Fit for the Kingdom of God

April 24, 2020
Hey there Church Family:  Can you imagine getting a letter from Jesus saying, “Hey, I know that you think that you are following Me, but you really are not following Me, this is what I need you to do to be My follower, one of My Disciples, fit for the Kingdom of God.”  Would you listen?  Would you make changes to be fit for the Kingdom of God? 
This is exactly what happens to several people who wanted to be followers of Jesus in the end of Luke 9.  The last verses of Luke chapter 9, are sprinkled with difficult and sometimes strange teachings of Jesus.  These stories are for our understanding of Jesus’ requirements to be His disciples.  What Jesus is saying in these verses is that Faith in Him as the Son of God incarnate, to take the sins of the world, results in following Him that looks like this.  And then He gives several examples.
Let’s just look at just one today. This coming Sunday we will look at seven.  Jesus wants us to understand that being His disciple means to see Him as the embodiment of the Kingdom of God.  Jesus brought the Kingdom of God to earth so that He would reign in the hearts of men.  What that means is that Jesus has been setting up His kingdom in the hearts of man until His return when His Kingdom will be fully realized.  So, today King Jesus has a desire to reign in our hearts.  When we make Him King of our hearts we are called His disciples.  When Jesus is reigning in our hearts we let go of our own preferences and conditions to follow-ship.  You know, conditions like, “I will follow you if…,” or “I will follow you but first…,” or I will follow you but maybe later when I let this sin go or break this relationship off…”or “I will follow you if only you will do this or that…,” and the list goes on with conditions we can make as potential disciples.  In Luke 9:57-62, three men want to be disciples, “fit for the Kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62), but they all three had their own conditions to their obedience in following Jesus, and He said boldy, hit the road Jack, you are not fit for the Kingdom of God. 
Throughout history, Jesus’ response to the last two men in this story has received some bad rap.  This bad rap is due to much misunderstanding.  The long answer we will go discus Sunday.  The short answer is that Jesus knew that these men would always have something else that would be a greater priority than following Him.
Jesus wants these men and us to understand that if anything is more important or a higher priority to us than Jesus, that thing or that priority is actually our King.  What really gives our life meaning and what makes us feel good about ourself, that is really our King.  Whatever our real joy rests in is our Lord and King.  And you know those things can be really good things.  Jesus clearly and boldly says that if we are going to follow Him, He is going to be a threat to everything in our life that we make mini-kings in our hearts.  Jesus demands complete commitment as King and in Luke 9, He does not mince words. 
If Jesus’ idea of being His follower is different than the way you have been living.  If Jesus is not reigning in your heart as the King of all.  His gentle but firm confrontation with you requires life changes, heart changes, habit changes, relationship changes, priority changes and family changes.  Will you follow through?  Will you count the costs of making Him King of your heart knowing that His Kingdom is advanced through hardships and suffering?  Will you make Jesus King and then follow?  His kingdom is always greater! Always!
Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”  (Luke 9:62) 

Are you fit?

I look forward to seeing you Sunday for another week of Quarantine Worship. - Steve

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