November 9 I Wednesday
“In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be My disciples” —Luke 14:33
Being a disciple of Jesus involves a life of love, a life of liberty and a life of sufficiency. Jesus introduces this by talking about insufficiency through two short stories. The first is about a building. Jesus tells us, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish’” (Luke 14:28-30). The assumption of this story is that the man does not have the resources for his building. Jesus warns not to blindly run enthusiastically to an idea, such as “I am going to live for Jesus. I am going to be a great disciple” and bam, bam, bam, within two years we are just exhausted and out of steam. There are many Christians who have gone down this track.
The second is about a battle: “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.” (Luke 14:31-32). What terms of peace does a man with ten thousand soldiers get from a king with twenty thousand soldiers? The only term of peace he is going to get is absolute surrender to the one in power and strength. Similar to the first story, the king realizes that he cannot do it.
Jesus concludes both stories with this statement: “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be My disciples” (Luke 14:33). What is Jesus asking us to give up? We may say, “Everything I have, Lord Jesus, is not enough. I cannot build the tower. I cannot fight the battle. I give up.” For what purpose? For our poverty to be replaced with His riches, our weakness to be replaced with His strength and our inadequacies to be replaced with His adequacies—His sufficiency.
Unless we realize that we do not have the resources, so we give up what we have, like the boy who gave up his five loaves and two fish and they became enough to feed five thousand, we will not discover the amazing way in which Jesus works. He does not work apart from us, but through whatever it is we give Him—ourselves.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, I have counted the cost and have come to know that I do not have the resources. In my insufficiency, You are sufficient. Thank You, Lord.
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