37 Luke 9.57-62
v Opening Illustration
One of my best friends once moved several mile closer to where he worked because he figured out that he would save almost 2 weeks a year in commuting.
It is interesting where we spend our time when we think about it…
A study revealed that an average seventy-year-old man has spent
? 24 years sleeping,
? 14 years working,
? 8 years in amusements,
? 6 years at the dinner table,
? 5 years in transportation,
? 4 years in conversation,
? 3 years in education,
? and 2 years in studying and reading.
His other four years were spent in miscellaneous pursuits. Of those 4 years, he spent 45 minutes in church on Sundays, and 5 minutes were devoted to prayer each day.
This adds up to a not at all impressive total of 5 months that he gave to God over the seventy years of his life.
Even if this man had been a faithful churchgoer who attended Sunday school and three one-hour services per week, he would have spent only one year and nine months in church!
I challenge you, sit down and figure out how you have been using your time. How large a portion of it is for the things of God?
v For most of us, we do this in retrospect
Ø But what Jesus is saying to us today is…
§ Really consider the consequences before you commit your life to Christ
READ v. 57-58
v Through this first encounter we see Jesus really asking the man to…
Count the Cost (v. 57-58)
v Sadhu Sundar Singh
Ø Brought up in privileged Hindu family in India
Ø Dramatic conversion experience in 1905
Ø Renounced by his father and ostracized from family
Ø October 16, 1906 began nomadic life
§ "I am not worthy to follow in the steps of my Lord, but, like Him, I want no home, no possessions. Like Him I will belong to the road, sharing the suffering of my people, eating with those who will give me shelter, and telling all men of the love of God."
Ø Took only New Testament, never again having a place to lay his head
Ø For 25 years traveled village to village
Ø 1929 set off for Tibet and was never seen again
v Sadhu Sundar Singh’s life is a testimony to what Christ said here
Ø But let’s face it…
§ Jesus is not calling everyone to live a nomadic life, is he?
· The fact is that 99.9% of all Christians who have ever lived have had a home
Ø So what did Jesus mean by challenging us in this way?
§ In a true sense, when we become followers / disciples of Christ, we actually do become nomadic
· We trade one home for another
¨ Phil 3:20 ~ Citizenship is in heaven
¨ 2 Cor 5:8
Ø We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord
v The truth is…
v Our home is no longer here!
Ø And that is Radical
§ Home is one of the most basic needs in our life
· We say…
¨ “Home is where the heart is”
Ø Yet following Jesus requires us to radically reorient ourselves
§ This life is a pilgrimage
§ This life is nomadic
· And if you think of the nomadic life
¨ It makes sense that the Lord would want it this way
· The nomadic life is characterized by a…
¨ Willingness to leave
Ø This we see in missionaries
§ E.g. Dave and Ginny Philips
Ø For us maybe it is a willingness to go where the Lord leads
· The nomadic life is characterized by a…
¨ Not getting attached
Ø Nomads constantly are on the move
Ø Never putting down roots
Ø Never building permanent foundations
Ø Never getting attached to a certain place
§ That is perhaps the hardest thing for us to do
§ This world becomes “home”
· And that is deadly to a Christian
¨ Illustration: Shawshank Redemption
Ø Andy Duphrain sent to prison for life for a murder he did not commit
Ø One thing he did not do was to consider Shawshank prison home
Ø He always dreamed of being released
Ø Always dreamed of getting out
Ø Always hoped beyond the walls of the prison
Ø Always lived outside the walls
§ Thus that gave him freedom inside those walls
v Jesus asks us here to Count the Cost of a nomadic life
Ø And be willing to give up even the most important things for him
The story is told that when James Calvert went out as a missionary to the cannibals of the Fiji Islands, the captain of the ship that had carried him there tried to turn him back by saying, "You will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages."
Calvert's reply demonstrated that he had truly counted the cost. He turned to the captain and said, "We died before we came here."
v Calvert understood the nomadic life and that this was not his home!
Ø When you get tempted by this life
§ Remember what Jesus said in Mk 10:29-30
· Peter had just exclaimed that he had left everything to follow Jesus
¨ Jesus said…
¨ I tell you the truth, no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much…in the age to come, eternal life
v Jesus challenges us in another way in the following 2 verses
READ v. 59-60
v We have all seen or heard of the movie
Ø Dead Poets Society
§ Famous scene where Robin Williams takes students into the hall to look at old picture
· Carpe Diem
v That is what Jesus is telling us through this text
Carpe Diem (v. 59-60)
v The text can be a little confusing…
Ø Father not dead
§ Really asking to wait until Father dies
· In other words…
¨ I will do what you say “In my own sweet time”
Ø That is how many react to many of Jesus’ calls on our life
Many people say…
v “In my own sweet time” to…Salvation
Ø Many people are not negative toward the Gospel
§ They just don’t want the restriction on their life
· They actually do count the cost
¨ And they want to keep their lifestyle
Ø Many people want to follow Christ, but just not now
§ Luke 12:16-21
· This very night your life will be demanded from you.
Ø When the Lord calls you…ANSWER THAT CALL!
§ Carpe diem salvation
Many people say…
v “In my own sweet time” to…Discipleship
Ø GK Chesterton
§ Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it's been found difficult and not tried.
Ø The Scriptures teach us that true discipleship, growth, maturing as a Christian, sanctification is many times hard
§ Come by way of trials, tests, suffering, difficulties
· These are opportunities for you
Ø But, the Lord does not force you to grow, mature
§ You have to see the end product as worth going through these times
· We can sidestep those times if we desire
¨ And that is what some people do
Ø They say, “I don’t want to go through that discipleship training now.”
Ø They say, “I’ll take this easy road versus that difficult one.”
§ “In my own sweet time”
Ø There is a very real way to grow in this church
§ Serving on a ministry, committee or being a deacon
· It is a difficult to balance your time
· It is a growth process
¨ But it is an opportunity for you to grow
Ø When the Lord calls…
§ Carpe Diem
Many people say…
v “In my own sweet time” to…Evangelism
Ø I believe that there are a lot of excuses in Christianity for not evangelizing
§ I don’t have the gift
§ I don’t have the time
§ I don’t have enough knowledge
· But the worst one is…
¨ I don’t have a relationship with the person
Ø But Col 4:5 says…
§ Make the most of every opportunity
Ø Praise Song: You’re the only Jesus
If not in you, I wonder where
will they ever see the One who really cares?
If not from you, how will they find
There's One who heals the broken heart, and gives sight to the blind?
And if not you, I wonder who,
will show them love, and love alone can make things new?
If not from you, how will they learn
There's one who'll trade their hopelessness and give joy in return?
You're the only Jesus that some will ever see
And you're the only words of life, some will ever read
So let them see in you the One in whom is all they'll ever need
'Cause you're the only Jesus, some will ever see
Ø This is why we have to Carpe Diem evangelism!
§ 1 Pet 3:15
· Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have
v The last warning Jesus gives us is found in v. 61-62
READ V. 61-61
No Lukewarm Commitment (v. 61-62)
v Following Jesus is an all or nothing proposition
Ø If you decide to follow Jesus…
§ Don’t even look back!
· B/c when you look back, you give the Devil that foothold of…
Ø Look what I could have been
Ø Look what I could have had
Ø Look what I could have done
§ And regret breeds Lukewarm commitment
v Jesus says, never look back because he requires…
Ø Total commitment
§ I’m sure Jesus had 1 Kg 19:19-21(p. 560) in mind when he was saying this
· Elijah’s call to Elisha
¨ Elisha was displaying that he was never coming back to farm
Ø Totally committed to following Elijah
Fernando Cortez landed in Mexico in 1519 with several hundred Spaniards. His mission was to conquer the Aztecs and capture their gold. Cortez knew that they were outnumbered and that there would be a great temptation on the part of the soldiers to go back to Spain. So he did a very interesting thing, he burned the ships they came on. There was no retreat now. The soldiers had excellent motivation to go forward since there was no going back!
§ I wonder…
· What do we have to burn in our life in order to be totally committed to Jesus Christ?
· What do we have to burn so that we are never lukewarm?
v For we know the outcome of lukewarm commitment
Ø It is the lesson of Laodicea
§ Rev 3:15-16
· I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth
¨ Today the church of Laodicea is no more!
v No one can say that John Wesley had lukewarm commitment
Ø He travelled more than 250,000 miles on horseback
Ø Preached more than 40,000 sermons
§ To put this in perspective…
· The average minister today preaches 3,000 in his career
Ø Wrote, translated, or edited, more than 200 books
Ø Founded the methodist denomination that at the time of his death was 135,000 strong.
v Before he began his ministry, he made a covenant with God which we still have
Ø It is clear by reading this that he realized the cost of following Jesus
§ And burned everything
v I am no longer mine, but yours.
v Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will.
v Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
v Let me be employed by you or laid aside for you,
v Exalted for you or brought low by you.
v Let me be full, let me be empty.
v Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
v I freely and heartily yield all things to your pleasure and disposal.
v And now, 0 glorious and blessed God,
v Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
v You are mine, and I am yours. So be it.
v And the covenant which I have made on earth,
v Let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.
§ May this be our covenant as well
· As we count the cost of following Jesus
§ Following Jesus requires Radical Commitment