|Take Up Your Cross and Follow|
Pastor Jerry was reading from Luke 14:25-33 where Jesus told his disciples to hate father and mother and follow him; and to take up their cross or they could not be a disciple.
Some words are lost in the translation process, and Pastor suggested that the word HATE meant to separate yourself from family. To be able to detach from family, and to love Jesus MORE than anyone or anything else.
Jesus did not mean to NOT love your family, but to love him more. In those days family was extremely close knit and the familiarity of family might complicate a ministry to follow Jesus. Some could not let go of mommy and daddy, to leave home and follow Jesus.
Jesus was asking them to, “Count The Cost.” We toss those and many other words over our shoulders and do not consider that they might apply to us.
Hundreds of Christians are being killed today in Egypt and other countries, those who have severely counted the cost.
We count the cost when we go shopping, and for our medical needs. We tally the cost for involvement in social problems and, even in politics.
Regarding Syria, we must count the cost and pray for clear minds to prevail.
Are we ready to pay the price? Not too many here in America are wanting to kill Christians or run us out of town so that we become refugees.
Emergency workers daily count the cost to save lives at the risk of their own.
Discipleship for us is not largely risk taking, but there is a cost to taking up the cross. Not a wooden cross, but to bear the Gospel in our ministry to those in our community and in our missionary projects.
Jesus has already paid the price for us by his suffering, death, and resurrection.
Pastor Jerry told a story of a farmer and his hound dog. A rabbit ran by and the hound howled and took off after the rabbit. Neighborhood dogs heard the noise and decided to join in. They ran, howled and barked too, but soon tired and went home. The farmer was asked why the other dogs gave up and quit so soon. The answer was obvious. They had not SEEN the rabbit.
May we keep our eyes on Jesus and pick up our cross and follow.
Matthew stated, He who looses his life shall surely save it. We must keep our eyes on Jesus, for he is the one to follow.
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This post is also Linked with Michelle’s Hear it on Sunday Use it on Monday