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Crucified Before the Foundation of the World

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Sunday, March 6, 2016

Lent 2016--Day Twenty-Three

As Christians we spend a lot of time and ink recounting the love of God and the grace and blessing of being a believer. Jesus called the Disciples to follow him, and he made promises to them about the future and the Kingdom. He also warned them about some difficulties they'd face. He said there was a cost on discipleship. We should not go into this life of love and fellowship without knowing all sides of the question.

Luke 14:26 warns the crowds that those who follow Jesus will be required to serve him before family obligations. God and his mission must be the most important thing they will do.

He tells them they must count the cost, make sure they know what they are getting into. The parable he uses describes the man who begins a building project and doesn't have enough resources to finish it. He follows that with the story of a king who intends to go to war without enough troops. Then he mentions the value of salt but if it is corrupted, it becomes useless.

In Matthew 16:24-27  he said to the disciples,"If you want to follow me, you will have to deny yourself and take up your cross and follow me." 

This then is the cost of following Jesus. Self denial and consecration are required. It doesn't sound like something you'd advertise. But you have to give him credit. He didn't want any followers that might lose their salt or their interest in the job ahead.

In John 6:48 Jesus claimed to be the Bread of Life and insisted that his disciples would eat his flesh or draw their sustenance from him. In 6:60 many of those who had followed in the crowds found this saying to hard to hear and left him.

His demand have not changed. He still requires us to love him more than family or self. He still cautions us to count the cost. He still demands that we rest in his care and find our peace and strength in him. And it's still hard. It still carries the promises of salvation and eternal rest. You want to come along?