With the hurrying and scurrying that most of us do just to stay above water, our schedules fill up quickly with appointments, meetings, deadlines and the like. The hustle and bustle of 21st Century America gives little time for reflection and front-porch wisdom, and as Christians, if we are not careful, faithful church attendance, Bible reading and essential Christian behaviors become just another thing to add to the list of “necessities.” But, what does our loving Lord think?
In Luke chapter nine our Lord laid down the high cost of discipleship. The Bible says beginning in verse fifty-seven, And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
In the text we see two men willing to follow Christ at their convenience. Truth be told, they probably could have catalogued thousands of reasons as to why they needed “first” to do something else and then they would fit Christ in, but our Lord saw one great problem with the rationale of these two potential disciples. The problem, you ask? Simple. Jesus never comes next.
He never has taken second place and Christ Jesus never will. He will not condescend to be a subsequent player in our life’s starring role. He said, “I am Alpha and Omega.” Christ is the first, that is, He is the beginning, and He is the omega, He is the ending. All things began with Him, and when they are gone, Christ Jesus still lives. He is ever-present. He never changes and His demands remain the same. People, however, have trouble with this Bible principle.
During a television show Oprah Winfrey related, “I was raised a Baptist and we were too hung up on traditional ways. I was sitting in church and heard that God is a jealous God. I asked ‘Why?’ Come on- let’s get over it!” She related a “jealous God” to an insecure God.
Clearly, this sentiment comes from the heart of one who truly does not know our Christ. The song writer said, “Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all!” If the truth be known, a true follower of Christ who has been to Calvary to observe what our Savior endured for us on that day, would fain to think that he should walk on a trouble-less path to Heaven. We should suffer the loss of anything that would keep us from following after our Lord with all of our hearts.
1. He Demands Supreme Love
Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. -Matt 22:36-37
2. He Demands Supreme Loyalty
Then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; (For the Lord thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the Lord thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth – Deut 6:12-15
3. He Demands Supreme Living
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. -Philippians 1:21
He whom we have crowned with our lips we ought to crown with our lives. Is He your Lord? Is He Lord of your body, your thoughts, your tongue, your temper, your spare time, your life plans, your pocketbook, your church life, your recreation, your music and entertainment choices? The salvation that was purchased to make us God’s children is free to us, but it was not cheap. It cost God His Son and the Son His life. However, when we become believers we become disciples, and that will cost us everything we have. Our Lord is after disciples.
So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not ALL that he hath, he cannot be my disciple (Luke 14:33).
If I were sitting in a pew today, my hand would be the first to rise. Let’s go forward crowning Christ Lord of all!