How did you become a Christian? Was it a ritual you had done to you as an infant? Was it something you “confirmed” along with everyone in your age group at your church? Was it when you recited a sinners’ prayer led by a speaker promising a better life and offering a quick way to salvation (usually minus acknowledgement of your actual sins, and heartfelt repentance)? Sadly, too many who claim the title “Christian” through these means live their lives disconnected from Christ, unaware of the Truth of God’s Word, or they’ve become disillusioned, as their lives didn’t turn out as great as they thought. The reason is few were warned to FIRST “count the cost”. Jesus was clear—you must die to this life, take up your cross, and obey Him as He says, “Follow Me!” Here today to show us the whats, hows and whys of doing just that is our favorite teacher & author Kathi McCarty.
Table Talk Notes
Luke 9:57-62 | As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
There is a cost…
Jesus lays out the demands of truly and faithfully following Him in no uncertain terms:
- Followers of Jesus have no earthly security.
- Followers of Jesus have no earthy ties.
- Followers of Jesus have no earthly distractions.
No earthly security…
- Jesus acknowledges that following Him won’t be easy.
- Jesus had no “home” Matt 8:20-22
- He borrowed a coin to tell a story. Matt 22:15-22
- He borrowed a donkey to ride into Jerusalem. Matt 21, Mark 11, Luke 19
- He was buried in a borrowed tomb. Matt 27:59-60, John 19:41-42
- Our only security is in God’s faithfulness. Luke 12:13-21
No earthly ties…
Lk 14:26 | “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. – The claims of His Kingdom come before anything and anyone else.
Mark 3:31-35 | And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
Mark 10:29-30 | Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.
Pressed into a choice, we must choose Him… and leave “it” behind. Our preferences, our needs, and our desires must be submitted to Him and to His call upon our lives.
No earthly distractions…
Jesus is saying, “The Master has called. Count the cost, then don’t look back. Stick to the task at hand.”
Lk 14:28 | “Which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down & calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation & is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him saying, ‘This man began to build & was not able to finish.’”
“The Christian landscape is strewn w/the wreckage of derelict, half-built towers – the ruins of those who began to build & were unable to finish. Thousands of people still ignore Christ’s warning & undertake to follow Him without first pausing to reflect on the cost of doing so. The result is the great scandal of Christendom today. ..We have allowed ourselves to become somewhat involved; enough to be respectable but not enough to be uncomfortable.” // John Stott
So what will it cost?
It will cost you EVERYTHING!
- Jesus said to the first man, “Count the cost.”
- To the second man, He said, “Leave it behind.”
- And to the third, He demanded, “Don’t look back.”
How can anyone do it?
Simple answer – we can’t…unless we hear Jesus ask us to.
Lk 5:27+ | “…and He noticed a tax collector named Levi, sitting in the tax office, & said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he left everything behind…and began to follow Him.”
Mt 4:19+ | “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they immediately left the nets and followed Him.”
Have you heard Jesus say to you “Follow Me!”? What has been your response?
“It is the spirit who gives life; the flesh has no benefits whatsoever; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” ~Jesus in Jn 6:63~
“…for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also…”