Let yourself become open to God and the knowledge that comes from the Word. Ask God for peace at this time.
Luke 14:25-33 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Now large crowds were traveling with him; and he turned and said to them, “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace. So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.
It is the protestant struggle to apprehend the free grace of Christ without the bonds of work or merit. Yet by any indication, be it church attendance, biblical literacy, giving, evangelism, or spiritual practices the church is weak in our culture. What expectations do we (or does Christ) have for those who come to the church looking for salvation and baptism? In the ancient church, there was a waiting period or preparation time before baptism so that people could consider the cost of following Christ. In this passage, Jesus seems to indicate a thorough thinking of the consequences of following Him. Yet, in the New Testament people were baptized immediately after their confessions of Christ as Lord. Our churches hold revival meetings that are meant to spur someone to confessing Christ as Lord.
So today I am reflecting on how we, as a church, can encourage a well-thought-out and also an emotional decision to make Christ Lord. The head and the heart have to be together when a life-changing decision is made. Surely, it is the most important decision someone will make and it deserves thinking, but we also do not want to discourage or hinder someone from coming to Christ.
Grant me, O Lord my God,
a mind to know you,
a heart to seek you,
wisdom to find you,
conduct pleasing to you,
faithful perseverance in waiting for you,
and a hope of finally embracing you. Amen. — St Thomas Aquinas
Go with God!