Last week, we began a series based on the study Radical. We looked at what it meant to come to Jesus on His terms rather than ours. Have we tried to make Jesus more like us and our society OR are we willing to follow the Jesus of the Bible. Remember that we looked at what He requires in following: Superior Love and Exclusive Loyalty.
Today, I want to continue to look at this and what that might mean for us as Christians today. Let’s begin by looking at what happened when Jesus called the disciples. Matthew 4:18-22.
Notice what Jesus didn’t say to them…He didn’t tell them to believe in Him. He asked them to follow Him. In order to follow, you must believe. Otherwise, the following will be a short lived whim that is not a lifelong change. They followed. What did they give up to follow?
They gave up their nets…their career and source of food. They gave up their boat…their possessions. They left behind their father…their family. They gave up everything in order to be a disciple of Jesus…Superior Love and Exclusive Loyalty.
What about me and you? What did we have to give up or sacrifice in order to follow Jesus? My fear is that we are still clinging to everything this world has to offer and we still haven’t completely agreed to follow Him. We want to follow…but we are holding to tightly to the things of this world.
If you will remember last week, we looked at Luke 14:25-35. In that scripture, verse 28 talks about counting the cost. If Jesus really requires absolute obedience and commitment, then this isn’t something we do half-heartedly or with waivered commitment. This is something that we do with our whole heart.
Was Jesus really serious about what He is asking us to do? Or have we just given a ton of excuses why He didn’t really mean what He said? Are we following out of convenience? Or are we following out of wholehearted devotion?
As we think about that, let’s look at Matthew 13:44. The man in this parable had found something really really important to him. He had found something that was more valuable than anything else. He had found something that was worth selling everything else he had in order to have this one thing. He wasn’t forced to sell all he had for this one treasure. He found something worth losing everything else in order to obtain this.
Is Jesus your treasure? Is He worth selling all you have in order to follow? Is He worth all of your love and devotion? Is He worth exclusive loyalty and superior love? We are told that where our treasure is, our heart will be also. Something to think about for sure!
Matthew 16:24-27 – In this scripture, we are reminded that we have to be willing to give it all up…because ultimately what matters is Him. We have to be willing to evaluate all we have and give it all to Him. We have to be willing to look at our time, our talents, our gifts, our service…our everything and see if we are clinging to something that is keeping us from following. Are we holding on to something that is good…but is keeping us from being exclusively loyal to Him?
I want to wrap this up with a final thought. We are Christians in a time of war. We are in a battle. We have a job to do. We are called for exclusive loyalty…commitment…all in to follow Him. If we are all in, we are called to put on the whole armor (Ephesians) and prepare for the battle. There are people who have not heard. There are people who do not know. This world is looking to take our devotion away from Him. The enemy will try to steer us in the wrong direction. We are in a time of war…not a time to sit around and admire what we have. Let’s count the cost…take up our cross…and follow Jesus. Are you in?