Author Archive for Steve

Steve is blessed to be the husband of Alice, the father of Sarah and Douglas, the father-in-law of Paul and Kimberly, the granddad of Samuel and Avery, a Pastor at the Vineyard Community Church in Big Pine Key, Florida, and most gratefully, a child of the King.

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Living Invitations Part 17

August 20, 20170 Comments

This Preaching in Shorts sermon series is called “Living Invitations”.

You can listen to the study by clicking here

Scripture Reading

Luke 14:25-33 (NIV)
25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple. 27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29 For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30 saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

By this time in Jesus ministry He had a large crowd that would travel around with Him. This large crowd was not all disciples, however. Some of them were probably following just so they could see some of the miracles that were taking place. Some were there in hopes of a free lunch or dinner. Some were there who were hoping that Jesus was about to overthrow the Roman oppression. In this passage Jesus is telling the crowd the requirements for being a real disciple.

1. Love God all in

Luke 14:26 (NIV)
26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple
.

This is one of those verses that might not seem to make sense when you read it. Like, that doesn’t sound right, you want me to hate my family?

Jesus is actually trying to make a point by using a contrast that will make people think. He is not saying that as His disciples we must actually hate family, friends, and ourselves. Hate is the opposite of love. He makes a point not by using something that would be easy to hate, like the evil one, but by saying that the very thing that most of us understand and experience love by and through is not the standard for our love. Our love for God must be the highest love in our lives.

We are to love God all in, heart, mind, soul and strength.

2. It is not all about me

Luke 14:27 (NIV)
27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

Luke 9:23 (NIV)
23 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

One of the biggest obstacles we will face in being His disciple is that we are all overly preoccupied with self.

For example, we have an entire thing now called “selfies”.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV)
1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God– 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

It is some about me. You were created to want to enjoy life and experience happiness. That is not sin. It is just an issue when it becomes the most important thing in our lives.

The Bible makes it clear that we are to love ourselves.

Ephesians 5:29 (NIV)
29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church–

Matthew 22:39 (NIV)
39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

We are to want for our neighbors the same love and life that we experience in Jesus.

“In every Christian’s heart there is a cross and a throne, and the Christian is on the throne till he puts himself on the cross. If he refuses the cross he remains on the throne. Perhaps this is at the bottom of the backsliding and worldliness among gospel believers today. We want to be saved but we insist that Christ do all the dying. No cross for us, no dethronement, no dying. We remain king within the little kingdom of Mansoul and wear our tinsel crown with all the pride of a Caesar, but we doom ourselves to shadows and weakness and spiritual sterility.”
― A.W. Tozer, The Radical Cross: Living the Passion of Christ

3. It is all about Jesus

Luke 14:33 (NIV)
33 In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

Part of being His disciple is recognizing that everything I have and everything I am belongs to Jesus.

I am change in His pocket that He can spend however He wants.

Jesus has an interesting encounter with the rich young ruler in Mark 10:

Mark 10:17-22 (NIV)
17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.'” 20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” 21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

The idea isn’t that to be His disciple you need to take a vow of poverty, the issue is that anything that is on the throne of your heart that isn’t Jesus needs to be removed.

You may be thinking that it seems like it costs a lot to be a disciple. It does. However, it costs way more not to be His disciple. Real life, full life, now and forever life is only found in Jesus. If you are settling for anything other than being a disciple of Jesus, you are missing out.

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