Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Did Jesus Really Mean I Must Give Up Everything to Follow Him? Luke 14:33.

God Loves You
Those “deny yourself” verses sound so demanding, but what did Jesus mean?

“In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:33 

Starting at verse 25 to the end of the chapter Jesus is saying we must count the cost.  He is stating a fact- that it does cost to follow him.
  • The lure of wealth, status and possessions are so powerful that hardly anyone can have them and follow Jesus.
  • Love of ourselves stands between us and our Lord.
  • Relationships, romance, and marriage get in the way of following Jesus.
  • Careers, goals, and dreams get in the way.
  • Self-image, appearance, and fashion get in the way.
  • Social status and pleasing friends get in the way.
  • The list goes on and on.
We must be willing to give these things up if we want to follow Jesus.  It doesn't mean that we will have to but we must be willing to.

It can be different considerations for one person than for another.  To one person giving up everything may mean emotional distance to possessions.  For another, it is saying, “I am only a steward of this stuff.”  For another, it may mean actually throwing things away, or sell them and give the money to the poor.  One answer does not fit all of us.  You could sell your car but have not given up status, dreams, or the desire to be loved.

The Christian life is a relationship with the Lord, not a set of rules. You may need to sell something today and tomorrow keep things and adopt a steward's attitude, and the next time may be different.  It does mean to be willing to take drastic steps.

The guiding principle is that if something is keeping you from following the Lord you must deal with it without mercy.  If wealth keeps you from following the Lord then choose poverty.  If popularity keeps you from being a disciple then choose disrepute.

You will forego one thing and another demands your affections.  You may censor a relationship and another pretty face pops up.  We drop hobbies and later start another.    We must to not get discouraged but renew our commitment to Jesus and give up things that get in the way.

You must be so sensitive to Jesus that we can tell when something is coming between him and you.  You will find blessing when you give up things for Christ, not only a cleaned out and a simpler life but you gain more of Jesus.  He is better than the treasure your paycheck can buy, better than the status, promotion or toy.  He is worth losing the things that perish.

If something keeps you from following Jesus pray about it and give it up.

To learn more about how to have a relationship with Jesus as savior see my other blog.

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(c) Adron