The Weekly Epistle 6/7/23

Living Hope Family, 

We’re only two weeks into our new sermon series, and already it’s proving to be quite challenging. As we consider the reasons why this series, in particular, has proven to be so challenging, we need to look no further than the series title. “Follow Me.” The sermons Pastor Brian is preaching are challenging because they grapple with the cost of following Jesus. 

The Apostle Peter summarized the cost of following when he said to Jesus in Matthew 19:27, “We have left everything and followed you.” What is the cost of following, according to Peter? Everything. The decision to follow Jesus fundamentally alters our value and view of money and possessions (Matthew 6:24), our relationships (Matthew 19:29), our rights (Matthew 18:21-35), and even our personal freedom (Matthew 16:24-25). No part of the Christian’s life is reserved for the Christian—everything is to be surrendered in the vigilant duty of following. 

In light of the cost of following, it behooves us to consider two questions as we continue in this series together. First, “What have I given up to follow Jesus?” Second, “What must I yet give up to follow Jesus?” Our willingness to sincerely ask and answer those questions will quickly reveal if we are indeed following Jesus. If we have given up little to nothing and are unwilling to give up much of anything, we are likely not following Jesus. We’re just meandering our way down the broad road toward our inventible destruction. However, if we can look back on the things we have left behind and joyfully consider what else we may yet leave in our pursuit of Jesus, then we are likely on the narrow road walking in the present reality of eternal life (John 17:3). 

As we continue on in our series, may these two questions burn deep within our hearts.

“What have I given up to follow Jesus?”

“What must I yet give up to follow Jesus?”


Pastor Dan