Here are some thoughts from Luke 14:25-35
#1 – Salvation is free but it costs you your life.
This is not a contradiction.
If I wanted to hike the Appalachian trail, it would take me nearly 7 months to hike the 2200 miles. After paying for equipment, food, and supplies, it would cost me about $7,000 to hike the entire trail.
Suppose a friend decided to pay my way. He would buy all the supplies and gear, he would even hire a guide to go along with me. Food, medical attention, and everything else is on him. It’s totally free for me. But if I accept his free offer, then I have just committed myself to months of training and effort. It is free but it STILL costs me a lot!
The same is true with salvation! The grace of God is free, but my acceptance of His grace means I’ve just committed my LIFE to Jesus.
I am no longer my own; I have been bought with a price. So, to truly follow Jesus, it is going to cost me! That’s why so many people follow Him superficially, only to turn back later when things get tough.
And this superficial following is exactly what Jesus is warning against in Luke 14:25-35.
#2 – There are some who follow Jesus superficially.
verse 25 says “A large crowd was following Jesus.”
Seems like every pastor wants “large crowd.” And it also seems like most people want to follow a leader who has “large crowds” But as a pastor myself, I’m learning is that a committed core is BETTER than larger crowds.
We measure success by the numbers, but Jesus was different. Jesus wasn’t impressed by his large following. He knew the selfish and superficial reasons that many people followed him. IN an effort to weed out those who followed Him for the wrong reasons, Jesus turned to the crowd and began teaching the demands and the costs of discipleship.
Jesus basically says “its impossible to have me as a Savior, but not to follow me as your Lord.” Truly following Jesus means making him the KING of my life. Salvation is not just a decision that I make, but it is a daily commitment to the new life God has given me.
#3 – To truly follow Jesus, we must be prepared to pay a cost.
What are the costs? Jesus spells out three costs:
a) We hate our families and ourselves (Luke 14:26).
This is NOT as bad as it sounds. In fact, Jesus puts it in these terms for shock value, to get us to stop and think about it. What he is saying is that our allegiance and love for Him must be so great that by comparison our love for our families and even for our own lives looks like hatred. This means that we put GODS desires above our own and above our family’s opinions. We follow God before we follow Dad. If our family OR our own selfish desires are asking for something that goes against the teachings of Jesus, then we are submissive to Him FIRST.
Q- Have you ever been in a position where you had to choose to please God instead of choosing to please mom? Or Dad? Or family?
b) we carry our own cross. (Luke 14:27)
Death on a cross was not an irritation or an inconvenience. It was a slow, tortuous death. Jesus compares our daily death to our selfish desires to His death on the cross! If Jesus suffered the cross, and if we choose to follow Him, then we must be prepared to endure the same agony. We are dying to ourselves, our own selfish ambition, and if we aren’t willing to do this then we are not really following Jesus.
Q – What have you had to surrender to Christ that you wanted to hang onto?
c) we give up all of our possessions (Luke 14:33)
Basically, he’s saying you can’t just add Jesus as a supplement to your life so that you’ll feel better about your spiritual needs. When you surrender to Jesus, you surrender EVERYTHING. Nothing you own is yours. You become a servant of Jesus and He owns everything. Jesus is now the owner. We are the managers.
Q-Do you live with open hands saying “God you can whatever you want from me?”
Is there anything in your life that comes ahead of Jesus? Is there any other relationship that draws you away from Him? Is there any sin that comes between you? Any person? Any object of your affection?
Is He the God of your plans, your thoughts, and of all that you do? Or are you clinging to your plans and your ways instead of seeking to please Him in all things?
Sure, salvation is absolutely free,but it costs you everything.