Wednesday, November 27, 2013

To Be A Disciple Of Jesus

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!


23 comments:

  1. I recall the first time reading these words of Jesus in the bible, Luke 14;26-35 which Seth quotes above .I remember feeling discouraged because I didn't like the way Jesus said we must "hate" people. Yes, I am admitting I didn't like something Jesus said.

    Only after I understood, "THE WHY" Jesus chose that word, did I understand why He used it. THE WHY is like Seth said. He used it to show how serious He was about us having Him above all others in our lives. That He should be #1 in our lives and that our husbands,wives,children,etc should be after Him...#2, #3, #4...

    I now understand that LOVE- to have God as #1 in my life...even above my children, my brothers , and sisters, etc.

    God Bless, Claudette CT


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    1. My comment is when IT first read it IS was confused and IT just put it off. Albert. CT

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  2. Jesus said seek ye first the kingdom of God and His rightousness and all these things shall be added unto you. Seeking God is to be in tuned with Him and giving it all to Him. When we go through our adversities and reaching out to Him we know that He has all the the answer. He said He would never leave us or forsake us so we have to trust in His word and His promises. The world would not understand when He says to give up your family and follow Him all we can do is to give them up to the Lord and keep trusting and Believing because He will take care of them as long as we follow Him. Carmella Ct

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    1. I want to add to my comment above and say I now know Jesus used the perfect word,"hate", to get His message across to us. When someone says they hate someone, they are putting a "distance" in thier relationship between that person and themselves. So Jesus is saying I want you to distant yourself from seeing them as #1. It is hard for me to explain. But bottom line is, I now feel Jesus used the PERFECT word. God bless, Claudette

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    2. Carmella. I love your comment !

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  3. Carmella, I really like your reflection on Seth's wonderful counsel! Sometimes the words, "hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters" sounds so harsh, but Christ is not asking us to forsake these dear ones. We are to consecrate them into His hands and trust that He will care for them. We are to place our relationship with God above all other relationships as first in our hearts and then God will provide for our loved ones' needs. And if these loved ones every give us counsel that varies with what we have heard as a Word from God, we are ALWAYS to choose God's path first! Every word you spoke, Seth, was truthful with very helpful linsights. I have absolutely NEVER understood the words teaching about the salt. Thanks for some great thoughts and reflections on this entire passage of Scripture. Fascinating and very helpful!! Love you, Seth, and Happy Thanksgiving! Aunt Sue

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  4. Hello everyone!! After reading Seth's message, a song I love to sing just came to mind. "With all my heart I want to love you Lord, and live my life each day to know you more. All that is in me is Yours completely. I'll serve You only, with all my heart". Beautiful words! Thanks very much again Seth with a strong word of encouragement.
    A couple years ago, with the beginning of Nursing and some other career fields; those females who applied had to be single, unmarried, no children. These were specific requirements for this type of job. Those persons interested were needed to provide care to the community and being a Nurse then would take them away from their families. There was total dedication and commitment to this service. Today, Nurses can be married with children, family, (and the story goes on). This is used as basic analogy. Having a family, a wife/ mother's focus is usually on providing care and meeting the needs of the family. As a Nurse then, the Nurse's commitment should be to her patients.
    Now going back to Seth's study "To Be A Disciple Of Jesus" - My understanding is that to be in total subjection to GOD; to be in a complete relationship with the LORD our GOD, JESUS invites us to leave everyone/everything behind. I am reminded that when JESUS called the disciples to follow HIM, they had to leave their jobs, families, friends to go with HIM. This is how serious this relationship is!! Big and great benefits!!! A beautiful relationship with the MOST HIGH GOD. HE Himself will provide to meet the needs of your family, loved ones. HE will provide strength, health, protection and even give us lots of energies to meet our families human needs through the power and love of JESUS. JESUS invites us to give GOD all our being, all our mind and soul. Completely. 100%.
    Whenever I consider JESUS' relationship with His Father, I'm reminded by the WORD (BIBLE) how HE communicated with the Father, how He would go to a quiet place, and most times without the disciples. As a "human" JESUS needed to be, at all times in total submission, total discipline to GOD, HIS father. JESUS, in the human flesh was in total submission even as HE took HIS last breath on the cross. The BIBLE tells us this.
    I am excited to know that through Seth's Bible Studies I am able to go over some lessons I read and have a better understanding of them.

    GOD's Blessings to everyone,
    Sophia, CT

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  5. As it is with all things there is a time and a reason fall all. As we pass through this life we must be mindful to stay focused and not be distracted by things aound us that really have no meaning. At this time I am between jobs, but I know if I keep my faith that I will find my way.
    Mike in CT

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  6. Life is pain and suffering and joy and peace. But, without Christ there is no joy or peace. Through Christ, it is peace and the joy that gets us through the pain and suffering. Amen. Patti. Ct

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    1. You're so right Patti. Jesus is the answer.

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    2. I agree with Patti! Joy & peace gets us thru life without jesus there wouldnt be us! God bless you all! Jazmyn CT

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  7. I BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST HE IS MY LORD AND SAVIOR. I WILL SEE HIM FACE TO FACE ONE DAY. I AM ALIFE JESUS SET FREE FROM CRACK COCAINE. I MET MY DAUGHTER 28 YEARS LATER IM AN INTERN IN TEEN CHALLENGE APRIL 4TH WILL BE 3 YEARS ON FIRE FOR GOD. PSALM 91:15-16 BLESS YOU WITH LOVE. JOE KINGS KID. JOSEPH CT

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    1. Hi Joseph .I live outside in a tent.you don't smoke any more.I
      Want jesus in my life. Jesus come in my life and. Help. Me. Tom. CT

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    2. Hi Tom, I am happy to hear that you don't smoke crack anymore. I myself still struggle, however I am believing that God has already delivered me. I remember a part of a scripture in romans 5 that reads where sin abounds grace abounds more. I thank God always for His grace. God is with us all in any circumstance. Be blessed Amen

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  8. We serve a wonderful, awesome GOD! From the beginning HE invites us and encourages us to give HIM our all. GOD wants all of our attention. HE wants us to at all time make HIM our priority; to give HIM all our mind, soul, heart. Our being. HE wants us to trust in HIM, rely on HIM, depend on HIM. Trusting GOD means that I will give HIM my full attention. When we have given our lives to GOD, some time others in our own families, become the obstruction to the fullness of the total experience with the LORD. Sometimes , family members who we dearly love; husbands, wives, children, friends, can become hindrances to us giving GOD our full commitment. The most wonderful thing is that in giving ourselves to GOD, GOD will in turn provide to meet our needs: HE will allow for provision for our families; those whom we love e.g., If my husband does not want to pray, worship or go to Church this should not discourage me from building a relationship with GOD should this be my desire. Oftentimes the people that we have developed a bond with, are those who distract us from that relationship with our LORD. Again Seth, thanks much for this lesson. GOD's continued Blessings.
    Sophia.

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  9. I absolutely agree. So often we allow circumstances, people, time, or other things to hinder us from our relationship with God. I myself have allowed hurt, anger, or selfish desires to keep me fromspending time with our Creator. It is so easy to do. Living in the flesh is easy, we need Him to live in the spirit. Myree CT

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  10. CHALLENGING BIBLE QUESTIONDecember 1, 2013 at 7:13 AM

    I just posted a "Challenging " bible question I have for advanced bible readers at the bottom of last weeks bible study. I posted it there so as not to distract anyone from this weeks message. I would love some helpfull comments on it to help me better understand what I have read. If you can help me PLEEEEEEEZZZ.
    Claudette - CT

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  11. Seth starts of his message with words Jesus said in the bible how we should love Him more than anyone or anything in this world.

    After reading Seth's message, one has to ask himself/herself, do I really put Jesus above anyone and everything in my life? Thoughts go through my head like, how much did I think of Jesus today compared to others in my life? Or, if I had to make a choice between keeping my job/home OR Jesus, would I really choose Him? Or, if I had to say who I loved more, Jesus OR my kids, husband, wife, etc, can I honestly say I love Him more?

    I feel so bad. He died for my sins. He's my King who gave His life for me. To Jesus I now say, " I reaffirm my love to You. Please come into my heart to live. I love You. I am sorry for my sins. Please help me always keep You as my First Love. Amen." Claudette CT

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  12. Life gives us many tests. Just keep faith. Roger CT

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  13. SETH
    I HAVE BEEN RAISED AS A CATHOLIC, MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME TO
    NEVERHATE ANY ONE. THAT IT WAS OKAY TO DISLIKE SOMEONE
    OR SOMETHING . I AM 75 YEARS OLD, I LOST MY WIFE OF 47 YRS,
    JUST 15 MONTHS AGO, WITHOUT MY LOVE FOR MY FAMILY AND MY LORD JESUS, I WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO HAVE MADE
    THROUGH, I DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR HATE IN MY LIFE.
    12/6/2013
    FRANK NAUGATUCK, CT.

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  14. Great message! I find peace and love wherever I can, and try my best to be the best person I can be to my friends, family, and strangers alike.

    Mark
    Naugatuck, CT

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  15. Through everything that occurs day in and day out it is easy to forget all the amazing things in our lives and dwell on the negative or walk with the devil,but with this message I remember all the reasons to walk against and with christ!
    This bible study I think was interesting and eye opening . Stephanie. CT

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  16. I think Jesus is very wise in what he said because we all need to follow him
    And carry our cross.
    Gail ct

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