Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
303-665-6105
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PENTECOST 13 – September 8, 2019 – Luke 14:25-35 “THE BLESSING, THE COST”

Introduction:  Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father, and from our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Our text is the Gospel Lesson just read, from Luke 14.  We begin with prayer.

 

Dear fellow disciples of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ:

  • We all know about the difficult and disturbing process of “counting the cost” of things we would like to have or would like to do. As children we do not think about this at all – just that we want something.  Sometimes, even as adults, we might find ourselves doing the same.
  • However, experience has shown us the foolishness of doing this. 1]  We may not have the money for other necessary things.  2]  We may not have the money to keep a thing in repair  3]  There may be hidden expenses, like insurance, that we do not take into account.  4]  Others may react negatively to our decision, perhaps even rightly so.  5]  There may be other adverse consequences to our decision that we should have taken time to think about.
  • Everyone pays a price for what they decide to do. College is expensive.  Athletics are difficult.  Learning to play a musical instrument well is hard.  Learning how to maintain and care for things is challenging.  Even travel involves some rigors and inconveniences! 
  • So it should not surprise us that Jesus urges us to also count the cost of “following” Him. Here the cost is solely a matter of the various forces which oppose God, those committed to evil, and then also to the “cost” of letting go of selfishness, self-interest, greed, pride, and other aspects of our sinful nature. 
  • Also, weighing the “cost” of following Jesus is like many other decisions we make. We must also count the “cost” of choosing an alternative course of action.  If deciding whether or not to buy a house, we might want to consider the cost of renting instead.  The same with an automobile.  Likewise, many medical decisions are a matter of which set of negatives a person chooses to live with.
  • We must understand that the cost of not following Jesus is much more grim and fearful in the long run, even if it seems easier in this life. And this is all part of the equation Jesus bids us consider:  “THE BLESSING, THE COST.”  And

 

I.  We Know The Blessings Of Christ

 

A.  Redemption, The Forgiveness Of Sins

 

Eph. 1:7 “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”

 

B.  We Also Have Reconciliation And Peace With God

 

2 Cor. 5:18,19  “All this is from God, Who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”

 

Rom. 5:1  “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

C.  We Also Have The Assurance Of Eternal Life, Through Faith In Jesus

 

John 3:16-18 “”For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.  Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the Name of the only Son of God.”

 

D.  And We Are Also Blessed With A New Life Of Love, With Christ In Us

 

2 Cor. 5:17  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.“

 

2 Cor. 3:18  “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

 

Eph. 4:20-24  “But that is not the way you learned Christ! – assuming that you have heard about Him and were taught in Him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

 

Text:  “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate . . . even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.  Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.  . . . So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be My disciple.”

 

Statement:  Now this last blessing strikes us at first as being a “cost” rather than a “benefit.”  However, when we consider that nobility of character, especially when it comes to generosity, hospitality, compassion, and love, is a most precious and valuable thing, then we can begin to see this inner renewal not only as involving “sacrifice” but also a tremendous blessing of God! 

 

Application:  But those who determine that they have no desire for God’s redemption, salvation, and eternal life, who don’t care to have reconciliation and peace with God, and who want to live selfishly and greedily for themselves, there is nothing that will compel them to even begin to think of the cost of “following” Jesus.  They want nothing to do with Him.  To salve conscience they engage in a few good deeds – not out of gratitude to God or real and genuine love, but rather to build a case for themselves.   But they will be arguing their case with the God Who loved them and redeemed them, but Whose love they deemed worthless.

 

Transition:  But we all understand that:

 

II.  Knowing God’s Love For Us And Believing In Jesus Our Savior, Creates A Loving Commitment To Jesus

 

A.  Faith Holds On To Jesus As Our Chief Treasure And Our First Priority

 

Text:  “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.”

 

B.  Knowing God’s Love, Goodness, Power, And Promises Makes Us Willing Even To Suffer For Jesus, Even A Cross

 

Text:  “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”

 

C.  Knowing God’s Generosity And His Promises To Us, We Are Willing To Give All For God’s Kingdom And The Good Of Others – We Remain Salty With God’s Love

 

Text:  “So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be My disciple.  Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? 

 

Statement:   From the perspective of this life, only the time we live here and now, all of this seems fairly ridiculous – when we are thinking only of what we can enjoy, what we can take pride in, what might elevate us over others.  But from the perspective of eternity, either an eternity of great blessedness and joy with God, or an eternity of great angst and sorrow apart from God and His kingdom, it becomes clear what the better path is, what the better investment is! 

 

Application:  So it is that we continue to focus on God’s Word, on His love, and on the blessedness He provides for us – week after week.  And in so living in faith and God’s love, we have the new life of God growing within us.  And such a life, measured by virtually any objective standard, is a beautiful and fruitful thing! 

 

Conclusion:  So yes, we are to count the cost, but not without first examining the benefits of God’s great love and the eternal blessings He has provided for us in Christ Jesus.  Once these are clearly seen, we understand well the logic of “following” Jesus, even when the cost is counted. 

 

In many respects, counting the costs of true spiritual life with God is simpler than many of the decisions we have to make in this life.  But be assured, no decision we make is weightier than the call of Jesus to follow Him!

God grant each of us wisdom in  this matter, that by His Spirit and His Word He enables us to wisely count the costs.  Amen.

 

Votum:  And the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in the true faith, which is in Christ Jesus, even unto life everlasting, Amen.