How hard is it to be a disciple of Jesus?
Today’s passage is Luke 14:26-28 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, and even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. “For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?” (CSB)
Sometimes, you’ll hear a pastor talk about this verse in Luke 14:26 and some of the verses following this and they’ll make it sound like a disciple is some “special” Christian. This person hates their family and they take up their cross daily.
Going back to the story that began in verse 16, we find that Jesus is talking about how hard it is to consistently follow Jesus. We run into this problem in Follower of One all the time. People sign up for the Marketplace Mission Trip thinking there will be nothing to it.
Often, the problem with the mission trip lies in our affections. We didn’t count the cost of reading a devotional every day. We didn’t bake time into our schedule to spend praying for our coworkers. We let any one of hundreds of things keep us from making the calls at night.
Jesus is simply saying that if we don’t count the cost, and put following Him above everything else, we won’t do it.
The Marketplace Mission Trip is a perfect example. On the mission trip, we ask people to read a devotional daily. We also encourage them to pray for the people they will see daily. And we ask them to make somewhere between 3 and 8 video calls over 2 weeks. Almost 80% of the people who sign up for the trip fail to do those things.
As a Christ-follower, we know joy comes from presence with Jesus. But so many of us leave him in the car, or in the desk while we’re at work. Many of us leave him at home. We make momentary choices daily that exclude Jesus. Through the mission trips, we’ve experienced the joy of seeing God work when we pray for our coworkers. And the next day, we have the same problem.
Jesus is simply saying, don’t underestimate our fallen spirit. We love the things we love more than we think. We will have problems. That’s why we created Follower of One. If you’re a member of our community, we pray for you. We ask God to help you enjoy your relationship with him daily. But if you don’t put him first, it will never happen.
If you want the joy of following Jesus, regardless of your job or life situation, you must treasure him more than anything else. Why not practice that with us on the next Marketplace Mission Trip. Do it one day at a time. You can start today. Take a minute right now and ask God who you can pray for that you will see in the next 24 hours. Then tell God that you’ll do whatever he wants you to do in that person’s life. When you meet that person, you’ll be on a mission trip.
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