Sermon Passages: Luke 14:25-33
3 Paradigm Shifts:
- All Christians are disciple-makers
- All Christians are qualified to be disciple-makers
- Renounce all you have (today's sermon)
In Luke 14:25-33, Jesus tells us that in order to be his disciples, we must hate our family and prepare for a gruesome execution (take up our cross). To be sure, the Bible also tells us that hating our brother is murder (1 John 3:15), and it says that if you don't love your brother, you can't love God (1 John 4:20). Then what is Jesus saying here?
Jesus is shocking us with radical statements to impress upon us how important it is that he is challenging our idea of what a disciple is. Christ is challenging our allegiances and asking us if he's on top. If not, "You cannot be my disciple."
The apostles left everything to follow Christ and become missionaries, but that doesn't mean we all have to. The apostles planted churches in cities and didn't ask everyone to quit their day job. On the contrary, most were to transform their lives right in their own hometown. The real question is this: What are the most important things in your life, and how would your life change if you renounced those for Christ? When thinking about where you should be, shame shouldn't motivate obedience. Just focus on your next step, not step 50. Here's just a few diagnostic questions:
- Schedule: Does Christ pushed to the side, only getting your leftover time? We stop growing only when we place other things as more important than Christ.
- Money: What motivates you to spend money? Do you spend liberally on your own comfort and only use the leftovers for serving others? Do you give only if it doesn't infringe upon your goals or financial security?
- Family: Are your kids the center of the universe? God should be. Teach them hold God as the priority by showing them that he is yours. John Maxwell says, "You teach what you know, but you can only reproduce what you are." If your kids had to define a disciple of Christ by your example alone, what would they say? Do they get to see you breaking your back to serve others? Are they ever taught why you make the decisions you do? Maybe they would define a disciple as someone who is always at home or never at home, maybe defining service as just writing a check once in a while or defining it by the way they see your heart breaking over the sin of others and helping them even while being helped by them.