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Discipleship disqualifications

How are you doing today, the day after the market lost 500 points and Greenspan said in effect, “this is the worst financial crisis in 100 years, even worse than the Great Depression”?  While the news continues to be bad this morning (Asian markets lost another 5% last night), many of us…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
How are you doing today, the day after the market lost 500 points and Greenspan said in effect, “this is the worst financial crisis in 100 years, even worse than the Great Depression”?  While the news continues to be bad this morning (Asian markets lost another 5% last night), many of us don’t have stock and haven’t lost our jobs yet – we haven’t been socked in the wallet.  But as our economy continues to melt  down, we will have an opportunity to re-evaluate what we hold dear. 
When such a value check takes place in my life, I like to remind myself, “It all burns up in the big fire.”  Home, bank accounts, car – all gone as we return to our creator.  And when we’re with him, we’ll get a chance to evaluate how it went for us down here on this dark planet. In 1986 I met and spoke with George Ritchie, who had this happen to him.  He died of pneumonia and met Jesus, whose only question was, “What have you done that you’d like to show me?”  The question changed his life when he was resuscitated.
So, in light of this big picture, it might be a good time to take stock.  How far will you go in following Jesus?  What are your limits?  As he asked Peter, Jesus is always asking us, “Do you love me more than these?”

And he throws down the gauntlet when he says, “Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.”*

So, not giving up everything disqualifies us from discipleship. Wow. Just meditate on those words from the master for a second. If you do not give up everything you have you cannot be his disciple. That’s a harsh, all-inclusive statement.  Think about all the things we spend our time on:

  • Our family
  • Our friends
  • Movies
  • Music
  • Our jobs
  • Our hobbies
  • Our golf or tennis games
  • School
  • Our homes
  • Our books
  • Our dreams

Where does Jesus fit in that list?  Do you love him more than these? We need a periodic gut check and then we need to turn to our Lord and  pray from our heart as Peter did.

* Luke 14:33

Comments (11)

  • Seth

    There’s nothing like open heart surgery, first thing in the morning, I read the 14th chapter of Luke after your blog…
    I answer as Peter did.. “Lord, You know”

  • Psalms 25:12-14 “Who, then, is the man that Fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him. He will spend his days in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land. The Lord Confides, (tells His secrets), in those that Fear Him; He makes His covenant known to them”.

    Help us God!

  • Ashley and I were driving around last night and were perplexed to see that most of the gas stations didn’t have prices posted. We pulled into one and realized that they were out of gas. All of these gas stations suddenly without gas? What’s happening?

  • Thank God HE is God and HE already knew about the hurricane before it happened. HE knew about the financial markets before HE drops. HE knew my failures and still loves me. HE knows what will happen in the markets today and tomorrow. HE knows ALL and still we worry? “If you pursue ME with your whole heart, I will be found”. I think HE spoke that to Jeremiah to pass on to me.

  • “a good time to take stock”

    …a nicely placed pun, but oh so true. what are we placing our stock in? this blog is probing some good thoughts for me today. thanks.

  • I read Psalm 46 this morning and it seemed so appropriate for today, both for me personally, and for all of us wondering what is going on.

    10 “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I WILL be exalted among the nations,
    I WILL be exalted in the earth.”

  • I feel so priviledged to have been dumped in a care home by my mother not long after I was born and then rejected by my adoptive family, a double whamy. As the great psalmist says ” Whom have I in heaven but you Lord and the Earth has nothing I desire but You” I wouldnt swop it for the world!

    GREAT word Seth!

  • Some years ago, just after the birth of my first child, a friend convinced us (for a day) that we were living during the first three years of the tribulation. I still feel stupid being deceived like this…it’s a long story.

    Anyway, I called my brother, Tim, in Los Angeles and told him that he should prepare for the end. He said, “Why should I live any differently? Shouldn’t I already be living the way God wants me to live?”

    This wisdom from my older, wiser brother stopped me in my tracks and made me evaluate my life and status with the Father. I still thank God for intervening in my life through my bro.

    Here in Dallas, about four hours from Houston, gas prices went up about thirty cents; nowhere near where they were this summer. I’m as ready to do what God needs as I’ll ever be. I’ll save my panic for some other time, like my first grandchild.

  • Seth,

    Solid point on Peter, and how Peter followed the Lord’s instructions. It was exciting to see your reference to Peter, since he was the one that had the keys handed to him to found the church. I think that one downfall of christians today is lack of unity. Everyone has their own rules and agenda’s. How beautiful was it when Peter united the church and continued to pass the keys. I also think of Paul;s letters where he continually called for unity. Unity is a powerful thing, one only has to look to the beginning of the church, or to our founding brothers starting this country on common grounds of unity.

    Hopefully the swinging economy will help us unite and destroy the fear created by popular media and to realize, from our founding brothers we have what it takes to conquer this.

    I wander how much the christian population could get accomplished if they were to shrink the 35,000 denominations under the protestant church into just a few thousand?

    all the best,


  • Probably to a fault, I don’t put much stock in these mass scares. I saw that this made headlines on the NYTimes and probably several other publications that I don’t regularly read. As you once said, “It’s good to invest,” and I believe that, but when the world’s economy fails me, I don’t despair. It’s the world – the same thing that hates Jesus, hates his followers, and was rebuked in a number of parables dealing with storing up goods and watching them burn. So, while the world burns, do we lose hope or begin to finally come to grips with what hope really looks like? I’m not a fatalist nor I am looking out the window waiting for the Rapture (again, maybe to a fault), but this is the sort of thing I expect from the world. A house of cards can stand for awhile, but inevitably, it falls right? I’ thinking out loud here, so no one ought to necessarily reshape his or her paradigm around my ramblings.

  • These are good times Spiritually. Look at Ecclesiastes 7:2 “It is better to go to a house of mourning Than to go to a house of feasting, Because that is the end of every man, And the living takes {it} to heart.” Did you hear that? The living takes it to heart!

    When the reality of the frailty of this life comes into view, we gain proper perspective, much like your friend who met Jesus. A funeral, or a time of difficulty is a great time for us humans from a spiritual point of view. We begin to get an accurate view of our place in the Kingdom. Think of the days after 09/11…people were looking at what’s important.

    I have a feeling that big changes are coming for this country and quite possibly the entire world. I think Holy Spirit can use this to open up opportunities for the Truth to penetrate hearts that were otherwise hardened by the excesses of our society.

    Mine included…the thing I love about this is that I’ve had much and I’ve had little but God alone has been consistent in my life. And the less I’ve had, the more in tune I’ve been.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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