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The Cost

We want our lives to matter. That which lasts comes through sacrifice and commitment. A day of counting the cost and committing to the cause of Jesus, come hell or high water. For the sake of our families, our schools, our societies.


well we're in this series called subversive Saviour if you have a Bible would you turn to John chapter 6 and we're gonna look at another teaching of Jesus that is subversive and for this series we're using this definition of subversive to seek or attend to subvert an established system or institution and and we're making the case that Jesus when he came he came to subvert kind of an old way of thinking about God about religion about the way to God used to be like if you did certain things for God God would do certain things for you and he came to kind of subvert this idea and to break us from any kind of religious mindset or way of thinking about our culture or about God or certain ideologies and and I found myself as I was reflecting on the last four years or so of almost five years of being the lead pastor here at Westside I was reflecting on how I've how I presented Jesus to you I'm to our community and I realized something is that I was I was trying to and and for good reason but I was trying to make Jesus appealing like show him to be a really good guy and worthy of following and inverting Lee I stayed away from troubling passages in the Bible where Jesus taught troubling things and I found myself actually making people think that you came to Jesus for what he could do for you that that you would follow Jesus because he would be there you know he would he would provide for you he will you know make take care of your needs make sure nothing bad happens to you you know it's kind of I was kind of selling this version of Jesus that he's there to help make life better I was at a wedding on Friday just you know how many have you ever been to a really bad wedding no a couple yeah yeah there's there sometime sometimes years but most of them almost all of them are beautiful and this one was no exception Josh and McKenzie they are two young people that grew up in our church and love Jesus and they just they had this amazing ceremony and beautiful that the exchanging of vows I gotta be honest I've got a little weepy I got a little weepy in that moment as I was thinking about as they're making promises to each other the kind of life they're going to live for each other I couldn't help but think about our relationship with God and how he has in many ways he's offers a marriage like relationship with us he he wants to he it says in the Bible from the very first page on it talks about how he wants to be our God and we be his people I mean there's this like covenant kind of type of relationship that is expressed in the Bible and I saw that in Josh and Mackenzie's wedding that was beautiful and then I thought here's the tension when we talk about our relationship with God and we talked about the subversive way of Jesus is that what happens what happens when one of the two parties either us or God breaks our vow well you might be thinking well god never does and I'm like are you sure because I've talked over the last two years since my oldest son died I've talked to hundreds of people who believe that God has disappointed them that God didn't come through for them and I'll and I'll be honest in my from my own perspective I get it I've often wondered the same thing III considered it even in my own life but what about us do we keep our into the of the of the vows no I mean not even yesterday you know I'm saying you guys right what does I mean we we live I don't about you but I live where oftentimes my self-interest and my way get ahead of God's interests in his way in my life and so oftentimes I put other things before God and what does he do when we do that he sticks with us doesn't he he stays with us he stays committed to us he he he went in the Garden of Eden when we when we blew it we what did we do we went in the head away from God what did God do he pursued his cab he came after us he looked for us and he's still doing that today when we blow it when we make mistakes when we fail and we run from God he comes after us but when God seems to fail us what I've seen more and more often in America is we dump him we say that he's not worthy of being trusted that when we look at life not just our own life but the world and we see tragedy and heartache that happens we stand back and say God where are you if you allow this how can I trust you and Jesus came to subvert this idea and here's a phrase that I'm gonna keep coming back to and if you're taking notes write this one down remember this phrase throughout this this morning how you start with Jesus determines how you stick with Jesus how you start with him will determine how you stick with them and there's a couple questions I want us to consider if you're a follower of Jesus I want you to consider I want you to go deeper below the surface in terms of and and ask this question why are you a follower of Jesus I want you to I want you to go beyond the just the religious quick answer I want you to go deeper and really ask that question why do you follow him and for those of you that are not followers of Jesus I want you to consider this question why are you considering being a follower of Jesus and you might be going while I'm not well you are right now your I've asking you to consider it and why would you consider being a follower of Jesus if you have a Bible did I ask you to turn to John 6 let me pray Jesus as we open up your word today would it come alive to us and would you help us to see things that we haven't seen before and to consider things that we've never considered before and help us to see you and your way in it all I pray in Jesus name Amen all right let's go John chapter 6 let's look at some of the subversive teachings of Jesus that I've been ignoring for the last few years all right first one after this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee which is the sea of Tiberias and a large crowd was following him because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick crowds and Jesus went together I mean everywhere Jesus went there were crowds not just a few here and like a few hundred but a few thousand people would follow Jesus to see what why did they follow Jesus because they wanted to see the signs that he was doing on the sick imagine if Jesus came to bend and you heard that he had power to heal people and you went maybe with a cousin or a friend who's sick and-and-and-and jesus prayed for him and they're made well and it's like dramatic and it's amazing and it's in it and it's real and you're like what would you do you feel like I think I'm gonna like see what else this guy does I'm gonna tag along and see what else happens that's what was going on in the time of Jesus and because of the signs that he was doing well look after this you can read the story yourself but but the crowds were so numerous there was 5,000 men plus women and children probably ten thousand people at this point in the story and Jesus and and he's teaching all day they get really hungry and so Jesus looks at his disciples this guy's and says hey get some food and they're like where are we gonna get food for all these people and Jesus says we'll get what you got and so they they found five loaves of bread and two fish I don't know how big the fish were but they weren't that big but and so Jesus prays for him and they split it up and and everyone ate their fill they got enough to eat and there was food left over it was a crazy miracle and then Jesus says something really interesting to the crowd in this moment in verse 26 and the reason why he says this is because they were so amazed by the things that Jesus did by the food that he provided that they wanted to make him king by force they were literally thinking about taking him and doing what they were waiting for him to do which was to overthrow the Roman government and when you see somebody that can do the stuff he does they're thinking this is the guy this is the guy and so that's what they were going to do and Jesus escapes from this right and he withdraws from this and and and the next day the crowd gathers again and they're like we've got we're wanting to see you or wanting to follow you and this is what Jesus said truly truly I say to you you are seeking me not because you saw signs but because you ate your fill of the loaves so it's not because of the signs apparently it's because of Jesus met their daily need there that moment need the crowd came looking for him he provided food for them and so they're like we're in how many of us are right there with them go deeper right now go deeper and ask yourself why are you following Jesus isn't it a little bit because of what he promises to do for you today isn't it I mean it is for me it is for me I mean I've I mean I I know I've read the Bible and I've seen Jesus do stuff for me and I'm like yeah I guess in some ways I follow him because of what he promises to do for me and so I so I get this I understand where they're coming from but here's the problem and why Jesus wants to break my subversive Jesus wants to break us out of this idea what happens when he doesn't well he will sell that to somebody in northern Uganda right now who who are dying of starvation where's God can I say that in church we we think are we somehow more blessed as a as a nation by God because we have three square meals a day where you know you see where I'm saying you see the problem with this idea of following Jesus because of what he might do for us today and he's trying to break his followers of that idea he's trying to challenge that thought and so and they do what we do they start questioning what he might actually do for them look at verse 30 so they start to clue in that okay wait Jesus he's kind of calling us out here that maybe we're supposed to follow him not because of the bread that he gave us today and they said to him then what will you do Jesus for us what sign what what sign do you do that we may see and believe you because in because if you don't do something that I can see I'm not gonna believe you if you don't do something for me today I'll go follow someone who might that's what they're saying what work do you perform and then they bring up an Old Testament story verse 31 our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness as it is written he gave them bread from heaven to eat and so there if you don't know this story Moses is taking took the people out of Egypt the Exodus they wander in the wilderness for 40 years God provides them bread called manna from heaven it was like this bread ready kind of thing and it would be on the ground when they woke up they would gather it eat it for that day but if they tried to eat it any longer than that day it would spoil and God did that every single day he provided manna on the ground for them to eat as they wandered through the wilderness and so they harken back to that story as they're getting clued in to what Jesus is trying to say here and they're like well god did it God did it he provided for us and Jesus says to them truly truly I say to you it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven but my father gives you the true bread from heaven for the bread of God is he it's not a thing it's a person that he promises who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world and they said to him Sir give us this bread always they're not they're still not understanding that he's not talking about actual bread he's talking about himself being given in relationship for those who are looking and Jesus said to them I am the bread of life whoever comes to me shall not hunger and whoever believes in Me will never thirst but I said to you that you have seen me yet you don't believe you're going it's not enough Jesus it's not an you're not enough just you just you you're not enough I need you to do stuff for me I need you to provide for me I need you to make sure that all my sons live beyond me I need you Jesus to do some stuff on your end he's trying to break that in our in our thinking in our relationship with him but I said to you that you see me in you don't believe verse 37 all that the father gives me will come to me and whoever comes to me I will never cast out for I have come down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me and this is the will of him who sent me that I should lose nothing or no one of all that he has given me but raised them up on the last day he came to set us free he came to reconnect the relationship with us for this is the will of my father that everyone who looks on the son who is him and believes in him should have eternal life and I will raise him up on that last day so it's not like Jesus comes and doesn't give us a promise did you did you hear the promise in there that if you look to him he will give you eternal life and what do we do the same thing they did so the Jews grumbled about him it's like really that's it is that all I needed now the Jews grumbled about him because he said I am the bread that came down from heaven I just need bread bro why doesn't he bread it's trying to change that he's trying to break that he's trying to help us get our eyes off the momentary to see beyond today they said it's not this isn't this Jesus the Son of Joseph they're like they're like we know this guy and we thought because of what he did that he was gonna overthrow the government now they're distant just you know they're disenchanted and they're like oh well this is just Joseph we this is just Joseph's son we all know you know we all know Jesus how does he now say I've come down from heaven and then it's interesting in verse 47 he says read this quickly truly truly I say to you whoever believes has eternal life I am the bread of life your father's ate the manna in the wilderness and they died he's trying it he's saying listen God provided in the day and he still will provide in the day but it's all momentary they still died so will you so that's dude depressing let's move on this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat of it and never die I am that Living bread that came down from heaven if anyone eats of this bread he will live forever and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh they they pick up on this and they're like what they disputed him on themselves saying how can this man give us his flesh to eat is he a cannibal I mean what's going on they're like confused and Jesus could have cleared this up really easily by relating him his life and his death actually to the Lamb of God in the Old Testament that was given the lamb was given to atone for the sins of the people it was sacrificed and then the ate of it as a reminder to them that they could not be justified on their own that they needed God and so Jesus could have easily and he's teaching this in the synagogue in the religious institution that he's coming trying to break their mindset and he's right there and he totally could have and they would have gotten it I think maybe right but he doesn't do that what does he do he makes it really hard he says to them I truly I say to you unless you eat me unless you eat the flesh my flesh and drink my blood you have no life in you whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and I will raise him up on the last day this is what everybody thinks about religion like a kooky people I mean like what are you serious there's blood drinking and for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me that's the point he was trying to make is that this abiding I'm promising to be with you I'm promising to live with you and that and not just now but forever not just forever but now I'm trying to get this idea into you that we are we can be one and is that enough for you as a living father sent me and I live because the father so whoever feeds on me will also live because of me this is the bread that came down from heaven not like the bread the fathers ate and I'd whoever feeds on this bread will live for ever and Jesus said these things in the synagogue as he taught at Capernaum and then look at what happens verse 60 when many of his disciples heard it they said this is really hard Jesus this is a hard saying I mean how who can listen to it it's hard today and it was hard that it's hard today because we want now we want them now we want we want to know for certain before I decide to follow him I want to know for certain that he's going to do he's going to take care of his end of this marriage and if he doesn't I'm out he's trying to break that idea because how you come to Jesus how you start with Jesus is how you'll stick will determine how you stick with Jesus that's he's trying to help us see this and in an American Christianity listen American Christianity we are stuck in this if you will do things for me I will follow you after this verse 66 many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him it was significant enough that they said I'm out now I have a theory that I think many of them including Peter by the way who did walk away from Jesus after this himself I have a theory that many of them came back to Jesus if not at his resurrection at Pentecost because there were thousands of people that came to know Jesus then but what about you what about you and me what why are you in this what why are you a follower of Jesus what's your motivation why why are you here on a Father's Day men what are you doing what's reigning Steve I just there's nothing else to do oh no no no there's still plenty to do why are you why are you a follower Jesus and for those of you that are invest why are you even considering it how you start with Jesus will determine how you stick with him here's an interesting article I'm gonna read quite a bit of it it's from a from the author of a book called not a fan Kyle Idleman I read it it's years ago that I read this book it was a powerful powerful book and he wrote an article for the Huffington Post and let me read let me read it to you he says it better than I could according to a recent survey the percentage of Americans who claim to be Christian is somewhere north of 75% that still holds true it's about 70 to 75 percent today Christians Americans who claim to be Christian and he writes really three out of four people are followers of Christ well let's see if the population of the United States is about 311 million and seventy five percent of Christians that brings the number of Christians is somewhere in the neighborhood of two hundred and thirty three million that's a lot of Christians I don't see nearly that many Jesus fish on car bumpers and then he goes on I don't know maybe all the darwood fish ate them that was him I didn't say that you know those fish on the cars are not sacred you guys know that right anyway I'm just saying something about the percentage is off because if there really are that many Christians then why will some 35 million people in America go to bed hungry tonight including 13 million children if seventy five percent of Americans are Christians and how is it possible that 40 percent of the homeless are under the age of 18 why are there more than 120 thousand children waiting to be adopted I could keep going and that's just in the States the numbers just don't add up Jesus said the evidence that someone is one of his followers is love so 233 million the evidence just isn't there he goes on what's the explanation for such a discrepancy a number of years ago I read an article about the new vegetarians these new vegetarians don't eat meat most of the time one of them explained that she was a vegetarian but she really liked bacon of course and if you're vegetarian you've never tasted bacon it'll turn you I'm just sayin so he goes on because I'm a vegetarian by definition is someone who doesn't eat meat yeah make it a me is it really accurate for her to identify herself as a vegetarian if enough people who eat meat started calling themselves vegetarians wouldn't that throw the numbers off the discrepancy was solved by coming up with a new term to describe vegetarians who aren't committed to abstaining from meat they now identify themselves as flexitarians I might be a vegetarian if I could eat meat you know what I'm saying flexitarian alright here's the point let me keep going so almost a Christian by definition is a follower of Christ so I'm thinking that what might help make sense of the 233 million number is a new word to describe people who identify themselves as Christians but have little interest in actually following the teachings of Jesus perhaps instead of followers it would be more accurate to call them fans the word fan is most simply defined as an enthusiastic admirer and I think Jesus has a lot of fan fans these days some fans may even get dressed up for church on Sunday and make their ringtone a worship song they like being associated with Jesus fans want to be close enough to Jesus to get the benefits but not so close that it requires anything from them instead is excuse me they want to no strings attached relationship with Jesus so fan says I like Jesus but don't ask me to serve the poor I like Jesus but I'm not going to give my money to people who are in need I like Jesus but don't ask me to forgive the person who hurt me I like Jesus but don't talk to me about money or sex because that's off-limits fans like Jesus just fine but they don't want to give up the bacon when my son chase died two years ago yesterday I I struggled I doubted I asked the question God did you let me down those of you that have been part of our journey together these last two years know of my questions and my struggle and God I thought you said that if I followed you if I gave my life to you would protect me and those I loved I thought and if I was just a fan I would leave him if I was just a fan I'd leave him and that's why so many people in the ice States we're leaving see the reason I'm still sticking with Jesus the reason why I'm I still believe in him the reason why I still follow him it's because I didn't come to Jesus listen I did not come to Jesus for what he could do for me but that he promised to be with me and some of you just like those Jewish guys are like that's not enough it has to be it has to be so we're not guaranteed anything in this life we're not you know he didn't he said you know you're gonna have trouble we weren't sold anything that we weren't promised I think I mean Peter after he denied Jesus and was restored after the resurrection of Jesus Jesus brought him back into relationship with him what is what does Peter do does he go into hiding does he does he start does he just create this safe and secure environment where it's comfortable to be a Chris Christ follower or does he go out on the street at peril of his own life and preached to the same people who crucified Jesus that it was you who put him on the cross and as a result of them that he ends up in wrong in prison eventually crucified upside down why do you follow Jesus because how you start with him will determine if you stick with him jesus said in Luke chapter 9 if anyone would come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me there's a feel right now like I'm trying to convince some of you not to follow Jesus I'm not I'm really not but I also don't want to be the guy who stands on this stage and tries to draw a big crowd and never tell you the truth about what it means to be a follower of Jesus someone who's willing to lay down their life for him and his cause in his way who are willing to go to the end with him even when this life disappoints us I don't want to be a fan I want to be a follower because of his great love for me because of His grace toward me because of his undeserved kindness to me and it costs something it costs him everything and it should cost me something Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote an amazing book called the cost of discipleship it's it's old we don't have any I don't want pretty sure we don't have any copies in the Rob but you can find it if you want to read I encourage you to read it it's a hard book to read but it's so good the cost of discipleship by Bonhoeffer this is what he writes such grace is costly because it calls us to follow and it is Grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ it is costly because it costs a man his life and it is Grace because it gives the man the only true life it is costly because it condemns sin and grace because it justifies the sinner above all it is costly because it costs God the life of his son and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us after the crowd started dispersing after the crowds decided they're out he turns to his core people and he his core boys his friends he turns to them and says are you going to leave - and Peter Peter says where else would I go who else has the words of life you are the son Most High God the Holy One of God I know who you are and that is enough for me it's enough it's enough everybody take a deep deep breath whoo my wife and I celebrated 25 years of marriage last month and we made it it's good yep as Suzanne will say it was the 19 best years of her life I said it was 24 there I knew that I knew about the one year that was really really bad there's I guess another five in there and I wasn't aware of they seemed they seemed pretty good to me anyway the last I could say for sure that last 20 has been really really amazing and even the last two in particular anyway I decided I asked my boys what they thought of the idea I've been planning something for a while and last December on Christmas Day after our little Christmas morning stuff that we do we we drove out to a spot I won't tell you where but we drove out to a spot where it's our chase place it's a place where we remember our son and think about him and it was a special place for him even in his own life and so we went out there Christmas Day and we thought about Jason and I decided I was going to do it for a while and so what I did is I got down on one knee and I pulled out another ring that I had purchased for my bride and I asked her like a 20 year old stumbling idiot I mean I was I couldn't even get the words out if she wouldn't marry me again I did get the words out but it was it was a rough and she said yes yes she did she said yes always a question now you never know and so and so we're gonna renew our vows later this summer in August and rededicate you know it means something more doesn't it after you've walked a a while with someone and you choose even after all the ups and the downs the one that was actually six years instead of one year after you go through all of that and you decide later in life that I'm gonna renew I'm gonna tell you again what I've told you before but it has more depth of meaning more life to it because of the journey because of the past because of the struggle and I want to ask you what's holding you back from rededicating your heart and life to Jesus not as a fan but as a follower what's stopping you from giving your life to him for the first time for men I know for me and I know for many of the men are and in our church and I think this is applicable to everyone are you afraid you'll have to give up your dreams are you afraid that that that he'll make you do something that's not already that he hasn't already deposited in your heart you know the dreams that are there are birthed from him are you afraid you'll lose control you don't have it I you know already you don't have it all right if I'm the first one telling you I'm so sorry to let that out you don't have control anyway why not give your life to the one who has this whole world in your world in his hands are you afraid that you won't measure up to his character just get in line neither do I are you afraid the Christian life will be boring if so you're doing it wrong it's subversive challenging risky it's a courageous way to live so it's time to leave the crowd it's time to leave the crowd behind and follow Jesus no matter what comes no matter what will happen no matter the ups and the downs to say today that I am in to pick up your cross and follow him to eat his flesh and drink his blood to come into such union with Christ that you and he are one holding nothing back if that's you whether it's your first time or maybe your 500th time of telling Jesus who he is to you that you are a follower of Jesus or to acknowledge that this first time that you want to follow him and be a true follower of Jesus or rededicate your heart to him today not because of what he will do for you but because of who he will be with you that's you would you just right now raise your hand not to me but to God and say yeah that's me I'm dedicating my heart to Jesus I'm rededicating my heart to him I'm saying Jesus you and only you I will keep my eyes and my heart on you Jesus you see our hands you see our hands we want your life to be in us we want you to guide us and to direct us we want you to be in us and with us we choose today we recommit today we renew today our vows of commitment to you that we will not leave you we will not forsake you we will keep our our eyes on you Jesus no matter what comes no matter what happens because you are son of the Living God and only you have life everlasting we thank you for that in Jesus name Amen can we applaud those that just made that decision and so great so great well our prayer teams our prayer teams are available and we we're running out of space we have so much response coming for the prayer walls that our prayer team is there as well but also as you can see hi Jenna Sonya we have a prayer team up here as well and they are available a little more space here in both places to just walk with you in prayer we believe in the power of prayer listen I don't listen you guys I still believe God provides our daily bread I still believe he heals our diseases I still believe that he will deliver us from evil I mean don't stop praying for that I'm not saying that somehow God is absent in our relationship but I'm just saying don't follow him because he does those things don't follow him because he does those things follow him because of who he is and prayer team is available please come up and take take that opportunity also if you did receive Jesus today for the first time if you made that commitment we have a package their white packets that say begin on them they're at every exit so no matter what door you go out of you should turn around just kind of look around you'll see these begin packets it will give you some resources to help you in this journey it's not an easy one as you can tell it's not an easy one but we want to get you resources also there's a way to connect with us through that through that information and so please reach out we have mentors and others who would be available to walk with you in these first few steps and also would you stand with me I'm so excited this is Father's Day I really am and that dads are actually in the house this is like makes my heart so happy well it really makes my heart happy is there's Donuts out in the atrium you know you know what we did you know what we did this is amazing there's a wall out there did you see him when you came in was the what did the wall have anything in it we took a wall we built this wall we put pegs in the wall and there's Donuts on the pegs for free for you so as you guys leave today there are donuts out there every day is a good day with the donut and and there and they're vegan and we should have some with bacon on them for you flexitarians so there's donuts out there also there's a 60s band playing there's a band out there plays sixties music they're not from the 1960s they might be anyways also for you men in the house we have a lot of events happening throughout this summer specifically for you as well as our barbecues I can't think of a better way for guys I mean this open up your house turn on the grill and invite other people in your neighborhood to come join you that's a great opportunity but we also have some other men's events you can get more information about that and give us your contact information so we can get in touch with you out in the atrium at the Welcome Center please take advantage of that and then other than that we didn't do this today and so before you take off would you like this turn to somebody and just say hello and find out if they're a dad or not and what you guys are doing today and greet each other for a bit all right god bless you guys

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