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Faithlife

55 Luke 14.25-35

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Are you a “Salty” Christian

Luke 14:25-35

v    The word apprentice is the modern word for disciple

Ø     Defines as…

§        One who attached themselves to a teacher in order to learn a trade or a subject

·        This style of learning has died out in the 20th and 21st centuries

v    However…

Ø     Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice”

§        Driven People

§        Focused Individuals

§        Willing to give up anything and everything to be Trump’s apprentice

·        These men and women have counted the cost of success and are willing to pay it

¨     Because to live in Trump’s world

Ø     You have to eat, sleep and breath business

v    That is exactly what Jesus wants…

Ø     Apprentices

§        He wants people that are willing to sacrifice

§        He wants people who are driven and focused on the Kingdom of God

§        He wants people who are willing to eat, sleep and breath Christianity

§        He wants people who are willing to count the cost of Discipleship

READ 14:25-27

The Cost

v    Here Jesus is traveling to Jerusalem and he has large crowds following him

Ø     And he does something quite unorthodox

§        He discourages people from following him

·        In effect…

¨     He builds a wall

·        He does not motivate the crowd to stay with him…

¨     But actually encourages them not to

Ø     Usually when something or someone is gaining popularity or momentum

§        You do nothing to impede the growth

·        But that is not what Jesus does

¨     Here he stops and challenges his followers with hard words

Ø     Not the first time he has done this

§        Over and over again he was invited to prestigious home

·        Over and over again he challenges the guests and hosts with difficult teachings of truth

§        Over and Over again he was asked to teach in the synagogues

·        Over and over again he chose the harder teachings of truth

§        Over and Over again he spoke to thousands from hilltops and slopes

·        Over and Over again he told his hearers…

¨     The Christian life is tougher than you think

Ø     Adultery is not committing the act…

§        It is even lusting about it

Ø     Killing is not pushing the knife into somebody…

§        It is slandering their character

Ø     Love is not only to be given to your friend…

§        But to your enemy as well

Ø     When you are hurt, don’t retaliate…

§        But offer the other cheek as well

Ø     Not only do good deeds…

§        But don’t take credit for them either

Ø     When someone asks you to carry something for one mile…

§        Go two!

Ø     Jesus challenged his hearers again and again in every aspect of life…

§        In Prayer

§        In Fasting

§        In Worrying

§        In Giving

§        In Judging

·        Each time saying in effect…

¨     The Christian life requires more than you think

 

v    And so finally here Jesus stops, turns to the crowd and says…

v    You had better really think about whether or not you want to follow me because…

Ø     I demand to be #1

Ø     That’s the

§        Relationship Cost

·        That’s what Jesus meant by “hating” mother, brother, wife, children, etc

·        No other relationship is to be ahead of me

¨     In fact, in comparison to the love you have for me…

Ø     All other relationships will seem like hate

·        Re-prioritizing your life

v    You had better really think about whether or not you want to follow me because…

Ø     I demand total sacrifice

Ø     That’s the

§        Sacrificial Cost

·        That’s what “taking up your cross and following Jesus” means

¨     A willingness to give up everything for the sake of Christ

·        When we sang “Take my Life and Let it Be” a few moments ago

¨     Do we really mean it?

Ø     We sing for the Lord to…

§        Take my hands

§        Take my voice

§        Take my silver and Gold

§        Take my will

§        Take my love…

·        Do we really mean it?

Ø     We sang…

§        “Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to thee”

·        Do we really mean it?

¨     Because sometimes discipleship means giving your life!

In the 17th century Margaret Wilson, a Scottish girl of eighteen, was sentenced to death because she would not swear loyalty to the King of England and revoke her commitment to Christ.

She was taken down to the beach and tied to a stake at the waterline and low tide. The water slowly covered her while she engaged in prayer. As the water began covering her head, they pulled her up till she recovered the power of speech, and was asked to recant her faith and swear to the King or be returned to the water.

Young Margaret Wilson firmly replied, “I will not; I am one of Christ’s children! Let me go.”

Upon which she was re-staked and drowned.

Ø     There are thousands, Millions of those “Margaret Wilsons” in Christian hostory

§        People that were willing to give up everything, up to and including their lives

v    But the fact of the matter is…

Ø     Most Christians are not called to give up their physical life

§        But that does not mean that death does not occur

Ø     You see…

§        Discipleship is a dying process

§        True discipleship is a continual series of deaths

·        Death to Love of money

¨     But that death is not an end in itself

Ø     It gives birth to Generosity

·        Death to Anger

¨     Gives birth to Gentleness, kindness

·        Death to Pride

¨     Gives birth to Humility

·        Death to self

¨     Gives birth to Christ-likeness

v    Those are the crosses that you and I must bear to follow Jesus

Ø     So Jesus warns the large crowd…

§        Consider these things before you start following me

·        Count the cost of following me

v    The Counting

Ø     In every sphere of life we are called upon to count the cost

§        New Job

·        What it entails

§        Playing Sports

·        Physical conditioning

·        Time commitment

§        Marriage (2nd biggest decision you make in this lifetime)

·        Dating

·        Engagement

·        Pre-marital counseling

·        Vows

¨     “Marriage is not to be entered into lightly…”

v    Giving your life to Christ…

Ø     Deciding to follow Jesus is the biggest decision you will ever make

§        So here Jesus warns us to count the cost through two short parables

·        The Tower and the War

READ 14:28-33

v    The War

v    The parable of the war teaches us a hard truth

Ø     Count the cost of opposing God

§        Illustration of General counting the cost of a battle here

v    The Bible is painfully clear that there are only two sides in this spiritual war

Ø     Jesus said on more than one occasion

§        If you are not with me, you are against me

Ø     Col 1:21

§        Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior

v    You see…

Ø     In this parable, Jesus is the King with greater forces than you

§        The point is…

·        Count the Cost of opposing God

Ø     Think of it this way…

§        Your are in the middle

·        You can choose Christ, become a friend of Christ’s

¨     And thus become an enemy of the world

Ø     Sacrificing the things that this world can give you for the next

Ø     Or you can choose the world, become a friend of the world

§        Thus becoming an enemy of the King

·        James 4:4

¨     Friendship with the world is hatred toward God. Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God

Ø     What Jesus is saying is…

§        Count the cost!

·        Count the cost of becoming an enemy of the much stronger King of Kings who has unsurpassing power

¨     This is a sobering thought!

Ø      Matt 10:28

§        Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell

Ø     The advice given in the parable is…

§        Count the cost and Sue for peace!

¨     Romans 5:1

Ø     We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand

§        The only way to have peace with God is through Jesus Christ

·        Sue for peace

v    The parable of the tower teaches us a different truth…

v    The Tower

Ø     Probably a vineyard tower

§        Built to protect fields from thieves

Ø     Point Jesus is making is that it is folly to start something and not complete it

§        It is folly to not count the cost of completion

 

Illustration: McCaig’s Folly

The skyline above the town of Oban in Scotland is dominated by a single building which looks like a replica of the Coliseum in Rome.

(show Overhead)

It is officially known as "McCaig's Tower" but over the years it has come to be called "McCaig's Folly".

The tower’s construction began in 1897 by a local banker, John Stuart McCaig.  McCaig wanted this building to be an everlasting testimony to himself and his family. Originally the apertures were to be filled with statues of his ancestors.

However, the tower was never completed and the shell of a building echoes the shell that remains of this man’s reputation.

It stands as a testament to the folly of not finishing what was started.

Ø     Jesus says it is folly to not count the cost before you decide to follow him

·        Listen to how Isaac Watts puts it in his famous hymn

¨     “When I survey the Wondrous Cross

Were the whole realm of nature mine,

That were a present far too small;

Love so amazing, so divine,

Demands my soul, my life, my all.

§        So Jesus says to you and me…

·        Finish what you start

¨     Count the cost of Completion

 

Ø     And finally Jesus cautions everyone who decides to follow him

READ 14:33-35

v    The Caution

Ø     Salt in the ancient world was used in many ways

§        As a Preservative

·        Meats

§        As a Purifying agent

·        Wounds

§        As a Fertilizer

·        Helps crops grow

§        As a Seasoning

·        Brings out flavor

¨     As a result, it also makes you thirsty!

v    In each case, salt performs a function

Ø     In the same way, as disciples, we are to perform certain functions

§        As disciples…

·        We are to be a preserving agent

¨     By helping to retard the growth of evil and decay

§        As disciples…

·        We are to be a Purifying agent

¨     By cautioning people in their speech and lifestyle

§        As disciples…

·        We are to be a fertilizing agent

¨     By Helping people to grow

¨     Discipling your fellow Christians

¨     Encouraging one another

§        As disciples…

·        We are to be a Seasoning agent

¨     William Barclay says in his commentary…

Ø     A Christianity that is all doom and gloom and acts like a wet blanket is not true Christianity. By our courage, hope, cheerfulness and kindness we are to bring new flavor to life!

§        And as a result of being seasoning in a bland and tasteless world…

·        Our lives should be lived in such a way as to make people thirsty for Jesus Christ!

¨     Just as when your tongue comes in contact with salt produces the sensation of thirst…

Ø     So when people come in contact with us they should say…

§        “What makes you so different?”

§        “Why are you so different?”

v    That is being a “salty” Christian

Ø     We are to live our lives in public in such a way as to making people thirsty for Jesus Christ!

v    However, the caution here by Jesus is…

Ø     If you lose your saltiness

Ø     If you have failed to count the Cost of Discipleship

Ø     If you have not committed yourself beforehand

Ø     If you have not prepared beforehand for the journey…

§        It leads to death

v    Franklin Expedition Illustration

In 1845, Sir John Franklin and 138 officers and men embarked from England to find the northwest passage across the high Canadian Arctic to the Pacific Ocean. They sailed in two ships, the terror and the Erebus. In preparation for the two or three year voyage, each sailing vessel carried an extra steam engine and a twelve-day supply of coal.

According to L.P. Kirwan, instead of additional coal, each ship made room for (get this!) a 1,200-volume library, a player piano which played fifty tunes, china place settings for offi­cers and men, cut-glass wine goblets, and sterling silver flatware, which had the officers’ initials and family crest engraved on the han­dles. The expedition carried no special clothing for the Arctic, only the uni­forms of Her Majesty's Navy.

The ships set out amid enormous glory and fan­fare. Two months later a British whaling captain reported back to England that he had met the expedition and that they were in high spirits.

He was the last European to see any of them alive.

Years later, it was learned that many groups of Inuit ­Eskimos had seen the Franklin expedition.

?   It was reported that some had glimpsed men pulling a wooden boat across the ice.

?   Other Inuits had found, at a place called Starvation Cove, a small boat, and the remains of the thirty-five men who had been dragging it.

?   At Terror Bay the Inuit found a tent on the ice, and in it, thirty bodies.

?   Accompanying another clump of frozen bodies were place settings of sterling silver flatware engraved with officers' initials and family crests.

?   At Simpson Strait some Eskimos had seen a very odd sight: The pack ice pierced by the three protrud­ing wooden masts of one of the large ships.

For twenty years, search parties recovered skeletons from all over the frozen sea.

?   Another search party found two skeletons in a boat on a sledge. With the two skeletons were some chocolate, some guns, some tea, and a great deal of table silver.

?   Another skeleton was found, alone. This was a frozen officer who was still in her Majesty’s uniform: trousers and jacket of fine blue cloth edged in silk braid, and a black hankerchief around his neck.

That was the Franklin expedition.

That was failure to Count the Cost

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