Luke 14:25–35 Put Down What You Love; Pick Up What You Loathe
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Theme: It is an unavoidable hard truth. Our relationship with Jesus will put us in situations where we must decide where love for him ranks compared to love for other people and things. And Jesus is not content to be one of many important things in our life; he wants to be first. He wants us to follow his Word unwaveringly, even when he asks us to do difficult things. As a result, following Jesus will force us to let go of things we love and embrace things we would naturally loath. Jesus is loving and honest. He doesn’t hide this hard truth! Instead, he tells us up front that we must count the cost of following him. That means calculating what we might have to give up as his followers. He wants us to do that now, ahead of time, rather than waiting until we are in the heat of the moment and emotions are running high. However, our calculations should not only consider what we might give up for Jesus. They also entail calculating what we get through him! When we perceive the infinite blessings we find in Christ, the decisions we must make, while difficult, will be clear. Whatever is lost as we follow Jesus pales in comparison to what we gain.