God, let me hear Your voice and Your heart as I read Your Word.
Read LUKE 14:25–35
 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said:  “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters-yes, even their own life-such a person cannot be my disciple.  And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.  “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?  For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you,  saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’  “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?  If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.  In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.  “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?  It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat extreme things does the passage call us to?
This is shocking. What is Jesus thinking of, asking us to hate family members (26)? Given his teaching elsewhere we can be sure that he calls us to show love to them, yet it may be viewed by others as hatred when following him is the highest priority in our lives. Nothing must be allowed to get in the way. Following Jesus is a costly business. Taking up the cross (27) means facing execution. For some of his followers in every age (including our own) this has meant literally facing death as he did. For others it has meant giving up things that we want and sacrificing family relationships, wealth, career and ambitions so that we can do what he calls us to (33). Jesus doesn’t want us to step blindly into our commitment to him. He wants us to realize that there is a cost and to make sure that we know what we are doing (28). Of course there are great benefits to following Jesus, but we need to make sure that we do not give others a false idea. We must avoid the danger of so wanting others to follow him that we pretend there are no costs or difficulties. Let’s follow Jesus’ example and tell it like it is.
Evaluate this question and journal: What costs can you identify in your own Christian experience?
Father, You are calling us to truly reflect You in this world. Help me to grow to be a mature follower.
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