Eyes wide open

Tonight, I am speaking in Orange County, California, on the topic of suffering. We will deal with the oft-asked question, “How can a God of love allow suffering?”

I hope you can join us. I will preach the same message this coming Sunday at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, where it will also be webcast.

Now, back to our topic for this week–discipleship.

Jesus said that we are to go into all the world and make disciples. But before I can make one, I have to first be certain that I am one myself.
After all, it takes one to make one.

We have been looking at the requirements of Discipleship from Luke 14. So far, we have discovered that . . .

  1. The disciple must love God more then anyone or anything else (Luke 14:26).
  2. The disciple must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Jesus (Luke 14:27).

Now, for the third thing . . .

We must count the cost

Luke 14:28-30 tells us: “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it–lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.'”

Being a true follower of Jesus Christ is not easy.

If you are a spiritual baby, then just go home to Mommy! But if you want to be a real man or woman of God and you want your life to matter, then come on!

It costs to follow Jesus

This passage is a reminder that the Christian life is not a playground but a battleground!

I won’t lie to you. It costs to follow Jesus, especially in this day and age. If you are a true Christian, you will be branded as intolerent, narrow-minded, a fanatic, Bible-thumper, and a Jesus Freak.

Jesus told us this would happen. He said that if they hated Him, they would hate us too (John 15:18). But He also promised us that He would bless those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake (Matthew 5:10).

Impulse purchases

This is why Jesus tells us we must count the cost to follow Him.

There are people who will make impulse purchases. Thats why they offer you free credit cards, even though you do not qualify. They are banking on the fact that you will tempted to buy something now, and then spend the rest of your life paying off the high interest charges.

Many people get married before counting the cost, rushing through without really getting to know each other. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Keep your eyes wide open before marriage and half shut after.”

In the same way, some will make commitments to follow Jesus without counting the cost.

It’s more than worth the cost, but don’t make an impulsive commitment to do this. Don’t follow Jesus just because your friends do. Count the cost and make your own commitment.

Yes, it costs to follow Jesus. But you know what? It costs a whole lot more not to.

Whatever you give up to follow Him will be more than made up to you. It’s God’s trade-in deal.

Jesus said, “Mark my words, no one who sacrifices house, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, land–whatever–because of me and the Message will lose out. They’ll get it all back, but multiplied many times in homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land–but also in troubles. And then the bonus of eternal life! This is once again the Great Reversal: Many who are first will end up last, and the last first” (Mark 10:29-31 THE MESSAGE).

2 thoughts on “Eyes wide open”

  1. Forrest Messenger says:

    Dear Greg:

    I just prayed for some encouragement over the issue described below, and was led to your Eyes Wide Open posting. I left a Presbyterian church about 12 years ago to attend a charismatic, more committed congregation because I wanted more of God than I was getting. My closest fried from that church and I have since drifted apart in our world views which became very apparent the other evening when he made that clear to me in no uncertain terms. I felt hurt and betrayal. I am not judging my friend, but feeling the pain of losing a closeness I felt for many years. As I have pressed in to grow more in Christ, in the Word and in fellowship he has hung back. I realize from reading your post that this is part of the cost of going for God. Thanks!

  2. Timothy Santillan says:

    Pastor Greg and his son Jonathan have saved my spiritual life. They both accepted me not knowing who I am. Each day my spiritual life continues to bring me closer to God. Attending the Thursday Fellowship has given me new life. Life without my wife has been the greatest pain I have ever experienced but turning to Christ Jesus is now giving me the strength to continue on and I have a better understanding of what God has in store for me. I will follow his path – one that has lead me to Pastor Greg.
    God Blesss

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