Sermon Titled “The Cost of Discipleship” (Luke 14:25-33) – based on Week 8 of the Experiencing God study – Sunday 8th March, 2015
- Luke 14:27 “And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”
There are two critical turning points when it comes to knowing and doing the will of God:
- Crisis of Belief – that moment when you know that God is calling you to do something, but you immediately have doubts. Without faith at these crucial moments, you will almost certainly make the wrong decisions.
- Adjustment of Life – everyone in the Bible who received a calling from God had to make some major life adjustments. David for example, had to leave his flock of sheep in order to become a king. He stepped out in faith, trusting that once he made the necessary life adjustments, that God would accomplish through him what He had purposed to do, and in his case, it was to make him a king.
Obedience is never easy; it often involves making life adjustments that are costly not only to one’s self but to others as well. Responding to a calling from God may require life adjustments that concern specific circumstances, relationships, thinking patterns, commitments, actions, or beliefs, and any time we need to make changes in one or more of these areas, it’s likely that our changes will have a direct bearing on those involved in the “specifics.”
Such acts of obedience rely on our willingness to make sacrifices, and honestly, while some reading this may not want to make the kinds of sacrifices that God asks of us, Jesus doesn’t really give us an option. He says very clearly that we must deny ourselves if we choose to follow Him. Sure, no one wants to be told to give up things that they’d rather hold on to, but unless Christians understand that becoming a disciple is the next, and expected step after receiving salvation, most will lack the faith to obey.
In Luke 14: 25, we are told that large crowds of people traveled with, and followed Jesus; however it’s likely that they followed Him because they had seen or heard of the miracles He had performed in the lives of others, and so they anticipated, perhaps, more miracles – and hopefully in their own lives.
The truth though, is that God is not looking for a crowd of followers who are hoping for just the blessings and miracles; He is looking for those among the crowd who are willing to follow Him, and pay the cost of doing so.
So, even though our steps of faith and obedience will most likely result in some uncomfortable life adjustments, each step will most certainly lead us to a more intimate relationship with God, and to opportunities to do things that we would could never accomplish on our own.
David Livingstone, a Scottish Congregationalist pioneer medical missionary, understood fully what he would gain by denying himself and taking up his cross daily to follow Christ; his words should inspire us to seek the same:
- “Lord, send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. Sever any tie but the tie that binds me to Thyself.”