Archive for August 19th, 2008

Potential Disciples, Beware!

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

Today’s scripture: Luke 14:34-35 (ESV-text and audio) (KJV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Steve Adams):

When talking to the crowds about the requirements of discipleship in verses 26-33, Jesus certainly doesn’t entice them with benefits like, “Follow me and you’ll live an abundant life here on earth, gaining more wisdom than you ever dreamed of! And not only that, you’ll gain eternal life! Jump in while you can — you may never have this opportunity again!” No, instead, He lets them know that they’ll need to love Him even more than father, mother, brother, sister, spouse — yes, even more than life itself — and that anyone who doesn’t carry their cross cannot be His disciple. So, they need to count the cost!

Then He summarizes with the illustration about salt. If it’s lost its saltiness — if it can’t season our food or preserve it — then it’s good only to be thrown into the trash. In other words, if it’s lost its purpose, then it’s worthless. So, does that mean if I don’t live out my purpose as a disciple, then I’m only good for the trash heap? Ouch! (Those of you who have heard Rev. Belva Boone’s wonderful sermon at Jesus MCC on August 10, 2008 know what I mean, right?!)

Well, yes, I think Jesus means that, but let’s put it in perspective. This is our Savior and Shepherd talking here — the one who would never leave us when the wolf comes to snatch us and scatter us. Yes, this is the One who never abandons His sheep, and even lays down His life for them (John 10:11-15).

So we can soften the “salt warnings” to the point where we continue to live exactly as we have been, without even permitting them to challenge us, right? No! No doubt about it — these words challenge us to the core! When Jesus talks about the Shepherd in John 10, He also speaks of a thief and a wolf. Yes, there are spiritual enemies who pursue God’s people (Ephesians 6:12). The wolf will try to scare us, and then present us with some attractive, pleasurable path that will ultimately build his kingdom, not God’s. It’s at that point we hopefully realize how sacred the path of righteousness is, and start walking it again, fully rejoicing in every purposeful step we take with our Lord and Savior.

Thought for the day: Am I ready to be as honest with the Lord Jesus Christ as He is with me?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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