Is Jesus Worth the Cost of Following Him?
Why is this so rare?
For several weeks we have been talking about the existence of intentional, face-to-face community life built on the foundation of Jesus and functioning under His Headship (the ekklesia). But why is this so rare?
Because there is a cost to following Jesus, we often want a Burger King, not the King of Kings. We want Him our way.
We Want Christ/Body Life When, How, and Where We Want It.
“Bless my hands and my work on my time.”
These are examples of anchors that can be excuses to keep from following the Lord (many of them come out of personal experiences). This list is by no means exhaustive.
- We don’t want to inconvenience our life
- Haggai 1:4: “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?”
- We don’t have time
- We do not want to change our routine
- We do not want to drive too far
- We do not want to give up our or our kids’ activities.
- We do not want to move for this
- Move across town or possibly further
- We like our neighborhood/friends
- We do not want to be far away from our natural family
- We do not want to change our job/career
- It might not be easy
- You have your 401K, your 5-10 year plan and retirement plan
- You worked hard to get where you are in your company
- It might cost money
- Gas money, sharing meals, moving/relocating, changing careers
- People might ask for my money for their needs
- “I am so close to getting out of debt and this might ruin my plans.”
- Matthew 6:24: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”
- The Rich Young Ruler (Luke 18:18, 22-23)
- A ruler questioned Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” …When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when he had heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich.
- People are messy
- It takes work to get to know other people
- I have to be vulnerable with others
- We might not want to answer our phone or emails
- “I might get hurt.”
- Loss of Reputation (“I want to be well thought of.”)
- “There are many who are content to bear the cross, but scarcely a single one willing to bear the infamy.“- Madame Guyon
- Philippians 2:5-8: “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied (having no reputation) himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Getting Over Yourself/Counting the Cost
Calling those to go into the fullness of Life
There are three divisions when it comes to the cross:
1. Those not in Life (those not saved/in Christ Jesus)
2. Those who are in Life (those in Christ Jesus)
3. Those who go on to the fullness of Life (those in Christ Jesus who continue on in Him)
There are many Christians who have entered into Life but are not going on into the fullness of Life.
Going on into the fullness often means giving up the thing(s) you love most/laying down the promise(s) (even if it’s from God) and living by faith in Christ.
- Genesis 22:1-14: The story of Abraham called to sacrifice his promise
- Luke 14:25-33
- 1 John 2:15-17
Mary, the Spikenard, and Wasting Ourselves on Jesus
It is worth everything? Is He worth everything? YES!!!
- Philippians 3:8: I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.
God’s Favorite Place on Earth by Frank Viola
When God Asks Too Much by R.C. Babione
Leave the System, Lose Your Friends by Jim Gordon