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Simply Put

Simply Put

01 October 2010

Today’s Reading: Zechariah 10-12; Psalm 126; Luke 14

Scripture:

25 One day when large groups of people were walking along with him, Jesus turned and told them, 26 “Anyone who comes to me but refuses to let go of father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters—yes, even one’s own self!—can’t be my disciple. 27 Anyone who won’t shoulder his own cross and follow behind me can’t be my disciple. 33 Simply put, if you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it good-bye, you can’t be my disciple.” (Luke 14:25-27, 33 MSG)

If I take seriously what Jesus is saying when I read through the gospels, if I stop and think it through, it’s not always easy to take on board.

First, in our affluent culture, we’re not accustomed to having to give up one thing in order to have another. We’re used to having it all.

Second, we’re taught that we must have a dream, an American Dream if you live in the USA. We must have ambitions, plans, and goals, and we must never give up our dream.

Third, we’re wired to be consumers, not disciples. We learn from a thousand sources, we follow fads and not Masters, and we’ve learned to assimilate many ideas and values into our own philosophies.

It’s not so easy to glibly read the Bible if I have to think about what it’s actually saying. I want to think of myself as a disciple of Jesus Christ, as one who is fully committed to “following” him (whatever that really means).

But when he puts it “Simply” like he does in Luke 14:33, I realize again that “simple” is not necessarily easy. Following Jesus is not merely one of the many things I must fit into my busy life. Following Jesus is the core reality of my life and all the other things must fit around that central reality. It’s simple. It’s not easy! It’s how it is.

Prayer:

Father, I want to be a disciple of Jesus. I give you what is dearest to me and I step out on the dusty road of discipleship again this morning. It’s a little scary when I take it this seriously. I purpose to follow Master Jesus today. And tomorrow. Amen.

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