Saturday, December 12, 2020

Christian Sacrifice


Why did JESUS say that we cannot be His disciples if we do not first say goodbye to ALL our belongings at Luke 14:33?


First off, please consider additional verses... 

Luke12: "15 Then he said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; *life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.’* 16 And he told them this parable: ‘The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, “What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.”18 ‘Then he said, “This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, ‘You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.’”20 ‘But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?”21 ‘This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich towards God.’"

1John2: "15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For *everything in the world* – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – *comes* not from the Father but *from the world.* 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever."

From these first two verses, I am hoping that you have derived the same understanding that I am about to express. Our eternal life does not result from our belongings. Those who work for them and store them up, sacrifice being "rich toward God". How do we know that? Jesus said; "You cannot slave for both God and for riches" (Matt.6:24). Riches and belongings of the world, are sourced in the world. Such riches do not come from the Father. They are not His blessing, but are a blessing from the Devil (1John5:19; Luke 4:5-6).

If we consider the example of Jesus (Heb.12:2; 1Pet.2:21; 1Cor.11:1), we know that he did not accrue worldly wealth (Matt.8:20). Jesus was not a hypocrite (Matt.6:19-21).
The reason why it is important to see the source of worldly wealth as able to come from the Devil, is because Satan uses such riches to corrupt those seeking to slave for God (1Tim.6:6-11; Luke 4:5-6; 1John2:15-16; Job 1:8-12). See in the verses of Job 1:8-12 that Satan tried to break the integrity of Job, by using the trauma of losing one's belongings (Heb.10:34). We must pay attention to this tactic of Satan, because if any Christian is attached to his property, that will make the keeping of integrity all the more difficult, should Satan strip us of it, or make us choose between the two (Luke22:31; 1Tim.6:9; 2Tim.3:12; Phil.3:7-8; Matt.19:21-24,27-29). God knows what we need, and will provide it (Luke 12:29-31; 2Pet.1:3).

Our possessions can include more than material wealth. In fact, anything we form an attachment to in this life, can be used by Satan to tempt us... either through a desire to gain, or a fear of loss. Satan is ruthless, corrupt, and merciless. A Christian who intends to complete the full course of Christ, must be willing to let go of more than material possessions. Remember the trials of Job. After Satan was done stripping him of material wealth, he then went after Job's loved ones (Job 1:13,18-22), and finally, after Job's own flesh (Job 2:4-7).

Will Satan test Christians in this same way? Yes. That is the reason for the guidance of Jesus, found at Matt.10:37; 16:24. There we learn that Satan can even try using the love we have for our own family, against us, to separate us from our devotion to Christ. How might that happen? Jesus explained; Luke 12:51-53; Matt.10:36-37


We may also have formed attachments to our communities. If the approval of an authority or our peer group means more to us than the approval of God; we again risk deserting Christ (John15:18-21; 16:2; Mark 13:13; Heb.13:13). We must be willing to even lose our very life as we know it, for the sake of the truth (Mark 8:35; Rom.6:5; Phil.3:8-10).

So when we read at Luke 14:33... "So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own."; this is not speaking of literally stripping ourselves of every possession to walk about naked, cold, and starving. It means that as Christians, we must have the attitude, expectation, and willingness to let go of anything that comes between our heart and the will of God for us (1John2:17; 1Cor.7:31). That includes possessions, relationships, our health, and acceptance by our world. If we are not willing to put godly devotion before our possessions; we have seen sufficiently demonstrated that Satan will use such an attachment, to deprive us of lasting treasure in heaven.

I have provided links to other posts, for additional scriptural information regarding each of the assertions I have raised. If you want more information about an aspect of my reply, the corresponding link should suffice. If it is lacking, contact me about your additional needs.


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