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Series: Not a Fan
This Week: One and Only
Tuesday — The One and Only!
Today’s Big Point: We cannot just “fit” Jesus into our lives. We must completely surrender to him.
In John 3, we read about a fan named Nicodemus. You should know that he wasn’t just any fan. He was a well-known and well-respected man of God. Nicodemus was a member of the Sanhedrin, an elite group of community and religious leaders. He had been an admirer of Jesus for some time. Listening to the teaching of Jesus, he couldn’t help but be inspired. He watched as Jesus worked incredible miracles, but it wasn’t just his power that was impressive, it was his compassion and love.
Nicodemus was ready to take his relationship with Jesus to another level, but it wasn’t that easy. It never is. There would be much to lose if he went public as a follower of Jesus. What would people think if they found out that Nicodemus was an admirer of this homeless carpenter-turned-rabbi from a nothing town called Galilee… being a secret admirer of Jesus cost him nothing, but becoming a follower came at a high price. It always does. Here is the reality that Nicodemus is about ready to have impressed on him: There is no way to follow Jesus without him interfering with your life. Following Jesus will cost you something—following Jesus always costs something. (from Kyle Idleman’s Not a Fan).
Matthew 16:24 (New Living Translation)
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower,
you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.
In the original language of the scriptures, the word “disciple” means mathetes. It means a learner or a student.
READ…What does the Bible say?
Luke 14:25-28, 33 (New Living Translation)
25 A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, 26 “If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison— your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. 27 And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.28 “But don’t begin until you count the cost… 33 So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.
THINK…Find the answers
Read Luke 14:25-33. How many times does the phrase “my disciple” appear in this passage of scripture? What is the significance of Jesus using such a possessive (“my”) phrase in the context of his invitation to follow him?
Focus on Luke 14:33. Why does Jesus tell us that we cannot be his disciples unless we give up everything for him? Why isn’t it possible to just “fit” Jesus into our life as it exists?
LIVE…What will you do now?
Luke 14:25-33 paints a picture of extreme discipleship. In our society today, no one wants to be called an “extremist.” However, in Luke 14:26, Jesus says we are to be exclusively his—he must be our one and only. But, that’s not always easy. There are a lot of things—good things and bad things—that get in the way.
Let’s look at our relationships to things and people and see where our heart is:
1. What do you mostly spend your time and money on? (sometimes we end up following money and the things money can buy instead of Jesus):
2. When you are hurt, where do you go for comfort? (sometimes where we consistently find comfort can take the place of Jesus for our devotion and affection).
3. What is it that really gets you excited? (sometimes the things that excite us can also point to something or someone that competes with Jesus).
PRAY…God, what do you want me to know & do?
You may read this and think “this is going to cost me a lot of time and energy —I just don’t think I can commit.” Ask God to take your hand and help you focus on Him throughout your day…making you aware of the benefits that outweigh any perceived cost; allowing everything else to fade away!
Daily Bible Reading Commentary: Numbers 33-36
33:1-49 The Lord commanded Moses to write a list of Israel’s encampments between Egypt and the plains of Moab. Significantly, forty places were mentioned, reflecting the forty years spent in the wilderness. The God who would lead the Israelites in the conquest of Canaan was the One who had led them through the wilderness.
33:50-36:13 Entering the Promised Land had been Israel’s goal at the beginning of the book of Numbers. This last part of the book anticipated the settlement in Canaan.
33:50-56 God commanded that all of the Canaanites were to be exterminated, along with all their idolatrous symbols.
33:52 “their high places…” These are hills on which Canaanite altars and shrines were placed.
33:56 “I will do to you as I thought to do to them…” If Israel failed to obey God, she would be the object of God’s punishment in exactly the same way as the Canaanites were.
34:13 “give to the nine tribes and to the half-tribe…” The land to be conquered was to be given to the nine and one-half tribes. The other tribes had already received their inheritance.
35:33 “Blood defiles the land…” Though murder and inadvertent killing polluted the land, murder was atoned for by the death of the murderer. Failure to observe these principles would make the land unclean. If the whole land became unclean, then the Lord would no longer be able to dwell in their midst.