it about the commitment?
      • recent poll showed little difference between the way the unbelieving world behaves & professed Christians behave
        • divorce
        • buy lottery tickets
        • listen to & watch vulgar media...
        • rainy Sunday...shows who’s committed & NOT!
v33 THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP
  • give up EVERYTHING...
    • not everything BUT...
    • refers to an attitude of mind & heart in which “things” (job, hobby, prized possession, free time, money, goals & dreams), don’t have priority over obeying Jesus in our lives
    • doesn’t mean Jesus is going to take all that away from us
      • means it can’t hold 1st place in our life
v34 SALT
  • represents a person’t commitment to Jesus
    • commitment complete means salt is GOOD
    • Christians’ life will have positive & useful purpose
    • same way salt was positive & useful
  • salt wasn’t pure in Jesus’ day like it is in ours
    • the only way salt can lose saltiness is DILUTION
      • mix in sand, dirt, etc., “gritty french fries”
      • wasn’t fit for soil or manure pile...USELESS
  • Jesus describing Christians w/out total commitment...graphic lol
    • may have appearance of being a disciple
    • can’t be used in kingdom work as a Christian should
    • commit to one day a week, but not 7
    • commit to one service a week, but not any more
    • commit to honoring marriage vows but not in their finances
    • half truth is still a lie 
    • & half committed is still manure pile territory
Conclusion: Leadership magazine once ran a cartoon that showed a church building with a billboard in front that said: “The LITE CHURCH: 24% fewer commitments, home of the 7.5% tithe, 15 minute sermons, 45 minute worship service; we have only 8 commandments—your choice. We use just 3 spiritual laws and have an 800 year millennium. Everything you’ve wanted in a church … and less!” 

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