Luke 14:26-27 “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”
Many avenues lead to the decision point every person will have to make. Some come by way of seeking. Others are confronted with the truth that challenges their belief system. Still, others have made a mess of their life and wonder if there is any way to find true peace and happiness.
The decision point is to place our faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ for salvation.
We are all drawn by God to that point.
John 6:44 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Once we place our faith in Christ, we become a child of God. The Holy Spirit that indwells the believer leads and guides us into all truth. Jesus not only called the twelve men to be His disciples. He calls us today to the same.
Luke 14:33 “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”
The term ‘disciple’ simply means disciplined one. Jesus places qualifications as to the importance and priority we should put on discipleship. The illustration of ‘hating’ one’s parents and loving Christ seems to challenge what we know hatred to be.
In essence, we are to love Christ so much that the love we have for others would seem like hatred.
What struck me was the requirements set forth to become Jesus’ disciple.
Often, we love because we desire to be loved. We sacrifice because we believe in a cause larger than ourselves. We give because we care about something or someone more than ourselves.
Jesus asks us to see our future with eyes of faith, willing to give up what we think, see, dream, want, or desire. It all comes down to a matter of control.
If we are to become disciples of Jesus Christ, we have to be willing to ‘put it all on the altar.’ The apostle Paul said it best:
Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
We find it easier to conform than to climb onto the altar of sacrifice. That way, we still maintain some modicum of control. We can use our will and power to do what we think is the will of God.
Jesus challenges us to relinquish control to the Father whereby we allow Him full access and control to the path, direction, and destination of our life. The thought causes us to feel unsettled, wary, and downright scared.
That is when faith needs to be applied.
We need faith to see what our minds cannot comprehend.
We need faith to urge us on when fear grips our hearts.
We need faith to hold our hand as we step into the unknown.
We need faith to trust that our Heavenly Father has our best interest in mind and will not ask us to do anything that, through His power, we cannot accomplish.
A disciple of Christ disciplines themself to put what God commands into perspective, trust by faith, and reach out the hand of God extended to guide them through what they cannot see.
We each have our own cross to bear.
Mine may not look like yours, though it is a cross all the same. Mine may have a mission field to a foreign country. Yours might be to parent children that will be the next generation to carry the torch for Christ.
Whatever our cross, I alone must bear mine and you yours. Knowing this, it has been foreordained for me to carry and will ultimately bring glory to God.
To love like a friend is one thing. To go “all in” loving God puts caution to the wind and jumps in with both feet. I will leave you with this last illustration.
Have you ever wondered how a bird can sit on a high voltage wire and not be electrocuted? When they have no path to ground the voltage surging through the wire, they can sit content without any harm whatsoever.
If you or I were to grab the wire while standing on the ground, we provide a path for the electricity to travel – right through our heart, killing us in the process. We, like the bird, could hold on to the wire and hang without harm. Once we touch the ground, we’re done.
If we try to hold onto any part of the world while serving Christ, we cannot accomplish what God wants to do through us, thus killing any opportunity to see fruit. But if we wholly give ourselves over to perform the will of God, we can see a power displayed and things done we, in the flesh, could never do.
Jesus was “all in” for us. He asks us to be “all in” for Him.
Surround yourself with those willing to take the plunge. You’ll not regret it!