“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his [own] father and mother [in the sense of indifference to or relative disregard for them in comparison with his attitude toward God] and [likewise] his wife and children and brothers and sisters–[yes] even his own life also–he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not persevere and carry his own cross and come after (follow) Me cannot be My disciple.”
“For which of you, wishing to build a farm building, does not first sit down and calculate the cost [to see] whether he has sufficient means to finish it?”
“So then, any of you who does not forsake (renounce, surrender claim to, give up, say goodbye to) all that he has cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:26-33)
During Jesus’ time on earth, many crowds of people followed Him because of the signs and wonders He did. They were starstruck by the power of God He demonstrated. But how many of those people were actually devoted to HIM personally. Who recognized that He was who He said He was? Who believed in His divinity? How many had decided to follow Him, come what may?
These questions are still before every person in the earth generation after generation. In today’s world, people just say a prayer to go to heaven and continue to live their lives in ignorance of the reality of God’s presence and purpose. That is NOT why Jesus came. God is after the HEART. Coming to Jesus is way more than just saying a prayer to go to heaven. It is a selling out or an abandonment of YOUR goals, your aspirations, your wants, and desires. It is a divine exchange of YOU giving your life to Jesus Christ and Him LIVING His life THROUGH your life.
This means that HE is the center of your life. The relationship with Him is the rudder to your ship of life. To follow Him is to put Him first. No, you don’t literally have to leave your parents, your wife, and children, BUT, they are secondary in comparison to your life with Him.
Is this a negative? Hardly. Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life and have it MORE abundantly.” What is abundance? It is plenty. Plenty of peace, plenty of love, plenty of provisions, plenty of purposes. He WANTS you to have healthy relationships with your parents, your spouse, and children and with all people. He WANTS you to live in peace even in the middle of a crisis. He WANTS you to have plenty of food, water, clothes, transportation, and lodging. He WANTS you to fulfill your destiny in God and He WANTS you to work in a job or business that you LOVE. That is His desire for your life.
Jesus said, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and My righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” When you take your hands OFF these things and let Jesus have them, then you gain all things. By pursuing Him first, He will ensure you are taken care of. He gave everything to have you in His life, so we also must give everything to Him in order to fulfill His plans for us. The Bible says “I know the plans I have for you, plans for good and not evil; to give you hope and an expected end.” (Jeremiah 29:11). It truly is a win-win situation.
The cost of following Jesus is no less high than the cost He paid to set you free to follow Him. He is 100% all in…so am I. I pray that you too, will go all in for Jesus…
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