Luke 14:33 How Much Are You Willing To Give Up?

In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples. Luke 14:33

One of the freedoms given in America is the ability to seek one’s own wealth. With that freedom, most people are seeking or at least desiring to be wealthy. They are focused on how much they have and can get.

There is never enough. In the process of trying to get all these things and wealth, many will give up a lot of things. Some understand that one must give up something now to get something greater later.

Jesus gave some parables about how some try to build something, but did not consider the cost. He then tells the people that they must be willing to give up everything to be His disciple.

One thing that is claimed a lot is that one just needs to repent and believe in Jesus to be saved. While this is true for salvation, this is not the only requirement to be a follower or disciple of Jesus.

In order to be a true disciple of Jesus, one has to give up everything.

This is not necessarily throwing everything else out, but it is putting Jesus first above everything else. It is trusting Jesus with everything that one has and trusting Jesus for what He will give.

Often someone becomes a believer and continues to hold on to some sin or something that gets between him and God. God is to be on the throne of one’s heart. There is no room for anything else. If there is anything else on that throne, one is not a full, true disciple of Jesus, he is lost.

As one gives up everything for Jesus, God will fill those losses with greater things that will last for eternity.

You must ask yourself how much of a disciple of Jesus you are. Examine your life and see if there is anything in it that you are allowing to get between you and God. Those things, regardless of what they are, must go.

When Jesus is anything less than your everything, He is nothing to you and you will be left with nothing in the end.

Allow Jesus to be on the throne of your heart. Allow Him to be your everything, not just one more thing.

Are you a disciple of Jesus or not?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will give up all to be a disciple of Jesus; that you will see God’s hand of provision for all you need in your life; that you will not fear giving up things for God; and that you will follow God with all of your life.

Luke 5:27-28 Leave All To Follow

After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him. Luke 5:27-28

When most people hear the phrase, ‘to follow someone’, they often think about following someone on some social media platform. They want to know what that person is doing as much as possible, but only from a distance.

In following someone on social media, it does not require much effort, and no change in a person’s life. There is only a few clicks involved.

Jesus saw a tax collector, Levi, sitting at his job. Jesus tells him to follow Him. Levi gets up, leaves everything and follows Him.

Following Jesus is often very similar to following someone on social media. People claim to believe in and follow Jesus, but never make any real changes to their lives.

Yes, they go to church, but only to get something out of it, not to build others up. Their bible sits on a shelf, only to be dusted off for a church service. They continue to live in a life of sin. It is rare to never that they tell someone about Jesus.

The question comes up as to whether they are really following Jesus or not. Following Jesus must mean a change. Jesus came to change lives, not just have a social gathering online in word only, but not in real life. He came to save the world, not just get some likes.

In the same way that Matthew got up and left everything behind to follow Jesus, every believer must be willing to do the same. He must allow Jesus to be Lord and Master of his life, in every area of his life.

If you have chosen to follow Jesus, ask yourself how are you following Jesus. Are you following Jesus just like following someone on a social media platform? Or are you leaving everything behind and giving it your all to follow Him?

God has great things in store for your life, but you must be willing to trust Him and follow Jesus with everything in you. Do not hold anything back from God, but give Him it all. Jesus is ready to build you and use you in great ways, when you allow Him to do so.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will follow Jesus with all of your life; that you will allow God to change your life; and that you will be willing to leave everything to follow and obey Jesus.

Matthew 24:9 It Will Get Worse First

Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. Matthew 24:9

Very few people actually like to be hated. They will do whatever they can to keep from being hated. It is for this reason that many people fall for peer pressure to do something that they normally would never do.

A few people will do what is right, regardless of who likes it or not. During the process of doing right, many hate it and come against the person, both socially and physically.

As Jesus was talking about the end times, He promised that they would be persecuted, killed and hated because of Him.

Often when believers are talking about their life as a believer, they do not talk about persecution or being hated. The talk is about God’s love, mercy and forgiveness. While these things are good and true, Jesus also promised persecution, death and hatred.

The majority of the world does not like a strong, true believer because he is for Jesus, who is against their ways of living. A standard of living is higher than the world desires to be and the world hates it.

If someone claims to be a believer, and no one that is not a believer does not like him, there is a question of who or what he is following. Jesus was hated, persecuted and killed. His followers are to be just like Him.

Instead of backing down and being quiet, timid little believers, every believer must be bold in their faith and witnessing as they follow Jesus. There was power promised to those who walk in faith in Jesus. The world will hate that power and will fight back, but the end result is eternal life for the believer.

Ask yourself who hates you and why they hate you. If the world is not angry with your walk with God, then check yourself to see if you are really following and being like Jesus or not.

The world hated Jesus and will hate His followers. The world will do what it can to stop you from following Jesus the more closer to Him you get.

Do not give up under the pressure of hatred, persecution and threat of death. Be like Jesus and go all the way. Go for the goal of eternal life.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that the world will know you believe in and follow Jesus; that God will give you strength to endure hatred and persecution; and that God will draw more people to Jesus through your testimony.

Matthew 10:21 You Will Be Hated, But Stand Firm

You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. Matthew 10:21

Nobody likes to be hated by anyone. Most people will do whatever they can to prevent others from hating them. Being completely different and going against the flow often causes others to hate.

People like things to be easy and to go with the common flow, rather than being different. When someone is different, it often gives the feeling that one is inferior or a failure. It becomes very difficult to go against the common flow.

Jesus warns the disciples that they will be hated because of Him. Yet He tells them to stand firm and be saved in the end.

Following Jesus is not popular with the majority of people throughout the world. In following Jesus, one must be willing to change his ways of thinking and acting. He has to choose to leave all sin behind and walk a different path that has eternity, not the temporary, in mind.

When a person is truly following Jesus with all of his abilities, many in the world, including the church, will hate him. The follower of Jesus is set apart as different because he is not just focused on today, but upon eternity. He is willing to reject sin and take a stand against it.

Following Jesus brings light to the world and exposes sin and darkness that most do not want to acknowledge. People will hate anyone who exposes this darkness in their life. They want to live in the moment and will hate the believer.

Although standing against the flow of this fallen world will bring hatred, it will result in salvation for all eternity, not just a temporary pleasure. It takes a strong stand to stand against the sin of this world.

As a believer, people will hate you. It is not you they are hating so much, as it is they are hating Jesus and what He stands for.

If people are not hating you for following Jesus, you may want to ask yourself if you are truly following Jesus with all of your abilities. Jesus was hated by many while He walked on the earth and you are to be no different.

Even though people may hate you, do not give up. Stand strong in your following Jesus so that in the end you will receive eternal life.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will stand as a light of Jesus in this world; that you will not fear the hatred of people; that you will know the salvation Jesus provides; and that you will stand strong and true for God until the end.

Matthew 9:9 Who Are You Following?

As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. Matthew 9:9

Social media promotes the idea that everyone needs everyone to follow them. The more people a person has following him, the more popular and successful he is seen as to be.

Certain celebrities have millions of followers on the different social media platforms. Although people follow others, many really do not know the person that they are following. They only know about the person. There is seldom a direct personal relationship involved.

Jesus walked up to a Matthew, a tax collector, and told him to follow Him. Matthew immediately got up and followed Jesus.

While following people can bring some sort of short term excitement or enjoyment, it is only that–short term. People will fail and will eventually die, leaving all the followers with nothing in the end.

From the beginning of creation until today, God has always wanted a personal relationship with people. As soon as man sinned and fell away from that relationship, God set about building it back up again.

Jesus is calling all people to follow Him. Unlike the world, His calling is for eternity and He will always be right there for His followers. In following Jesus, one gets the benefit of eternal life, not just the image of some good person from a distance.

Many people hear the calling, but reject it. They do not realize what they are turning down–eternal love, joy, peace and life.

Jesus wants to show every person the perfect way to live life on this earth. If one knew and understood this, he would be like Matthew and immediately leave everything behind and follow Jesus for the rest of his life.

You have been called by Jesus to follow Him. You have to make a choice today as to whether you will choose to follow Him, learn from Him and obey Him or not.

Do not be like the majority of the world and reject Jesus and follow other temporary men. Leave your life of sin and death and follow Jesus into eternal life and joy.

Following Jesus will bring a change to your life. God will be able to use you to build His kingdom that will last for eternity, not a temporary kingdom on this earth.

Are you following Jesus and leaving your past behind?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will follow Jesus with all of your abilities; that you will leave your past behind to walk with God; and that you will obey God in every area of your life.