"Where Is Jesus In My Life?"
1. It is interesting to note that the effect of God's prophecy on John and Ezekiel: sweet to eat, but hard to stomach (Ezekiel 3:1-3; Revelation 10:9,10). The section we'll be looking at today parallels this except for the sweet taste.
2. This scripture challenges us where we come from. We've become so individualistic that we are no longer interested in collective freedom except our own!
3. What would it take to make us more loving, more caring and less selfish? What would motivate us in ways that would carry the church to new heights? See Luke 14:25-35.
4. Last time we talked about the concept of the Lordship of Christ. Today the practice of the Lordship of Christ: Where is Jesus in My Life?
I. First Condition: COMING AND BECOMING - Luke 14:25-27
A. Many came, but who would continue to follow?
B. The first two absolutes in discipleship...
1. Holy Hatred: a concept of priorities - can anything come between God and me?
a. How would I feel about anything coming between me and a loved one? You'd hate that person for trying to break up that relationship.
b. The issue at work in Matthew 10:34-39 - although the idea of "more than me" may not be at work here! Jesus is THE center of every relationship, or else the relationship is not what it should be. The basic teaching of Christianity: in everything, Christ has control, has the preeminence.
2. Who We Are and How We Follow: concept of position - dying to follow.
a. Much is said about the death concept: Matthew 16:24-26; "daily" - Luke 9:23; Romans 6:1-11 with John 12:24.26.
b. We follow "after" (literally "behind" when used to describe position). The only way to follow is from behind, or is it (James 4:13-17)?!?
II. Reflection: COUNTING THE COST - Luke 14:28-32
A. The Builder and the Tower: starting to finish.
1. The issue is going to the end: Gil Dodds was the record holder for the indoor mile in 1951, but didn't have what was known as a finishing kick. Dodds said, "...in place of the sprint, God gave me stamina."
2. Finish what you start. To do that takes planning! The word for "sit down" carries the idea of active contemplation (see Revelation 3:2; Philippians 3:15,16).
B. The King and the Battle: counsel to survival...
1. The old hit of the Bee Gee's "Stayin' Alive" illustrates the principle here. "Am I strong enough?" is the question.
2. Does this teach compromise? NO! But it stresses contemplation. Have I done enough reflection on my spiritual life?
III. Second Condition: GIVE IT UP - Luke 14:33
A. What does this mean?? Word for "give up" carries with it the idea of assigning something to someone or saying good-bye to someone or something. "Possessions" mean what it takes to live. The idea of surrender is inherent here (see Matthew 19:16-30).
B. What does Jesus want? Total service free from entanglements (2 Timothy 2:4)!
IV. Example: SALT: GOOD OR WORTHLESS - Luke 14:34-35
A. No in-betweens in this: Either you are salt, or you are without season: worthless!
B. No gradients. Either a disciple, or not.
Conclusion: Are you meeting the conditions and thinking about the cost of commitment?