Click play to listen to the sermon.
Every disciple of Christ follows the pattern He has set in worshipping God.
Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. (John 10:17,18)
If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD. (Leviticus 1:3)
We LOSE by CHOICE
When Christ calls us to lose, He calls us to purposeful loss. There is no such thing as accidental loss in discipleship. Sacrifice is willing loss. Like Jesus, we are to “take up” our cross.
But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. (Matthew 16:23-25)
We LOSE by FORSAKING
In forsaking all we are ready to “say goodbye” to anything and everything that would keep us from following Christ.
So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:25-27)
forsake > Gr. apotassomai > literally to say adieu (by departing or dismissing); figuratively to renounce: – bid farewell, forsake, take leave
To find the life God has for us we must be willing to forsake (i.e., let go of/not hold on to) all.
… And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him. (Luke 5:10,11)
Christ calls us to lose whatever possessions would possess us. He would be Lord of all.
The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. (Matt. 19:20-22)
We LOSE by COMPARING
We must weigh the relative value of all things, comparing the worth of what we have to lose to the worth of what we have to gain. Whatever competes with Christ for our affection and loyalty hinders our following Him and finding the godly life He has for us. We cannot love anyone or anything more than Him.
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. (Matthew 10:37-39)
Christ does not call us to lose what we have for nothing. He promises us a hundredfold return for all we’ve let go of.
Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? (Matthew 19:27)
Christ’s call to love Him more than all else is tested again and again.
So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. (John 21:15)
We LOSE by COUNTING
Our full possession of the life Christ has called us to occurs when we count that life more valuable than all that previously mattered to us. We exchange the one for the other.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. (Matthew 13:45,46)
In comparison to what Christ had for him to find in Him, Paul counted the things he had previously treasured as “dung.” He had no desire to hold on to them. Losing them was the gateway into apprehending all Christ had apprehended him for.
For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:3-14)
Those who begin to follow Jesus don’t fully know where He is taking them. But He knows what their destiny is: complete conformity to Him as a worshipper of God. Chief among all we must lose on the path of discipleship is our own life.
And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:25-27)
There is a cost involved in becoming a true disciple. Those who have properly counted that cost are prepared to become true worshippers.
For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?
Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.
So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:28-33)
A disciple of Christ who has not gone on to become a true worshipper becomes worthless to God and man.
Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?
It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Luke 14:34,35)