Friday, April 24, 2009

The High Cost of Discipleship, con’t

So Sunday I’ll be preaching on the “When” of Spiritual Victory. The When is Today. Living for the King Today is what discipleship is all about. I will use Luke 9 as my text, particularly vs 23. “Then He said to them all, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”’ (New King James Version) Daily we are to take up the mantle of Christ and carry the cross. This means the dying of self, daily. Later, in vs 57-62, three would-be disciples come and then go in disappointment. The cost were to high. Like the rich young ruler, they went away discouraged because they had much to loose. The real problem is that they had so very much more to gain.

But they, like many of us, cannot see past the limited sight of our future. Very intuitive people can see the probability of events taking place. They generally make good business people. Most of us see a very short distance into the future. Maybe a few hours. Even then we are often surprised. The car accident, phone call from the school, or other surprise upsets our apple cart. (One is quickly pulled back to 9/11) So these would-be disciples looked into the limited future and saw obstacles to following Jesus. Their problem was a lack of faith in who He was.

There is a theology floating about these days called Open Theism. Basically, it means that God cannot see into the future, nor can He control events in a drastic way. Oh, He may be able to see something coming, like a master chess player observing where His advisory is headed with a move. But He does not know for sure. What blasphemy! In-other-words, God was just as shocked about the presidential election as I was. He really couldn’t believe the outcome, even though He could sense the outcome. Let me tell you something people, God has never had to go sit on a stump and think things over. (I go walking around the cemetery when I need “thinking time”) Let me say it this way. Has it ever occurred to you, that nothing has ever occurred to God? Think about that.

The would-be’s didn’t trust that Jesus knew what was best for them. Let me go and bury my father. (He was staking his financial claim. Let me sew up my inheritance, then I’ll follow you.) Let me say good bye to my friends, says another. (Let me make sure I have a place to come back to if Your plan fails, Jesus.) The other leaves with out offering an excuse. He “hears” that Jesus doesn’t have a plan. Foxes and birds have no plan. "If Jesus has no plan, I’m outta here."

But Jesus calls us to faith as disciples. We trust in Him. We put our entire being into His care. It is what faith is all about. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. True discipleship is about trust. I place my trust in Him.



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