Hebrew Roots/The army of invaders/Excuses
EXCUSES AGAINST DISCIPLESHIP
There is a cost to discipleship - that cost is OBEDIENCE
OBEDIENCE will mean SELF-DENIAL
- SELF-DENIAL :::: will mean :::: SACRIFICE.
The disciple should be willing to pay the price of obedience!
"These people come near to me with their mouth and honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up of rules taught by men." Isaiah 29:13
(Following religious instructions, attending services, doing good works fall into this category)
"Not every one who says to me, 'Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven." Matthew 7:21
The aim of salvation is to restore us to obedience, to bring us back from going our own way. It is not enough to profess faith and service - we must do it!
See the parable of the two sons in Matt.21:28-32 One paid lip-service, the other refused at first but afterward repented and obeyed.
We will never be required to do anything beyond that which with His enabling, we will be able to undertake.
"There has no temptation (trial) taken you but such as is common to man. But God is faithful who will not suffer (allow) you to be tempted above that which you are able. But will with the temptation make a way of escape (a way to overcome) that you may be able to bear it." 1 Corinthians 10:13
Y'shua our example, was obedient unto death to secure our salvation. He learnt obedience through the trials He endured - through suffering, i.e. submitting under difficult circumstances and finally, the death of the Cross.
"But we see Y'shua. who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, that he by the grace of God may taste death for every man". Hebrews 2:9
His obedience OBTAINED our salvation!
Our obedience APPROPRIATES our salvation!
1. THE UNCOMMITTED MAN
"As they were going along the road a man said to him, 'I will follow you wherever you go.' And Y'shua said to him, 'Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head." Luke 9:57-58
This man had a problem with commitment
He volunteered to follow Y'shua, but his offer was not one of wholehearted commitment, it was an impulse of the moment. He was caught up in the excitement and made an emotional response without realising what it would involve. Y'shua did not invite Him to follow Him or rebuke him, He just explained what was involved in discipleship, that it was a commitment!
The man said that he would follow Y'shua wherever He went and Y'shua said in reply that He didn't have anywhere in particular to go. He was committed to follow the Father wherever that would be. The excitement of the hour, the miraculous, the approval of the crowds through meeting the needs of the people are not sufficient to carry through to the self-denial of the way. The man had his own concepts of discipleship and what it meant, which was according to his own desires. His enthusiasm and zeal was self-orientated.
Discipleship is a personal and total commitment to Y'shua our Messiah!
Are we willing to trust Him wherever He calls us to go and..... whatever He calls us to do?
2. THE PROCRASTINATING MAN
"To another He said, 'Follow me,' but he said, 'Lord, let me first go and bury my father.' But he said to him, 'Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God." Luke 9:59-60
This man had a problem with priority!
In Jewish tradition it was the elder son's responsibility to bury the father. Most probably he was the eldest son, but it is unlikely that his father was already dead. More likely he was considering his future responsibilities, otherwise he would not have been out in the crowd following Y'shua.
He felt he could not leave his elderly father until his obligations were completed and he had fulfilled his duties.
His problem then was putting other duties before a commitment to God which should have had first priority. His problem then was putting something else before God which caused him to be disobedient to the direct call of our Lord, Y'shua the Messiah.
When we put other things before Yahweh they will stumble us in our walk!
Notice! The man did not offer to follow, Y'shua picked him out and called him to follow Him. This required him to set aside aside his own plans and become committed to do His.
The Spirit of God will often call us at a time when it cuts across our plans and desires to test our obedience.
Take for example when Y'shua called His disciples from their occupation working on their nets, "They IMMEDIATELY left their nets and followed him." Matthew 4:20
Abraham is another example, he was willing to give up his only son at the call of Yahweh.
"Seek you first the kingdom of God and his righteousness ......" Matt.6:33
1. The timing of the call God's call is always at the right time, it will seem inconvenient if we are motivated by personal priorities and are centred on our own plans.
2. The clarity of the call His call was specific and clear. He will always cause us to understand what He requires of us and wants us to do.
3. The Suitability of the call Y'shua personally addressed him with a special commission that he would have been able to fulfil "to preach the kingdom of God". He never asks us to do something for which He will not equip us.
The disciple has to be willing to leave everything to follow Him!
3. THE WAVERING MAN
"Another said, 'I will follow you, Lord, let me first say farewell to those at my home,' Y'shua said to him, 'No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.'" This man had a problem with temptation! Luke 9:61-62
Y'shua knew the man's heart. He knew what motivated him to say what he did. In verse 62 the Greek means 'one who continues to look back'.
The man's heart was distracted by the things around him. He had not come out of worldly desires which would hinder him serving God. He had not yet gone back to the world, but this is where He was looking. It was not just his family, he was motivated by the self-life. He had not said 'No' to the things that would stop him following Y'shua.
The principle is that we will eventually go where we are looking, sooner or later we will deviate. We will not stay on the straight and narrow while looking to the right or to the left. Our eye needs to be single and our body full of light. Matthew 6:22-23
As ploughing requires the undivided attention of the farmer so being a disciple requires undivided attention. Having begun we must continue on to the finish.
Elisha is an example of one who severed himself from his old life and left himself no means of return. He slew the oxen, his means of living, said farewell and left all. 1 Kings 19:19-21
He took no thought for the future or the consequences of leaving everything.
It requires complete trust in the One Who commissions you to follow.
THE EXAMPLE OF Y'SHUA
Y'shua made no excuses, and we are called to follow Him!
He is the ultimate example, a man that put aside everything of his own interests and was completely obedient even unto death. (Phil.2:8)
How did Y'shua gain that obedience? It was learned!
Y'shua learnt obedience through the things which he suffered, the difficult situations in life where it says that He was tempted in all points as we. Heb.2:8-9; 4:15
He learnt obedience by being obedient!
His obedience gained our salvation.
Our obedience appropriates our salvation!
Matt. 21:28-32 tells a parable of two sons. One paid lip service to God. The other refused initially but repented. God does not want to hear our excuses, He wants our obedience. He wants us to follow in the footsteps of Y'shua.
That is true discipleship!
But, a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. (James 1: 8) A foot in both camps, trying to hold onto some of the old while attempting to live the new life, will cause one to not progress spiritually. That person will be a slave to his desires and will not last in the kingdom, but the true son of the kingdom will experience the true liberty of life in Y'shua. Serving Him is not restriction and bondage, but glorious liberty and life. John 8:31-36
So, “If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36)