Luke 14: 26-35
To Be A Disciple Of Jesus
“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him. Saying,‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and take counsel whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks terms of peace. So therefore, no one of you can be my disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
The first verse speaks volumes. As I have been dwelling on these verses for the past week God has been continually bringing them to my attention each time that I begin to pray. I find my heart is full of its own desires and rather than being fixed on Jesus and His good purposes for my life, I would get tangled up in a battle of wills, my will verses God’s will. I will not say that my desires were necessarily wrong but they kept me distracted from enjoying God’s company and delighting in His plan for my life. Many times Jesus says to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all other things will be added to us. He says this because He knows that the Devil will keep us at the door of God’s throne room by too much emphasis on our own cares and worries and desires so that we won’t be able to get past them and actually enter in and lay them at His feet. Jesus very much desires that we would give all of our relationships and desires to Him and seek Him first above all else. He wants us to delight in His company and just spend time with Him. After which He will take care of all that we need above and beyond our highest expectations.
So now we start to understand why Jesus has to speak so strongly about our family and friends and our own lives. We need a strong word so that we will stop our arguing with Him and start enjoying His love. He really really loves us and He has a wonderful plan for each of our lives, but we won’t accept it from Him while we are arguing with Him and fighting with Him over all the things He allows to happen to us.
Jesus continues on to say that there is a cost to being His disciple, a cross to bear and that we must spend some time counting it so that when the troubles and trial come upon us we endure them patiently without complaint If we have counted the cost than we will have embraced the commitment to serve Him no matter what. Jesus does not try to gloss over the hardship we will have to endure but He does say that His burden is light and His yoke is easy. If we have put Jesus above all others in our lives than we will not fall away when disaster comes upon us.
This leads me to what Jesus says about salt which is that if it loses its saltiness it is good for nothing. And what does this mean? It means that if we are walking with our eyes fixed on Jesus abstaining from the earthly lusts which were ours in our ignorance than Jesus is going to use us for His work, but if and when we take our eyes off of Him and look back again at past desires for the things of this earth we immediately lose the conviction and saltiness of Christ in our testimony and our lives become compromised with our old sinful pursuits. This happens on a minute by minute basis for when we become partial to the things of this world we lose our voice to speak against it. I deal with it all the time. The Devil continually tries to entice me back to my old sins and if even for a moment I begin to harbor those desires again in my heart The Fire of the Lord grows dim in my life. And trust me, the farther you come in your walk with Christ, the more God is making use of you to the people around you and in equal proportion the enemy is trying to make you fall back into sin so that he might also drag down all those who are looking to you for Godly support. To keep our lives pure from immorality and selfish ambition is to remain salty and to show partiality to these same areas is to lose our saltiness.
So let us pursue Holiness and Righteousness with our whole heart and walk in the love and strength of our Lord Jesus Christ in Whom is found all that we will ever need both now and for eternity. God bless you all!