No one could say he was induced by Jesus to follow him under false pretenses. Would be followers were told to first count the cost, TAKE UP A CROSS, make following Jesus their most important priority. We may do damage to the kingdom today by implying people don’t have to do or commit much to follow Christ! In all probability in Luke 9:59-60, this delaying potential disciple’s father was not even dead yet. In those days, without embalming, they used to bury the deceased the same day. A son whose father had just died wouldn’t be hanging around the town square listening to traveling teachers!
Consider the extent God went to show His great love for us–Christ giving His life on the cross. A significant response is asked from us!
This was a difficult chapter for our group. But, generated very interesting conversation. We talked about how hard it is to totally surrender to God, setting aside all the people and things that mean so much to us to give over everything that God built into you to worship him and serve our fellow men and women. To be the servant, sacrifice is necessary. It was said that we may never achieve total surrender to God, but, the striving toward that end is meaningful. Examples were shared of persons in history that made hard decisions to do what was right for those in peril, at the risk or loss of their own lives. That moment when they decided to take the dangerous but right path, versus the safer but self-serving path moved them closer to God’s expectation of us. Others shared stories of events in their lives where they put themselves and others in danger, made poor decisions, when life may have taken a dark turn. Yet, in hindsight we realized that God was there the whole time protecting us, and moving us closer to the person He has plans for. That step of Faith, that surrender to God’s will, brings us forward to our present place on the path on which we continue to walk forward ever focused on our Lord and Savior.
This week we delved into what it means to totally surrender to God’s will. Due to the word “hate” used in the Luke passage, this was difficult for some to understand. We talked of how we aren’t to literally hate our families, but are called to give up the customs and traditions of our culture if they don’t mesh with Christ’s teachings. We are to be prepared and willing to give up anything that stands in opposition to our walk with Jesus.
This week was a tough discussion but one that led to a lot of insight. We struggled with the idea of totally giving up our families in total surrender. We want to hold on to those things that mean the most to us in life – the people we love. We know we will never be able to totally surrender but that is the goal God wants us to be working toward. It’s very difficult to let go of control which is exactly what God expects us to do and as we let go of the things we can’t control and give them over to God, we become closer in our walk. We thought this was one of the most difficult “Acts” that is essential in our Christian life.
We hope you enjoy “I Surrender” by Hillsong.