Thank you Chloe, thank you for coming this morning. My name is mike when the pastors on staff here at church, it’s honor to be with you this morning. It’s my honor to be able to spend some time looking at the word of God with you. I’ve spent some time this last week studying and praying preparing some thoughts for this passage and I just really do think it seems like if you think of the messaging of Christianity to non christian people, they’ve they’ve heard about a Christianity and they heard about it and they tried something they’d like, I tried that when I was younger, I tried that and I didn’t get that job or I tried that Christianity and then my dog got sick or I tried that Christianity and then I found out there’s hypocrites in church. I found I tried out Christianity and they seem like they just won a lot of time. I tried Christianity, talked about money, I tried Christianity and it didn’t work for me. And as I studied the passage and think about this passage and think about all the different paradigms, what you’re thinking, what you’ve said as people, I really do think we have been sold to Christianity that doesn’t exist biblically, we take american Christianity and we really try to doctor it up and round off the rough edges and take Christianity and package it and distribute it at mass consumption political, politically correct Christianity, a Christianity that like looks good, feels good, plays well with others. There’s this Christianity that I think is an american Christianity, especially on Youtube that is not biblically sound. Um, and I find this passage jarring, sobering, humbling words of our savior, jesus talking about what to expect. So there’s no gotcha, no hooks, no, but wait, there’s more, there’s none of this. I tried this before he lets you know exactly what to expect as you go along your christian life. I find it very sobering and heavy to work through this passage individually. I like to pray and commit this time to the Lord and ask that he would multiply if you bow your heads with me. Let’s pray and ask God to show up in this passage here and encourage our hearts. Lord, thank you for thank you for laying out the cost of discipleship here in luke 14 I ask that you just really instruct us. God help us to have our expectations calibrated correctly on what you say, christ help our, our spines to stiffen our resolve to settle, help us to know exactly what it looks like following you and we wouldn’t be surprised or taken, you know, or distracted or just discouraged and feel defeated as these challenges come along. That christ highlights for his would be followers. I said should encourage us and instruct us and convict us and open our eyes. We can see wonderful things in your work. If you don’t show up God, it is not worthwhile showing up here. We just love you and commit this time. You just name, we pray amen, I love the doctor luke who wrote this book luke 14, page 5, 10 in your house bibles, I love dr luke’s uh technicality as he goes through this passage in verse 25. If you look at me now, great crowds accompanied him, jesus and he turned and said to them and he jumps into a scathing reproach. It seems a very brutal passage, some of the most challenging things that jesus said, we’re looking at this morning and you see this rhythm jews would preach and do miracles and more and more crowds would come and then jesus would raise the expectations as the crowds expected as the crowds rose, the expectations rose and jesus goes and he goes right at it. That’s just straight initially. Let’s just acknowledge that is different than what we see in american Christianity. The larger the church, the easier it is to go. I’m reminded of uh messaging and branding. I’ve heard about some churches and it reminds me of a gym here in town. Uh, zero entry fee, zero cancelation fee if you like, you know, drop weights, People, you know, judge you. There’s like, you know, no judge, free zone. Uh, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s really doctored up, like anyone can be here and it’s okay just to be here. And if if you’re healthy or unhealthy, that’s fine. We’re just glad you’re here. Uh and if you stay unhealthy, that’s fine. We’re just glad you’re here. You get what I’m saying. So I, I I love how jesus raises the bar as the crowds rise, he raises the standard, uh look at verse 26 if anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and Children, brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple, jesus laying out, there’s a cost, there’s a relational cost is how I package this first liability of being a follower of christ, it’s like you’re driving down the interstate on the highway to heaven and there’s an exit ramp here and it’s like get off here, if family and friends and relationships are gonna matter to you more than christ and many people hit the hit the blinker and get off on that, that exit and you’re like, I hate my family, preaching pastor, I, I don’t have good feelings about my family, that’s easy for me, I I don’t, you should meet my family mike, this is, but the jewish culture had this huge honor shame thing as a primary large jewish audience and it was incredibly important for these jewish boys and jewish girls to care for their father and their mother, their father in law and mother in law, honor and shame is incredibly honoring, to take care of your parents, incredibly shameful to not take care of your family. And so jesus went after the highest human loyalty, they could have to their culture, to their country, into their home family nucleus unit and said, if you love those people more than me, you cannot be my disciple. Do you understand what I’m saying, jesus saying, if you love those people more than me, you cannot be my disciple. Now, obviously the bible not saying hate your family all throughout the bible, there’s all this strong family values, God created the family, he created men and women in the south, the institution of marriage, which is, which is a huge hallmark institution in the bible that is living throughout the whole bible into our society today, it says honor your father and mother, it says, just got down and welcome the kids to him, paul said, if a man does not provide for the needs of his family, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever Ephesians four and five say respect and love and care for your spouse, like God, care for the church, like husbands, care for your wife, like God, care for the church, there’s a high standard of family care and Godliness in the home throughout the whole bible. So jesus not saying hate, he’s speaking in hyperbole, which is a shocking, jarring, memorable statement to just really kind of shake his large jewish audience to think our relationship is going to be more important to me than falling christ family relationships in their context, just relationships in our context. If you were to take this passage and put a modern spin on it would be like if you if you if anyone wants to come after me and does not hate his instagram his facebook, his youtube, his social media, his phone, his ipads earbuds uh he cannot be my disciple, our entertainment, self centered american society moving on. But the first exit, the first exit ramp seems to be a relational cost of following christ if you’re gonna follow across, there’s a relational cost. Now some of you, you might have grown up in the church and mom and dad, grandma and grandpa, all your friends, they’re christians so this doesn’t relate to you, this relates to old testament, new testament jewish people. But it’s like if all your jewish friends are going this way, your people, you party with people, you’re hoping to get married with your friends, your family, they’re all going this way and then you turn and you start to follow christ as a jewish person, There’s relational offense, you’re stepping through that that matter. There’s a relational cause and effect of following christ for those people. People from the first service came to me afterwards and said mike yeah, that relational cost to fall in christ as the first convert in my family that hurt tears in their eyes emotions is a real thing when you’re the first to turn and become converted and follow christ in your family there’s a real cost because they didn’t sign up for that you’re their son or their daughter and it’s like that’s not how I raised you, that’s not what we value as a family, what are you doing? You betrayed us, you’ve abandoned us, we’re going this way and you’re what you’re judging us, you’re better than us, there’s a relational cost in following christ christ, want to highlight that for you as a follower, so you’re not alarmed or taken back by the relational cost of following christ, I know he doesn’t want you to hate, but was that your love for him to be so supreme that all other loves look like hates compared to your love and your loyalty to him, that’s the first exit ramp. The second exit ramp Is a personal cost to following Christ or personal cost of following Christ. Um the beginning of verse 26, if anyone does, if anyone comes to me and does not hate his family, relationships, compared his love for me and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple verse 27, whoever does not bear bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. There’s a deep personal cost in following Christ. So initially the first barrier, the first exit ramp, you can take in not following christ, being a disciple is relationships. The second barrier, the second exit ramp you can take is relationships with yourself because my life as a baby, my life as a kid, my life as a teenager in my life as a college person, very self centered vain the world wrapped around me and then my brain fully group and I decided to get married and then I realized I had more sin and selfishness in my life and then we had some kids and there’s even more and then it’s like as you grow older it seems like people can follow more of their own desires, their selfishness or they can become different, they can become more selfless christ says that your love and your loyalties to him has to be supreme even over your own desires, your own ambitions, your own selfish ones. You yourself are a barrier to fall in Christ. He says pick up your cross and follow me right verse 27 does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. So across its drill really wear its tattoos, we get, we don’t realize what the cross was you’re like. Yeah, it’s that smooth tan thing at church that is over there on the south wall, the cross just then and out the cross. Then it was mainly viewed as the for this context was the top bar of the cross. It was rougher and they had to carry it with them up to where they were being crucified and they were either tied to the cross or they were nailed to the cross and then they were suspended up above the ground where they slowly died from exposure asphyxiation bleeding and they slowly died on that cross so pick up your cross and follow me a modern equivalent is pick up your execution chair and follow me that’s dark but the idea is that daily dying, so that’s then now the idea of a cross for a christian is taking my needs, my desires, my wants, my hopes, my dreams and burying them in christ so deeply that I want and I dream and I desire what christ wants and dreams and desires for me, christ is the only one that can give me hope for my life but my whole life is defined by laying my life down, not picking my life up, I wake up in the morning and it’s not about me, it’s about jesus, it’s about the kingdom of God, it’s about christ, that’s the call for all disciples, not just the Uber christian disciples, that’s the cost of entrance for all disciples and if we’re honest, most christians check out at door number one exit number one of interstate of following christ exit number two of self really hits home. I know our culture loves me time taking care of myself, my comfort culture picking up your cross and following christ is like poking the eye of a comfort culture christian, I’m very aware of that, my house has blankets cause we’re cheap and keep it really cold. My kids wake up and they grab their blanket, they eat their cereal because mom and I are cheap and we, we don’t keep our house really warm, but I know there’s this comfort culture in my kids and myself and it just grows, you feed your comfort and just keeps growing and growing, but the cost of admission for discipleship of jesus christ is to pick up your cross, suffer bleed, be ashamed and humility like christ and die, that’s the expectations crisis paying for us, that personal cost of following christ, if you’re like me, you’re at this part of the passage, you’re like this is heavy, this is hard, how do you do that? This is depressing while I come, I should have stayed online and watched at home like the other people, I could turn it off, you know just kidding, we love you christians that are online, but there is no chance in the world, you can accomplish this on your own, you have to have something happen in your life to live out real authentic discipleship really following christ, you have to have something called a new life, a re ginger re rebirth in your life, your soul has to be born again, you have to be a real follower of christ, the old you died and the new you was alive and I knew you was living on the power of the spirit that makes you didn’t want to do this Verse 28, Jesus pauses and jumps into some illustrations for which of you designed to build a tower does not first sit down and count the cost about whether he has enough to complete it otherwise when he has laid a foundation, is not able to finish all finish all who see it will begin to mock him saying this man began to build and was not able to finish. So it’s like you’re driving along on the interstate to heaven and you see buildings that aren’t completed in Lincoln we have a lot of buildings are being torn down and rebuilt but we don’t have a lot of half built buildings in our city. I saw a bunch of half built skyscrapers when 30 some of us went to Dominican republic for spring break mission trip a couple years ago. It was wild and everyone knew the stories of those people skyscrapers, the bottom floor like homeless people were using. And then the second story on up was just empty, concrete and steel and there’s no windows, no glass, just a skeleton of a building. And they all knew this guy got embezzled in government, government money got in trouble and this guy had a divorce and his wife took his money could afford to finish these things. They all knew or they’re making up stories of the sad stories of the business people and why they didn’t finish their high tower sky rise thing. The world walks by and sees a christian that started out, build a skeleton of Christianity and then just checks out and quits because they didn’t count the cost and they know the backstory. Gianni christian, I became a christian, didn’t have a lot of family relational ties but he was not able to conquer himself and he checked out. And then the last point we’re getting to the world knows and they see a christian that didn’t quite get the job complete, that didn’t build his house and his life completely and totally and count the cost ahead of time and then just goes onto another illustration here, Verse 31 or what king going out to encounter another king in war will not first sit down and deliberate whether he’s able with 10,000 to meet to meet him who has 20,000 and if not while while the other is yet a great way off to send a delegation and ask for terms of peace. So there for anyone who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple in biblical battles back in the day it was total war or total surrender and you had to make that decision early on and you had to hire mercenaries and get a real big battle plan and and beef up your armies because the 2 to 1 ratio was basically a chance you’re gonna lose. So you have to make some decisions either you surrender, they don’t completely come and occupy and take over your country or you go and find mercenaries to beef up your numbers two for one odds were bad odds in the bible days, but these are like obvious things where you can’t have half measures, you do it or you don’t do it, you build the tower, you don’t build a tower, you win the battle or you lose the battle and you lose everything. That’s what our discipleship should look like in our mind’s eyes as we’re going along and he says, count the cost personally relational, e count the cost, relational and personally count the cost. Don’t be like the tower, don’t be like the person who started and got tooken apart by war. But look at verse 33 there’s a third principle of things that take people out a third exit ramp there in verse 33 so therefore anyone of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple, all that he has is a wealth thing, wealth. So I’m just gonna say finance in our context, but they gave wealth. The early church began with wealth. The Book of Acts is filled with crazy general stories of people giving all that they had finances, your finances is a barrier to fall in christ your finances is a barrier of your discipleship. So let’s review there’s a relational cost, there’s a personal cost and there’s a financial cost of following christ christian, there’s a financial cost, we have many members that are very generous and very correct Biblical perspective on what God talks about generosity, I’m very grateful for you all of us, Pastors are very grateful for you. It’s amazing what we can do and we have done because of your generosity. There’s many people that are counting the cost on what it means to be a member. I’m saying this to you. There’s a cost of following christ in your finances. We talk about your time, your talent, your treasure, but christ was all in on his finances. He was born poor, he was raised poor, he grew up in a very poor region of Nazareth Where everyone knew those people had a draw and they sounded poor. He was an educated fancy. He surround himself with a very non, you know, affluent disciples. He died penniless preacher like those poetic people dramatically say and all of his early apostles, all 11 of them went around the whole entire known world and they died the same dive, persecuted, suffering martyred and they all died. Poor Christianity is at its best when people have a correct crest, correct grasp on money, Christianity is that it’s worse when when finances and money is abused. That is a thing in american Christianity. That is the thing on the global christian christian world where different people groups are, are, are using Christianity to weaponize to take finances from different people groups. That is wrong, that is evil. If the pastor, you know and love is worth $100 million you probably listen to a pastor who doesn’t have verse 33 in his bible who doesn’t have this chapter 14 in his bible. Therefore, anyone who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple exit ramp of finances, exit ramp of your, yourself, an exit ramp of your relationships. All three of those are serious liabilities, serious cost. You have to evaluate when following christ christ knew what was going to come from all the followers of christ was the perfect disciple who perfectly modeled all of these things for us. Think of christ, his relationships, he had family and friends, think he was losing his mind. They sent a delegation of his siblings to go get him and his ministry was taking off saying he’s lost his mind. Go get your brother, jesus and bring him back here. He’s embarrassing us shame on our family, he’s dishonoring us, Go get him and bring him back here. We already have a scandal of our family, go get him and bring that kid back. He had that scandal relational cost. He had to pay to follow God’s will for his life. Moving on, christ suffered more personally than any person that’s ever existed on this planet. He suffered for you, but he suffered a model for us, a perfect disciple of laying down his rights and his life and suffering through obedience so that you and I might have a faith in God christ model perfect obedience and his personal walk of God, and then christ obviously like I just said was not a health and wealth, prosperity best life. Now preacher, you get what I’m saying, men and women, it is a sobering thing that christ said and these are some of the most difficult, challenging passages in the bible scholars say, but it is a sobering, difficult thing that christ lived for us and a model for us and his disciples model for us. Let’s let’s look at these last few verses 34 and 35, salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is of no use neither for the soil or for the manure pile, it is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear if you think of christians who start out strong on that road to god of discipleship and then they lose their saltiness. Well let’s stop and start back up the context of salt back in that day, you’re like salt mike, I have table salt and then there’s that thing called salt that I’m supposed to put out on my sidewalks and I never remember until my neighbor does it for me, like there’s a bucket of salt out there that were spread on the sidewalks and the parking area so that you don’t fall and you’re like that salt, if you put that salt on your hamburger this afternoon, you get really sick because that salt is like saturates like chemicals and compounds to make it not table salt, but it’s like don’t let stuff free salt, so I get what I’m saying, there’s but in that day and age they had salt that’s lost its its purity, it lost its its potency and had other things mixed into it and it didn’t taste like salt, it tastes like someone doctored up their salt pile to get a little bit more salt price out of stuff to preserve meats and whatnot, and if it’s like it, it looks like salt, it doesn’t taste like salt and it doesn’t have the chemical compounds of salt, this is worthless, let’s throw it out the preliminary pilot, just get rid of this thing to fight, we’d just get rid of this thing to keep, it’s not, we can’t use our meat will spoil, we’ll get sick, they added limestone or something with the salt, so that’s the historical context of salt because we don’t worry about our table salt, get what I’m saying, so back to the passage, salt is good, but if it’s lost its saltiness, how shall its saltiness be restored? So just just talked about discipleship and the cost of discipleship, he talked about the relational cost, the personal cost and the financial cost of being a disciple, so think of christians, you know maybe yourself who you’re good in one of these areas, but you’ve lost your saltiness in another area, you’re like, I’m good at neglecting all other relationships, just me and you jesus, I don’t like people anyway it’s just me and you jesus that’s fine, that’s fine but me time, God that’s king time and I’m the king of that time not you God, I’m the king of that time Oh and money, I’ll give a little bit of money but don’t make me hang out those christians two out of 32 out of three is not jesus standard discipleship, two out of 31 out of three you get what I’m saying, the goal is three out of three christians and if you see christians that are bad representation of christ and Christianity that are those half build towers, those kings that go to war and just get destroyed. That they tend to get taken on only three areas the world when the world when you look at salt it tastes like salt. When the world looks at Christianity you should look taste feel and sound like christ. If you don’t look taste feel and sound like christ, you might not be in christ the bible says the bible says broad is the road and many are on it that leads to hell. If you 56 and seven jesus at the end of that server on the mount he said you must be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect, he warned his people that I, there’s many that will say they did this, this and this is my name and I’ll say depart from them. You evil, wicked servant. I never knew you all over Lincoln people get up and go to church, but yet broad is the road and many are on it that lead to hell. Are you a real christian? I’m serious. The real Christianity is spelled and flushed out in this cost of discipleship, relational personal financial, not that you’re earning your salvation through giving or hanging out with people or you know, having a disciplined life, not that you know that you’ve heard us preach before. We don’t say that at this church, but men and women. Salt is good, but you’ve lost your saltiness. How shall how shall its saltiness be restored is of no good either for the soil or for the manure a pilot, This will be thrown away. He who has ears let him hear, ken Hughes has a great quote. He says the entrance of Christianity is free, but the annual subscription is astronomical cost of becoming a christian is free by God’s sacrifice by jesus sacrifice. But the annual prescription subscription of being a christian, it cost you things brother and sister. We should celebrate that. That generosity of ourselves. Generosity of our relationships, Generosity, our finances because at the end game at the end of the road, we know we’re not just going to heaven. We know there’s more than that were rewarded for every couple of cold water. We give away everything we do. We’re rewarded generously by the God who made everything, the God who made this entire cosmos and universities there to reward us generously were living, not for this life but for that next life. God will open her eyes eventually and you will see what you live for. Jesus is presenting this cost of discipleship. So you know exactly what you’re getting into and your eyes can be opened today to see the game that’s played for the hearts and souls of mankind all over the city and all of this nation. He has ears. Let him hear if you’re not a christian, If you’re not a christian. I was, I was encouraged by the way some scholars wrapped up this passage, who can ask for all of your relationships, all of yourself and all of your finances, who could ask for those three things. Then they quoted Deuteronomy 65 that says love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, Jesus claimed to be God. He claimed to be the perfect son of God who came to take away the sins of the world. Just came to seek and save the lost. If you’re lost. You christ desires to find you this morning, he didn’t lose you. You lost him christ desires that you might know him and come back to him. If you don’t know what I’m talking about. You don’t know about the deity of christ who lived and died on a cross. You don’t know any of that stuff, we have tons of resources, tons of people, tons of time will give you to spend if you help you understand and connect those dots and just sort through this, there’s podcast, there’s youtube channels, there’s websites, there’s so much defense of the faith of christ came, he lived and he died and he rose from the grave like that is like the hallmark corner storm gold standard of Christianity that christ rose from the grave, christ lived, he died and he rose again, he’s God his signs and miracles and wonders. He did all those three years of ministry leading up to his death, burial and resurrection proved that he’s gone. The god of the universe says the cost of discipleship is your relationships yourself and your finances. God can ask that if you don’t know christ know christ today, start that conversation with people here today, many of us have been having combos with you and would love to continue to have conversations with you about who this god jesus man is, if you’re, if you’re a member or you have been following christ and this is not crazy new that I just shared a few this morning, there’s a paul talking to the church, he said it’s good for me to remind you of things, it’s good to endure. Well and be reminded of truce that I can grab the wheel and start to drift to the relationship so I can drift to my personal me time, I can drift to my finances. It’s good to have a re correction that’s good for my soul. Good for your soul. If you’re a baby christian and you’re like I was this way when I got called by God I want to stay this way until jesus comes back, I would warn you is that Christianity that you subscribe to fire insurance Christianity if no fruit in your life, I would not want to live that life and stand before a holy and just God on judgment day where after giving comfort we thought word indeed I’ve ever done. Can we pray and we’re gonna close the communion, let’s let’s pray God, I thank you for today thank you for these men and women, I thank you for what you’re doing in their lives, you’re busy and active in their lives, you have a plan, you’re executing your plan, I said you just encourage us Lord thank you that there is hope and encouragement in the work of christ christ lived the perfect discipleship life and model the way and plowed the way and will pave the way for us to follow you. We all have and will mess up in these three areas. God the goal is not that we never mess up the goals that we look to the one who knows how to fix our mistakes. I think that there’s hope in christ we love you and just commit this time to you in jesus name Amen.