I'm sure glad that I was not on that Continental Airline flight Monday that landed at O'Hare Airport. Did you read about that plane? This was a plane that, as the plane was coming in for a landing, they were just about ready to touch down and suddenly the crew realized that the wheels weren't down.
Do you read about that? And so they had to do an emergency pull-up and even though they pulled up, the bottom of the plane scraped the runway. They actually scraped as they came up. Now, the plane didn't blow up or catch fire or anything and they went around, they put the wheels down, and then they landed the thing safely. And when I read about that, I thought, how could a flight crew make that kind of dumb mistake?
I mean, that seems incredible. Well, the explanation they gave, the excuse they gave, was that as they were coming in for a landing, you know, that the control tower warned them that there were other planes close by to be on the lookout and they were so distracted looking around for other planes, they just plum forgot to put the wheels down. I thought, who's flying this thing?
Mo, Larry, and Curly? What's going on here, you know? What kind of excuse is this? If there were an excuse hall of fame, I think this would be a prime candidate to get in it. Now, what are some of the other great excuses that people use out here?
You know, there are some that go around and around and around. I got to thinking at home. What are some of the excuses you hear a lot? How about this one?
The dog what? Ate my homework. How about this one? I'm sorry, boss, my alarm clock never went off. I said it last night and it never went off. I don't know what happened.
I just rolled over and there it was, 8 o'clock. You ever try that one? How about this one? I had a bee, dad.
I know I had a bee. My teacher added them up wrong. She'd added my grades wrong.
How about this one? Gee, officer, my cruise control must be broken. I had it set right on 55. I know I did. I couldn't have been going 70. I'll get it checked.
If you won't give me a ticket, I promise I'll go get it checked. Right. This is the one my kids use all the time. It was in my backpack when I left school. It was in there. I know it.
You ever notice how many backpacks come with document shredders these days? They're just gone. How about this one?
You called? Gee, I never got the message right. Dad, I knew I was supposed to be home at midnight with the car and I would have been except the Wilson Bridge went up for 45 minutes. I think it was the seventh fleet that was going through, dad.
But it was a long time. I would have been here otherwise. And maybe you can add your excuses on the end of that. The reason I bring all this up is because in our passage for this morning, Jesus is going to ask three different people to follow him and they're going to give him three different excuses. And I want us to see how he responds to those excuses because in seeing that, we're going to learn a lot about what it really means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. So let's look together. Here we are, Luke chapter 9. Now, let me say as we begin, I want you to remember, we find here three applicants for discipleship, for the position of disciple. Now, this is different than the issue of salvation. I want you to remember that. That we're not talking here about salvation, about how to get eternal life, about how to go to heaven.
That's a different issue with a different answer. The Philippian jailer said in Acts chapter 16, what must I do to be saved? And the answer to that is very simple. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Now, that's how you join the kingdom of God. That's how you become a member of the family of God.
But here we're going a step farther. Here we're not talking about being simply a citizen of the kingdom of God. We're talking about being a disciple. You know, you can be a citizen of the United States and not be a marine.
That's true, right? In the same way, you can be a member of the family of God through faith in Christ and not be a disciple. Because if you want to be a marine, there's extra cost involved. Every citizen doesn't have to pay the cost that a marine has to pay to be a marine. There's extra cost involved. And if you want to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, there's extra cost involved in that too. A cost God wants you to pay. A cost that if you're a Christian, God the Holy Spirit is trying to convince you that you should pay because of the rewards that's involved, but it's got to be your decision.
And in our passage this morning, we're talking about what it means, what the cost is to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. And what's interesting is these people give Jesus three excuses why they can't be. And the excuses they use, interestingly enough, are the very same ones people use today. So whatever these excuses are, believe me, you've heard them and maybe you've even used them yourself.
Let's look at them. Man number one, verse 57. As they were walking along the road, a man said to Jesus, I will follow you wherever you go. Now Matthew chapter 8 tells us that this man was a scribe.
A scribe in Israel was a religious interpreter of the law. And these scribes were used to the good life. They had cush jobs. I mean, they were revered by the people. They were well compensated.
They had every imaginable amenity. And here this guy is volunteering to go with Jesus, to follow Jesus wherever Jesus goes. Now the issue with this guy that Jesus is going to confront is the issue of creature comforts.
This guy was used to lots of creature comforts. But he says, Lord, I'm willing to follow you wherever you go. The problem is Jesus was going to Jerusalem. But he wasn't going to Jerusalem to stay at the Hilton, ride air conditioned tourist buses, eat gourmet meals, and walk the Via Doloroso taking pictures with his Nikon. This is not why he was going to Jerusalem.
He was going to Jerusalem to die on the cross, to be rejected, to be arrested, to be vilified, to be treated with contempt, and to be killed. He had no fancy clothes. He had no fancy meals. He had no fancy place to stay.
He had no fancy position of power in the human sense from which to operate. None of those things. And what Jesus turns and says to this man is, hey, listen, all of those creature comforts you know that you're used to, if you want to follow me wherever I go, you better count the cost.
Look what he says. Verse 58. Jesus replied, Foxes have holes where they can rest, and the birds of the air have nests. But the Son of Man, I, Jesus, I don't even have a place to lay my head.
I don't own a stitch of real estate anywhere in the world that I can call home. What's Jesus trying to say to him? He's trying to say, hey, look, pal, before you tell me you're going to follow me anywhere, you better count the cost. You know all those creature comforts you like so much?
Well, if you throw in with me, you're going to have to lay them on the altar, and you're going to have to be prepared to say goodbye to them if the will of God asks you to give them up, and it probably will. So you better count the cost. The issue with this guy was creature comfort.
What's it going to cost me to follow Jesus Christ? Now, the second man had a different problem. Look, verse 59, and Jesus said to another man, follow me. But the man said, Lord, first let me go and bury my father.
Now you say, well, that's a reasonable request. I mean, every man should bury his father if he's dead. Yeah, but his dad wasn't dead.
You say, well, how do you know that? Because in Jewish society, when a person died, you buried them that same day. It's highly unlikely this guy would have been walking out in the field somewhere with Jesus miles and miles away from home in Jerusalem and saying, let me go bury my dad. He just died this morning.
No, no, no. This guy's dad is completely alive, and this guy's not asking to go conduct his dad's funeral. What he's saying is, hey, Jesus, you know, I'm real supportive of you, Jesus. You know, you and me, Jesus, I mean, we're like this. But my dad and the rest of my family, they think you're a little radical. And frankly, they think I'm a nut for following you. And every time I talk about you at home, we end up in a big argument. We've got lots of stress.
We've got lots of emotion. And now you're asking me to come be your disciple, to leave the family farm and come follow you? Man, that'll be the last straw. My dad will disown me. He'll cut me out of the will.
I won't get any inheritance. See, the problem with this guy was family opposition. And so he says, Jesus, here's my proposal. I'm going to go on back home and I'm going to live there for a while and I'm going to keep the peace. And maybe I'll talk a little bit about you here and there, a little bit about God here and there. But then when my dad's dead and I've buried my dad and I've gotten my inheritance and all my brothers and sisters are fanning out all over the world to go do their thing, then I'll be back.
I'll be back. Well, Jesus had a response to that, and friends, he didn't mince a whole lot of words in responding to that. Look what he said. Verse 60, Jesus said to him, Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God. They said, let the dead bury their own dead. How can dead people bury dead people, Lon? Well, Jesus wasn't talking about physically dead people burying physically dead people. He was talking about spiritually dead people burying physically dead people. What Jesus is saying to this man is, hey, listen, if your family objects to me the way you've just said, then your family is spiritually dead. They're not alive. They don't understand who I am. They're not born again.
They haven't entered into life in the kingdom of God. And you're going to let spiritually dead people keep you away from serving the living God, keep you away from doing his will. Friends, you've got to count the cost. You've got to decide who's number one in your life, your family, your father keeping the peace at home or following me.
You've got to make a choice. Third guy. His problem was not his family and his problem was not his creature comforts. The third guy's problem was that he had a divided heart. He had divided loyalty between Jesus Christ and his old life. Look what he says. He's still another said, I'll follow you, Lord.
But first, let me go back and say goodbye to my family and my friends. Now, you might not immediately recognize this, but what he's actually doing is trying to get real spiritual on Jesus. He's thinking about in the Old Testament, a passage where something like this actually happened in the Old Testament. The prophet Elijah one day walked by a man named Elisha. Elisha was just a farmer. And he invited Elisha to come and be a prophet because God had called him. And Elisha said in response, I'm going to go back first and tell my family and my friends goodbye, and then I'll be right behind you, Elijah. And that's what this man is conjuring up in his comment to Jesus. I want you to look back and see that. Keep a finger here in Luke nine.
We're coming back. And I want you to turn into the Old Testament to First Kings Chapter 19. If you're using our copy of the Bible, it's page 255.
Two hundred and fifty five. First Kings Chapter 19. And here we pick up with Elijah inviting Elisha to come be a prophet. Remember, Elisha is a farmer.
Now let's read it. Chapter 19, verse 19. So Elijah went from there and he found Elisha. What was Elisha doing? Well, he was plowing.
Hold on to that because it's going to figure in just a minute what Jesus says. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen and he himself was with the twelfth pair. What's that tell us? Well, it tells us he's a very wealthy man. He had eleven yoke of oxen being run by servants and he was with the twelve.
A very wealthy man. And Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. And by doing that, he was symbolizing to Elisha that God had called him now to follow Elijah, to be a prophet, to replace Elijah. And Elisha left his oxen and he ran after Elijah. And what he said to him was, Hey, Elijah, let me kiss my father and my mother goodbye and then I'll come after you. Elijah said, Go back.
I don't care what you do. Elijah wasn't having a great day. Anyway, Elisha left and went back and he took his yoke of oxen and he slaughtered them.
And he burned his plowing equipment to cook the meat and he gave it to all of his friends and they ate. And then he sent out to follow Elijah and become his attendant. Now what I want you to see here is by going back and having this little time with his family, Elisha was trying to make a statement to them. He was trying to deliver a message to his friends and his family. And the message was that God has called me and I'm going. God has called me and I'm going to obey. And there is no turning back. And to show you that there's no turning back, friends, I'm going to burn my plow up and I'm going to kill my oxen and burn them on top of the fire and let you eat my oxen so that even if I wanted to come back, there's nothing to come back to.
I've killed my oxen and I burned up my plows. Isn't that the statement he was trying to make to those people? And this is what this third man says, Lord, let me go back and see my friends and have a party with them and then I'll come follow you. But you know the difference is that this man was not going back to deliver the same kind of a message for the same reason that Elisha did. He said, Lon, how can you be so sure? Because Jesus knew this man's real motive. Look what Jesus said to him. If this had been his real motive, Jesus would have said, Sure, go back and deliver that message. But that isn't what he said. He said, verse 62, Luke chapter 9, No one who puts his hand to the plow.
Isn't it interesting? He draws on that same analogy. Remember what Elisha was doing?
He was plowing. Nobody, he said, who puts his hand on the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God. He says, pal, you're not going back because you want to deliver a message that you're following Christ. You're going back because in your heart you're looking back.
And that's a problem. You're looking back. He said, Lon, looking back to what? Looking back to all his old friends, looking back to all his old girlfriends, looking back to all his own pleasures, looking back to all his old lifestyle. He's looking back.
He hadn't made a clean break. And Jesus says you can't plow for the kingdom of God and be looking back at your old lifestyle at the same time. It won't work. It's like trying to drive a car with your eyes focused in the rearview mirror all the time.
You're going to have a problem. Jesus said, you can't be my disciple if your heart's divided. Half of it wanting to follow me and the other half of it yearning to go back to your BC life.
You know your BC life, your before Christ life? This man's request sounded harmless, didn't it? But you see, Jesus knew what was in his heart. And he knew the real problem is this guy had not made a break with his old life. He'd not made a break.
He was trying to hold on to both. You can't do that. You'll be in spiritual no man's land. Jesus said if you're going to plow for me, man, you've got to be looking straight ahead.
No glancing over your shoulder thinking what life used to be like and wanting to go back there. Now that's the end of our passage. We've seen three men, three excuses. One says, Lord, I can't follow you because it'll cost me too much creature comfort. The other one says, Lord, I can't follow you because it'll make too much havoc in my family.
And the third who said, Lord, I can't follow you right now because I'm really still too connected up with some of that old stuff in my old life. That's the end of our passage. But you know the question, don't you? What is it? So what? That's right.
And I want to talk to you about that in the little bit of time we have left. Don't you hate it when somebody lures you into something and all of a sudden you find out there's all this hidden cost that you didn't know about? Don't you hate that? You know one thing I like about Jesus Christ is that he never did that. No, Jesus Christ never lured people into following him and then suddenly dropped a bunch of hidden cost on him. Jesus was real upfront about what it cost to be a disciple. And he's honest. He says to be a disciple, it's going to cost you a lot. But at the same token, you're going to get a lot of reward for it too.
It's going to cost you a lot. Jesus never waffled about the cost. He put the terms right up front, just like he did here in Luke 9. You want to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? God wants you to be. You want to be a marine in the kingdom of God? God wants you to be.
But there's a cost. God wants you to know what the terms are before you agree to do it. He didn't want you just to see the parade come by with all the brass buttons and the shiny hats and the shiny shoes and go, Oh, I'd love to be a marine and not know about all the boot camp and all the push-ups and all the other stuff that's involved.
What are the terms? There are three. Number one, a disciple has to have a heavenly focus. Remember what Jesus said to Pilate?
He said, Pilate, my kingdom is not of this world. And folks, every disciple has to make that same priority decision that they are more interested in heavenly reward up there than they are creature comfort down here. If you're going to be a disciple, you have to make a decision that creature comfort is not your highest priority in life.
Laying up reward in heaven is. You know, I have people all the time who say to me, Well, if I'm going to follow Jesus Christ, what am I going to have to give up? Lon, am I going to have to stop smoking? Am I going to have to stop drinking? Am I going to have to stop seeing my old girlfriend? What am I going to have to give up? Am I going to have to give up rock music? What am I going to do? Make me a list so I can decide.
And I always say to them, I'm sorry, I can't make you a list. Because you see, the answer is, what do I have to give up is this, everything's got to go on the altar. It's all got to go on the altar. Now, God may not ask you to give everything up, but whatever God asks for you to give up in order to follow Him, for a disciple, the decision's already made.
The answer is yes. Because I've already made the decision that my creature comfort is not my highest priority in life, serving Jesus Christ is. And the disciple knows that he's not really giving anything up.
She's not really giving anything up because God's going to give it all back to us plus more. But God sometimes asks us to walk away from creature comfort. And this is the world view of a disciple. A disciple always chooses the eternal over the earthly, always chooses the eternal over the temporal. And a disciple holds onto things very loosely down here because a disciple knows that it's very possible God may ask you to walk away from it. And the disciple says, Lord, I've thought about the cost and I'm willing to do it. Number two, a disciple not only needs to have a heavenly focus, but a disciple needs to have an absolute loyalty to Jesus Christ even above family. In Matthew chapter 10, Jesus said, he who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me.
He who loves brother or sister more than me is not worthy of me. And you know there's a lot of perspective disciples who drop out right at this point. When I became a Christian, it's 20, almost 23 years ago now. I was a college student. And as many of you know, I was born and raised Jewish. Well, when I became a Christian, that was a problem. That was a little bit of a problem. When I got baptized, that was a little bit of a problem. And when I informed my family, that became a big problem. And I've had family trouble ever since I made the decision to follow Jesus Christ. I had a grandfather who didn't speak to me for five years. I mean, I'm not talking about would only grunt at me. I'm talking wouldn't even talk to me. I had an uncle who wouldn't speak to me for over 10 years, and his wife, my aunt, wouldn't even let me come to her house last year when they buried my mother down in that area.
I was told I wasn't welcome at her house afterwards. You know, I could solve all the family problems I've got with one simple thing. All I'd have to do is say I was wrong about Jesus Christ. I'm back in the synagogue. I could solve all of those family problems.
But I can't do that. I made a decision. I thought about it when I was very young as a Christian. And I said, I've got my family over here, and they want me to go that way, and I've got Jesus Christ, and he wants me to go this way. And, you know, I've got to make a decision. My family can't give me eternal life. My family can't forgive my sins. My family can't provide the peace in my heart that I so desperately needed as a college student. Jesus Christ can. I've got to stick with him.
I've got to stick with him. And, you know, there's lots of Jewish people, many of whom come to our church, who've had to make those same kind of hard decisions with their family. But this isn't just limited to Jewish people. Gentiles have to face this kind of stuff too. You know, if you're a young person, there's many a young person who senses the call of God on their life to go do something, to be a missionary, to be a pastor, to be involved in full-time Christian service, to work on campus crusader in a varsity staff, and their parents are against it.
Their parents say to them, no, we don't want you to do that. Why are you wasting your life? Be a doctor. Be a lawyer. Be an airplane pilot.
Just remember to put the wheels down, okay? But don't waste your life being a missionary. We didn't pay $50,000 for you to go to college to grow up and be a missionary.
We're against it. We're going to disinherit you. Don't come home if you do that. So what are you going to do if you know God's calling?
What are you going to do? There are some of us who are married to people who aren't Christians, who don't want any spiritual influence in the home. They don't want to go to church. They don't want us going to church. They don't want our children involved. If you have children and anything that's Christian, they're against all of it. And yet you know God's called you to serve him and love him and worship him and raise your children to know Christ. What are you going to do?
Who's going to be first? And you know there are people in our church who leave places like the Jehovah's Witnesses and like the Church of Christ and other very ingrown groups and have had parents say to them, I had a girl in my office last month like this whose parents said, you do this, you leave. Her sister said, and we'll disown you. We're not even going to talk to you.
Don't you dare pull out. And she left and she said, I had to follow Christ. That was more important. Hey folks, lots of us here have had to deal with family when it comes to following Christ. And if the will of God and the will of your family go different directions, who's going to be number one?
Now don't get me wrong. Please listen. Jesus Christ wants you to love your parents. Jesus Christ wants you to honor and respect and stick with your spouse. Jesus Christ wants you to care about your relatives. But he wants you to do that as unto the Lord, not instead of the Lord.
You understand? And sometimes saying yes to Jesus Christ means that you have to say no to your family. And a disciple accepts that cost if it has to be. A disciple says, if that's the cost, I'll accept it.
Your family being against you following Christ is not an excuse Jesus will accept. Third and finally, not only to be a disciple of DNA, to have a heavenly focus and an absolute loyalty even above family. But third and finally, you need to have an undivided heart. An undivided heart.
You can't be holding on to two things, the world and Christ, and be a disciple. You know, I want to tell you about a very interesting couple that came to see me in my office a few months ago. It was a guy and a gal and he'd ask her to marry. And she was excited about marrying him. But there was only one problem and the problem is that even though he was telling her that he loved her, he was still seeing his old girlfriend. And not only was he seeing his old girlfriend and calling her up on the phone, but that he had just gotten back from a trip where he had taken his old girlfriend away for a weekend. Because she was discouraged, he said, and depressed. And so he wanted to cheer her up. And he said, nothing happened.
That's what he said. So here they are in my office. And he said to me, Lon, he said, I'm just trying not to lose a good friend. That's all, we've been good friends for years. And she said, hey, I got a problem with this. She said, when he gets me, he gets rid of every other lover he's ever had. That's the deal.
Period. That's the way I see it. And they turned to me and said, Lon, what do you think? Wouldn't you love to have my job? Now, I want to take a poll. How many of you think the girl was right? Raise your hand. How many of you think the guy was right? Raise your hand.
How many of you think the guy was stupid? Raise your hand. I agree with you. Paul Simon said there are 50 ways to leave your lover. And friend, when you decide to get married, you better use one of those 50 ways on every lover you've ever had but the one you plan to marry.
Right? And if you're not ready to do that, you're not ready to what? Get married. You're not ready to get married. You know what's interesting is when you look in the Bible, the Bible says when you and I became Christians, accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, that we and Jesus Christ got married.
Do you know that? And the Bible says that Jesus Christ is the husband and it doesn't matter which sex you are, you're the bride. He's the husband, you're the bride. I'm the bride.
We're part of the bride of Christ. And as a husband, I'll tell you what, as a husband, I would find it pretty intolerable if my wife kept a line open to every other boyfriend she'd ever had before we were married. I wouldn't like that.
I would find that pretty unacceptable. I got to tell you. See, I expect fidelity from my wife. I expect devotion from my wife, full devotion, and she expects it from me and she has every right to.
And you know what, folks? As our spiritual husband, Jesus Christ expects fidelity from us. He expects us to jettison every other lover we've ever had, whether that other lover, that other thing or person that was number one in our heart, whether it was a person or whether it was a possession or a passion or a pleasure or a career or whatever it was, it has to go into number two and number three and number four. It can't be number one anymore. Jesus Christ has to be number one. Jesus said nobody can serve two masters. And you know what? If you really want to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, you can't be constantly looking over your shoulder wistfully and longingly wanting some of your BC life, some of your before Christ life.
You can't do that. Jesus said if you want to plow with me, you've got to plow and keep your face forward. And if you want to plow, you can't be looking through the rearview mirror all the time at your old life.
If you're serious about being a disciple, you've got to burn the plow and slaughter the oxen of your before Christ life and there's no turning back and there's no looking back. That's part of the price. You know, when I was a brand new Christian, one of the best things ever happened to me was I had to leave Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I'd been there five years going to school. And the reason I left Chapel Hill, North Carolina was a couple reasons, but the main reasons because the police were looking for me. That was a good reason to leave town. That's true. There was a warrant out for my arrest for drug charges.
This is true. I don't know if I ever told you this. They actually came to my house to arrest me on federal drug charges when I was a brand new Christian and I had dope all over the house. You know, you say, and you were a Christian? Yeah, but I was brand new.
Give me a break. And they knocked on the front door and had an arrest warrant for me with my name on it, but it had the wrong address on it and that's the only reason I wasn't arrested and taken to jail is because they'd made a mistake and they didn't have the right address of where they actually were at the house I was living in. And I told friends, I said, you know, the air around me is so hot when I walk, the air crinkles when I walk through town. And I left town. You say, well, now how could God let that happen to you? How could God let these people come chasing you and going to put you in jail? Listen, it's the best thing that ever happened to me to get out of that town because in that town were all my old drinking buddies, all my old girlfriends, all my old fraternity party friends, all my old hangouts, all my old drug buddies, all the people I had supplied with drugs, all the people who gave me drugs, everything I'd ever done that was anti my walk with Christ was in that town. And the best thing that ever happened to me was that God used the police to run me out of that town because I had a fresh start and there was no looking back.
And you know what? Maybe we need to get the police out looking for some of you. I don't want you to leave Washington, but maybe we need to get the police out enough that some of us are willing to say, you know, God's trying to send a message to me and that is my old life's got to go. I've got to get out of town when it comes to my old life because I can't serve Christ with all that baggage hanging on. What are the three biggest hurdles to being a disciple of Jesus Christ?
Number one, prosperity. It's going to cost me too much. It's too high a price.
Creature company. Number two, family. Got to keep the peace at home, you know, Lon, at all costs.
Don't want to lose that inheritance. Number three, infidelity, wanting to hold on to the Lord with one hand, wanting to hold on to my old life with the other hand. Those are the hurdles you got to get over.
And you know what, friends? Jesus Christ is looking for people who love him enough that they're willing to jump those three hurdles for him and never look back. My question to you is, if you're Christian, are you one of those people?
You want to be a Marine or don't you? Let me say in closing that if you're here and you've never trusted Christ in a real and personal way as your Savior, it's interesting to me that these are the same three reasons people give why they don't want to trust Christ as their Savior. They say, number one, I don't want to give up all my creature comforts. It's not worth giving it all up. Number two, I don't want to cause the stress it's going to cause my family. Or number three, I don't want to put him ahead of the lifestyle I'm presently living. Some of this lifestyle I'm not ready to walk away from. Friend, let me tell you something. Your creature comforts, your family, and your lifestyle are not worth the price you're going to have to pay for rejecting Jesus Christ. It's not worth it.
It's not worth it. When I was in college, we used to play a lot of cards, play poker all the time. I went to school with some great poker players. I did, I'm telling you.
And the way we played in our fraternity house is this. If you wanted to see what the other person had in their hand, you had to call them. You had to put your money in and call. And if you didn't put your money in and call, you know what they did with their hand?
They folded it up, put it in the middle of the deck. And you never got to see. And many times I would say, I'd like to see what you got. And someone would say, how much is it worth to you? Put your money in there if it's worth that much to you. I'd like to turn that around and say, how much are your creature comforts worth to you? How much is your lifestyle worth to you?
How much is your family worth to you? Is it worth being separated from God for all eternity and going to hell? Is it worth that? That was the decision I had to make 23 years ago and I said, it's not worth that. It's not worth it.
And friend, it isn't. God wants to come in your life, if you don't know Christ, and give you a rich and fulfilling life like you've never dreamed of. And what you're holding on to, is it worth it?
Is it worth it? Think about it. Is it really worth what you're going to have to pay to hold on to what you got if you reject Christ? Let's bow our heads and let's pray together. Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for speaking to our hearts this morning. Thank you for the Word of God. And I want to pray, first of all, for those of us here who may never have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ. I pray that you would cause them to really think this morning about whether or not their creature comforts, and their family, and their present lifestyle are worth the cost of rejecting Jesus Christ. The eternal cost. I don't believe it is, Lord. But I've already made my decision.
They need to make theirs. And I pray that you would work in their hearts, each one of those dear people, and bring them to the place where they would be willing to give those other things up in exchange for a personal walk with Jesus Christ. And I also want to pray for the many, many of us here who've already made that decision. I want to pray that you would, this morning, challenge us about what it really means to be a disciple. What it really means to be a Marine in the Kingdom of God.
That there's a cost to pay. And Father, I pray that you would bring us to the place that we would love you enough that we'd be willing to pay that cost. Willing to put all of our creature comforts on the altar and say, Lord, you can have any one of them you want, whenever you want.
It's your call. Be willing to put our family on the altar and say, Lord, I love my family. But if my family tells me to go in the direction that Jesus Christ says don't go, I'm going where Jesus Christ tells me.
Lord, the cost of being willing to put our old lifestyle on the line, make a break from it in our hearts and in our actions. And say, yeah, some of those things might have felt good, but they're not worth giving up being a disciple of Jesus Christ. Father, I pray that you would bring this audience this morning to the place that walking out of here, many more of us are serious about being a disciple of Christ than we were when we walked in. And then I pray you would take our lives and use us, not only to be a blessing to other people, but to advance the kingdom of God in this world. The Marines are looking for a few good men, and you're looking for as many good disciples as you can find. Lord, may you find us to be those kind of people, we pray. In Jesus' name. ...
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-09 08:43:03 / 2023-06-09 08:58:40 / 16