Tag Archives: knowing Christ

October 27 – Counting The Cost

Luke 14&15

Have you ever agreed to do something before your really checked it out? Or bought something before you read the fine print? Started a project you weren’t sure what to expect? Or even accepted an invitation without knowing the details? How did that work out? Yeah, bummer.

Luke shared that Jesus wanted His disciples to know what they were getting into, because it’s not easy being a disciple of Jesus. It wasn’t when Jesus was walking this earth in bodily form, and it’s not easy today. Jesus wanted all of us to know this. So He spelled it out so we’d know exactly what following Him costs.

In 14:26 He said the first requirement of being a disciple is to love Him more than anything or anyone. He went as far as to say that, in comparison, our feelings for our family should look like hate. Now, Jesus wasn’t advocating we turn on our loved ones. We need to remember to read every verse in light of all of Scripture, and Scripture talks an awfully lot about how we should love one another. But Jesus wants me to ask myself if my love for Him is so complete, so intense, so exclusive, that all other relationships pale in comparison? That if I put it on a scale of 1-10, other relationships would be at zero, while my love for Him is at an 11.

In verse 28, Jesus asks us to consider the cost of discipleship. Can following Jesus strain our pocketbooks? He might call you to pastor a tiny church instead of being CEO of some big company. He might ask you to give sacrificially to His work to the point where you are unable to drive a new and fancy car. You might be overlooked for a promotion at work because of your stand for the Savior. So, yes. Being a disciple of Jesus might effect your finances.

And it might cost you in other ways, too. Relationships, certain parties or social events, not being able to join in the conversation in the break room when people are talking about the latest episode of Modern Family or Dating Naked. Being a disciple of Jesus might cost you your social standing.

Jesus also asks us to consider the fact that His disciples have battles to face (verse 31). This is war. There will be times when He asks us to stand and fight, others when seeking peace is the answer. Are we ready to follow His lead in both cases?

Then, in verse 33 Jesus says this:

So then none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.

That’s the fine print we need to read. Being a disciple is not a part time job. It’s not Sunday thing. It’s everything.

Are you a disciple of Jesus? It’s not easy. It’s not even politically correct these days. But if you are His disciple, I imagine we both can agree it’s worth it. I know for myself, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but right there with the One who loves me more than even I can understand. I count everything else a loss except for knowing Him.

August 11 – Bragging Rights

Jeremiah 7-9

A lot of people are earning the right to brag these days. I am addicted to watching the Olympics. Every sport represents people who have sacrificed, worked, suffered, and determined to win the gold. I tear up every time I hear a national anthem played and understand that the person for whom it’s played is standing there at great cost, and with great pride, representing their country, their hopes and dreams.

I thought about them, and the apostle Paul as I read these chapters in Jeremiah today.

Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice, and  righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord. (9:23-24)

Paul, who had the pedigree everyone admired, said he counted it a loss for the sake of Christ. Philippians 3:8 says, “More than that I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.”

I wonder if that is true of me today? I certainly don’t have an Olympic gold medal on my shelf. I’ve never worked hard enough at a sport to get close. But I have a home, a family, an income, health, friends. Can I honestly say I count it all rubbish when compared to knowing Jesus?

How does that translate into my every day? Do I put spending time in God’s Word at the top of my priority list? Do I pray? Do I put God’s wishes above my own, or above that of my loved ones? Am I more concerned about what God thinks about me, about my obedience and reverence, than about what my family, friends, and community think of me? Do I try to be politically correct, or Biblically correct?

Do I work at knowing Christ a fraction of how an Olympic athlete works at their sport? Time for a little soul searching.