`If a king goes out with ten thousand men to fight another king who comes against him with twenty thousand men, he will sit down first and decide if he is strong enough to face that other king. If he isn’t, he will send messengers to meet the other king to ask for terms of peace while he is still a long way off. In the same way,’ concluded Jesus, ‘none of you can be my disciple unless you give up everything you have’. (verses 31-33)
Read Luke 14:25-35
Have you ever had a garage sale? Isn’t it amazing how many things you find that you no longer need, junk you’re happy to sell? There’s always a macrame lampshade, a ragged fur coat, and five or six boxes of ‘ornaments’ and dusty, long-forgotten wedding presents.
The good thing about garage sales is that they help you realise how well off you actually are. The bad thing is that, once you’ve sold off your junk, you start feeling proud of yourself and think you deserve something to replace what you’ve lost. That’s when you notice that someone in the next street has a garage sale…
So what does Jesus mean when he says you can’t be his disciple unless you give up everything you have? Does he want you to have the garage sale to end all garage sales?
Jesus simply wants you to know that being his disciple is the most important thing you can do in your life. Anything that gets in the way of that is a problem—not just possessions, but things like position, prestige and power. So, focus on Jesus first. Then you’ll know what’s precious and what’s junk you can easily get rid of.
Jesus, I let so many things push their way in between you and me. I don’t want that. Help me clean out my life so I can focus on you. Starting now. Amen.
Devotion written by Jonathan Krause in “God’s Promises for each day” (LCA, Openbook Publishers, 1999)
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