Luke 14:15-35

Luke 14:15-35

If I want to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, I have to be willing to give up me.How many of you have ever felt that God is an ogre? Or that God was mean? That God didn’t really care. That God must be sitting up there judging you and punishing you somehow because of the circumstances of your life. Have you ever thought that? Have you ever felt that? First and foremost, God’s Word tells us God is love. He sent Jesus to show us God is love. When He brought Israel out of Egypt, He said to them, I’m bringing you out because I love you, so love me and love your neighbor. You know what? The problems that we have in life are not because God doesn’t love us. It’s not because God is sitting up there ready to zap us with lightning. It’s not because He wants to judge and condemn us. We are in the problem of life that we’re in because we’ve created the problem of life that we’re in. And sometimes, sometimes, the problems that have been created by men, the lack of love that has been shown by men, even begin to affect those that are innocent within our society. Does it mean that God doesn’t love them? No. God created men to have relationship with Him…

You’re crazy if you reject the invitation of God. But who is it that’s called crazy in our society? Those who believe in the Person and the Name of Jesus Christ. But, in fact, we’re not the ones who are crazy. It is those who have rejected the invitation already, who’ve made excuses over and over again so that they will not find themselves there…

We do not need to fear those in society that are poor and hurting, and we do not need to fear the strangers in society around us. We need to offer to them, extend to them the invitation to be part of this great banquet that we are going to in God’s home…

Yes, Jesus will let men stand outside. Yes, Jesus will come to the place where He finally says, “Enough is enough.” Jesus does not condemn any man to hell. Men choose to go to hell because they reject the invitation that He has offered to them. Men want to live their own lives. They want to have their circumstances in life the way they want them, but then when things get hard, Who’s the first person they complain to? Who is it that gets accused of the hard times in our life?…

And sometimes I don’t think we allow Jesus to get blunt with us. We hide from His bluntness. We hide from the hard things that He would say to us… You need to be firm in what you believe. Are you willing to turn away from your father and your mother? Are you willing to turn away from your children? And even, yes, your husband or wife to follow after Jesus? Jesus is not telling anyone to leave these people. But you know what? When you begin to love Jesus, sometimes those family members around you do not understand your love for Him, and they will apply pressure to you to try to get you to see things their way. After all, you’ve got to be reasonable about this… But Jesus has just said it. We must be ready to deny our very lives if we say that we want to be His disciple. We have to be ready and willing to walk away from me…

If I want to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, I have to be willing to give up me. I have to be willing to give up you. I have to be willing to stand against the opposition that would come that would say I have to conform to the thinking of society…

If you think that following Jesus is fun and games…you’ve got another thing coming. Believing in, trusting in, and following after Jesus Christ can be very, very difficult, very challenging, and sometimes He asks things of us that we don’t want to do. And sometimes He asks us to sacrifice things that everybody around us would say, “You are crazy for giving that up. You are crazy for doing that, for going in that direction.” And even our families would, once again, apply pressure to us to get us to go a different direction. That’s counting the cost…

Are you willing to give up everything? Have you taken stock of what you have and who you are? And are you willing to stand firm with Jesus through the hardships as you build your life in Him?

Dave Elkins

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Luke 14:1-14