“And yet they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, ‘I purchased a field and I need to go out to look at it; please consider me excused.’ And another one said, ‘I bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.’ And another one said, ‘I took a woman as my wife, and for that reason I cannot come……..’ “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:18-20, 26 NASB2020 https://bible.com/bible/2692/luk.14.18-26.NASB2020
Why do so few truly follow the Lord? All are invited into a relationship with Him but few serve Him, few sacrifice for Him, few are willing to suffer a loss for the sake of knowing Christ and making Christ known in the world. What are the things that get in our way to hating our own life so that we can be His disciple? First are future opportunities, like buying property, which gives us the potential for greater income or greater fun. Looking to our own future instead of seeing the future of those without Christ as suffering forever in hell keeps us from working to change the future of our unsaved neighbors. Second, work itself can keep us from the work of God. Our focus on building, growing, and increasing our own incomes keeps us from earning treasure in heaven where moth and rust cannot destroy. We are more consumed by our own success than successfully building God’s kingdom upon earth as it is in heaven. Finally, life itself, marriage and children, being consumed with their interests, needs, and events keep us from doing God’s will and work in this world. We can spend more time involved in kids sports than in training children to walk in the ways of God. Must everything be about the kingdom of God? Can’t we just have some fun? The kingdom of God is fun, seeing people come to Christ, seeing people transformed by Christ is the greatest joy. Yes, everything must be about the kingdom of God, He died so we can live, He sacrificed Himself for us, calling us to sacrifice ourselves for Him, that we might join Him in His reward for reconciling the world to Himself. The difference between love and hate is immense and obvious, so too should be the difference in our lives between being focused on ourselves and focused on the kingdom of God.