The Cost: Everything? – Week of September 5, 2022

Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:33

Sharing toys. Sharing snacks. Sharing time with grownups they love. Young children have so many things to learn about living in a world with others. They learn that being part of a world with others means that they give up a little to get a lot. It’s not an easy lesson for young ones nor for us. Today we hear what Jesus tells us about being one of his followers.

In our reading for today, Jesus is continuing to teach the crowds that follow him. At times they had questions for him. Jesus often used parables or illustrations to teach. Today’s question—what does it take to follow Jesus? His answer is not sugar coated by any means. Take a couple of minutes to read Luke 14:25-35. In these verses he lays out three conditions for following him and none of them are easy.

  • Family: Yes, family is a gift and important. However, in verse 26 Jesus’ strong words teach us that our relationships with others are never to be more important than our relationship with him. It is, of course, God pleasing to be a loving member of your family. However, our time and focus on Jesus must always take first priority.
  • Cross: Followers of Christ will carry a cross (verse 27). If you and I were living in the times of Jesus, these words would have vivid meaning as people were familiar with how the cross was used. Following Jesus means complete dedication. Satan loves to challenge believers to distract them from their faith. We face persecution, doubt, hardships. However, we also have the promise of our heavenly Father that he is with us in all things with his love and protection. Our crosses can help us grow in faith and in our relationship with God.
  • Possessions: All earthly possessions—verse 33. What? Is Jesus saying we need to own nothing—no home, no furniture, no car, no material items at all? No. Jesus is again reminding those listening that nothing should ever come before our faith in him. God blesses us with earthly blessings and wants us to view them as just that—blessings from him to be used out of thankfulness to give glory to him.

Family. Cross. Possessions. That’s a lot. Our human nature wants to resist on all points. But it’s nothing compared to what Jesus has given us. Following Jesus comes at a cost. However, we have a treasure that is beyond anything this world can offer. We have Jesus. We have his promises, his forgiveness, his unfathomable love for us, his gift of the endless days of joy with him in heaven.

“Take the world, but give me Jesus! Oh, the height and depth of mercy! Oh, the length and breadth of love! Oh, the fullness of redemption, pledge of endless life above!” (CW ’21 699/CW ’93 355)

Dear Jesus, help me to always remember the tremendous cost you paid for me. Help me to never let anything distract me from you. Help me to use the blessings you have given me in my family and friends and all other earthly things to reflect and glorify you. In your name I pray. Amen

Hymn: Consider the following hymn for further reflection.

Take the World, but Give Me Jesus
CW21 699
CW 93 355

Early Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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