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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Michael Youssef » Michael Youssef - Whose Disciple? - Part 2

Michael Youssef - Whose Disciple? - Part 2

Michael Youssef - Whose Disciple? - Part 2
Michael Youssef - Whose Disciple? - Part 2
TOPICS: Discipleship

Marketing in the business world is a great endeavor. People need to be informed about good products and the benefits of those products. But there are many, sadly, who dishonestly advertise. In our society, it's all become about numbers now, and this mass society that we live in, it's all about numbers. Well, you said, "Michael, why are you telling us all this stuff about marketing in a series entitled, 'Whose Disciple?'" Because, sadly, this consumer mentality has invaded the Christian church with vengeance. This attitude of give people what they want, regardless of quality or integrity or truthfulness has become rampant. That's the sad part.

What you will hear from Jesus to be saying, that those who want to be my disciples appears to be so negative in a time when people preaching positive thinking preaching and positive gospel preaching. And yet Jesus did not have to draw a crowd. He already had massive crowds when he uttered those words, as I'm going to show you from Luke 14, beginning at verse 25. In the last message, we concluded that the only disciples we make, that only disciples that are worthy of the name discipleship is when these disciples are the disciples of Jesus, not the church's disciples, not the leaders' disciples, not the pastor's disciples, but the disciples of who?

Today I'm going to show you that Jesus is saying that the first mark of discipleship, the first evidence of discipleship is an absolute and unquestioned loyalty to Jesus. In the next two message, I will show you two more, and namely exceptional love for Jesus and exclusively living for Jesus. Please hear me right, for genuine, authentic, real biblical disciple should to occur, loyalty to Jesus is the first step. And loyalty to Jesus requires blazing integrity. Are you with me? And I don't need to tell you that blazing integrity today is a rare species. Here in Luke 14, when Jesus sees this huge crowd following him, I mean, they call this is a marketer's dream, crowd is there. He doesn't have to gin up a crowd. He's got them, he got them.

And then you would say, Jesus, get them on your good side first. Jesus, tell them what they want to hear first. Jesus, tell them how wonderful they are. Tickle their ears first. Jesus, tell them how great they are. Remind them that the power is in the tongue, and they, whatever they say, God obeys. Ask them to name whatever they want and then claim it, and then they will get it. Hmm. Get them on the hook first and then kind of in the middle of the week, do some sort of a Bible study. Oh, Jesus, don't start with the cost of discipleship. Don't start there because it's a turn off, right? Don't start with unquestioned loyalty to you. Let them have a skin in the game, right? Don't start with self denial.

Talk about self actualization first. Start with telling them what is in it for them first. But with Jesus, there is no misleading subtleties. With Jesus, there is no small print. With Jesus, there is no sugar coating. He spells it out up front. "If you do not hate your family or even self, you cannot be my disciple". I'm gonna unpack this because I don't want anybody here or even those watching around the world who hate their in-laws, and say man, I got an out here. No, no, not so fast. Wait until I get to explain the text. "Whoever does not hate himself, cannot be my disciples". I'll explain that too. "Whoever does not carry his cross and come after Me", not on occasions, not when they feel spiritual, not when they have a petition, a request from heaven, but daily, how often? "And come after Me cannot be My disciple".

Then he goes on and gives us two illustrations. They are really two illustrations are self explanatory. The person who builds a bridge or builds a tower, really a house. And because he has not counted the cost of the building, the entire building, he leaves it half done. Or like the army that does not count the cost of meeting another stronger army and they get defeated. Basically saying count the cost of discipleship, count the cost. I told you it spells it out up front. When you understand these words, it will not only lead you into absolute unquestionable loyalty to Jesus, but it will encourage you to be truthful in discipling others for Jesus. Can I get an amen?

In the last message, we looked at the meaning of the term disciple. And if you want here, you can download it. In the book of Acts, actually the word disciple and Christian, they used interchangeably, Christian and disciple. Now, I told you discipleship is not a higher rank. It is when Jesus become your Savior, he becomes your Lord and you become a disciple, all at the same time. Now, you might start in kindergarten, but you're still a disciple. And that is why becoming a disciple is a must. In fact, becoming a disciple of Jesus is the only evidence that you are a believer and that Jesus is your Savior and Lord. Can I get an amen?

Now, some of you might protest, and I understand that. Listen to me, I've been around long enough to know. Michael, what Jesus is asking here in Luke chapter 14 is extreme. This is radical, or as kids will say, that's rad. Now, you're obviously not being around kids, another lingo. But when you hear the explanation, you understand that Jesus is not calling for an extreme makeover, he's calling for a takeover, a takeover. He is either acknowledged as the only divine sovereign King, Master, or not at all. Jesus never suggested that all you need to do is to say just a little simple prayer, and then go back to your merry, happy ways and you're saved. Jesus never, never manipulated anyone into making an emotional decision. Jesus never gave anyone a false sense of security. Jesus never thought that the way to heaven is paved on a bed of roses.

In fact, in Matthew 7:14, he warned how narrow is the gate that leads to eternal life. It's narrow, and you thought narrow mindedness is a derogatory term. Somebody call you narrow minded, wear it as a badge of honor, and tell them that it's a narrow road that leads to heaven. You cannot enter it with all of your deliberate intentional sin and promiscuity. You cannot enter it with all of your love for this world in your heart. You cannot enter it with all your idols hanging on you and on your shoulder. No, in Luke chapter 9, Jesus said again, "If anyone wishes to come after Me or become My disciple, he must daily", how often? "Deny himself". Oh, deny yourself.

Are we talking about self, self, self, self? This is deny yourself, take up his cross and follow me. There's one more thing about Luke 14 before I get to it. Here, you notice Jesus is not talking about any aspect of salvation, not here. He does not mention God's holiness, human sin, divine judgment, or his saving work in the cross that is coming. He does not talk about salvation by grace alone, through faith alone. He does not talk about the objective facts of the gospel. No, he is talking about the subjective. The what? Subjective attitude for a radical and extreme faith commitment. And that radical and extreme faith commitment must exist in the heart of anyone, anyone who wants to be a disciple of Jesus.

This is not for the faint hearted, this is not for the fair weather churchgoer. And I think we're gonna desperately need this more and more as we come close at the end times. And I was thinking about integrity and loyalty to Jesus. And I hate to bring humor into something so serious like this, but I can't help it. And so forgive me ahead of time. You'll understand why I'm asking for forgiveness ahead of time. But a story told in a rural village of a Baptist deacon, who was selling his cow, and he advertised it. So a man came, a would be buyer, came in, and he said, "How much is the cow"? He said, "$50". He said, "How much milk does she give"? He said, "Four gallons a day, every day, it gives you four gallons".

Again, the prospective buyer said to him, he said, "How do I know that it will give that much and that you're telling me the truth"? He said, "You have to trust me. I'm a Baptist deacon". The man said, "Okay, I'll buy it". And so he took the cow home and said, "I'm taking it home and I'll bring you the money later". And the deacon said, "How do I know that you're gonna bring me the money"? The buyer said, "You can trust me. I'm a Presbyterian elder". And so the man goes home. He said, "Honey," his wife, he said, "What is a Presbyterian elder"? She said to him, "Well, a Presbyterian elder is about the same as a Baptist deacon". And the man said, "Oh, dear, I've lost my cow"! Integrity, integrity.

Beloved, without integrity in your loyalty to Jesus, you cannot be a disciple. I know this is hard. That's the truth. That's what he said. Verse 26, here is that extreme radical concept. "If anyone comes after me and does not hate father or mother or hate himself, even," what's he saying? What is he saying? Here's the explanation, and I'm gonna plead with you. Can I plead with you in the balcony, watching around the world, here in the sanctuary? I'm gonna plead with you. This is important. I want to give you the explanation. I'm pleading with you not to miss it.

Jesus was making it very clear, and he's making a clear distinction between redemptive love, which is divine, and possessive love, which is not. Jesus is telling a would be disciple that our relationship with our loved ones, with our family members, with all our loved ones, unless that love stems out of redemptive love, unless that love grows out of redemptive love, unless that love stems out of loyalty to Jesus, it will not be selfless love. It'll be possessive love. If a love between husband and wife does not flow out of God's love for them and their love for God, at best, it's a possessive love, not redemptive love. And that's why you discover at the very core of all marital problem, there is sin.

I don't care what they dress it and how they rationalize it and how they play it. No, no, it's sin at the very core. And sin that is not repented of is disloyalty to Jesus. In fact, you see this very clearly on television, you see it in the movies. You see, you know, baby, I need you. Baby, I have to have you. I, I, I, I. Beloved, listen to me, Jesus is saying to a would be disciple, possessive love is selfish at best. Possessive love cannot be eternal. But the love that flows out of a total loyalty to Christ is deeper and higher love than anything else. The love that emanates from your total commitment and loyalty to Christ will make your love for family and for others to be real and will grow every day.

A disciple's total loyalty to Jesus compels him, compels her to exercise redemptive love with all of their relationships. It will compel them to bear witness to Christ. It compels him not to be ashamed of Christ. It compels him to love like Christ. It compels him to be the same person in business as they are in church on Sunday. It compels him to worship him with money and time as well as with lips. Compels us to value surrender more than success. It compels us to value our time with him, our intimacy with him, more than entertainment. It compels us to value prayer more than power. It compels us to value the truth more than the treasures of this world. It compels us to place loyalty completely to him and for him above all else, that's redemptive love.

Otherwise Jesus said it would be like an unfinished building. He would say, look, he calls himself a Christian. She calls herself a Christian. Look at it, look at that building. They thought they're gonna build a tower. You're gonna build a house. Look at it, just only the foundation and few columns and that's it. A half built building is mocking to the person who built it or a defeated army because the army never was realistic and looked at their true readiness. Why? Because they have not taken the time to count the cost of discipleship. Because they did not take discipleship seriously, because they did not take loyalty to Jesus seriously.

And remember this, just in case you begin to panic and said, "Oh my, it's all dependent on me. It's all up to me. I'm gonna have... what? What do I do? How can I do that"? Let me tell you something. You've seen me and you heard me long enough to know that if it's up to me holding on to Jesus, I would have been lost a long time ago. But thank God Jesus is the one holding on to me. Jesus is the one holding on to me.

You know, when the years are 1977, I'll never forget it, never forget it. Our eldest daughter, she was two, and she was always rambunctious, always wanted, and we were downtown in Sydney with my in-laws, and very busy street traffic. And the grandfather, Mr. Bailey was grabbing her arm tight and she wanted to wiggle away from it. She wanted to wiggle and she wanted to wiggle and she said, "Grandpa, let me hold your hand, not you holding my hand". And the wise grandfather said, "Not on your life," and he grabbed her hand.

Beloved, that's what God is doing. You come to him, he grabs your hand, he holds your hand, he holds it tight. He's asking us to count the cost when we come to him. And once we make that commitment, he's gonna take over, he's gonna take over. He's gonna take care of the rest. Why? Because he promised never to leave you, never to forsake you. I'll always remember the moment when I said to Jesus and I was standing in a Christian bookstore. I don't know how, I don't know why.

But I remember that moment as if it's yesterday when I said to the Lord, I go anywhere, I do anything, I'm yours. And for the past almost 60 years, it has been the greatest joy ride that I can ever imagine. Were there some rough patches? Of course. Were there some difficult times? Absolutely. But he is faithful. And when you count the cost and you come to him and you say, "I want to be your disciple," Jesus said, "I'll take care of the rest. I'll take care of the rest. I'll guarantee it". In fact, in John 6, he said, "Those whom the Father gives me, I'll lose none". None.
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