If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying “This man began to build and was not able to finish.” Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not sit down and consider whether he strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.
Therefore salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! (Luke 14:26-35, NASB)
We will continue looking at this passage and the foundation of discipleship as determined from the previous discussion: our love for the Savior. The greatest Commandment also echoes this foundation and the number one place that the Lord is to occupy in our whole life:
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5, NKJV)
It is clear from this passage that the priority in our life should be Jesus and Him only. And I am suggesting that becoming poor in spirit will make this become natural because as it becomes your nature, you will love Him more and more. This foundation of love that we are commenting on is seen through the next part of this passage.
Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after. Another choice is given, and something else is to be considered, whose reply is directly related to the love of the Savior. We have discussed before the cross as it relates to discipleship. The cross means death – death to self. That is what poor in spirit is about. Death to self allows the Holy Spirit to take control of our will and replace it with the will of the loving Father. This dying to self allows the love for the Christ to show forth in our lives by our actions and devotion to Him. The love of Christ compels us:
For the love of Christ controls and urges and impels us, because we are of the opinion and conviction that [if] One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, so that all those who live should might live no longer to and for themselves, but to and for Him Who died and was raised again for their sake. (2 Corinthians 5:14-15, Amplified)
Commitment, dedication, devotion, delight in the Lord, yielding, submission, and surrendering, all come to mind. I wish we can go farther with this now, but what I want to make clear that this life is desirable for the Believer, and this life is the call given to the Believer, and this call can be lived by becoming poor in spirit.
“Consider the cost” illustrations that are given next by the Master Rabbi. We need to make a decision and it needs to be based on our love for Him. There will be no failure if we decide to become His disciple. The outcome will be victory and much fruit in our life. But it will also mean we give everything up to Him. And that means He gives us His perfect will. It will also mean that there will be pain and suffering. Like this that will also mean there will be a great reward. What will you choose to do with this opportunity presented to you?
So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. I do not know how else to interpret this other than a disciple is one who forsakes all to be Jesus Christ’s disciple. All means all. You will no longer have rights, possessions, talents, dreams, or your own will. All these desires are given over to the Lord to be used at His beckon call. Again in order to make this an easy daily decision the Christian character trait of being poor in spirit is what allows this to happen.
Salt. Jesus told His disciples that they were salt (Matthew 5:13), not that they will become salt; we are salt. But salt can lose its flavor. Choose to remain salt for the Lord because the world is in disparate need of the healing and preserving actions of salt today.
He who has ears to hear, let him hear. Listen and answer the call. Become His disciple and start building the Christian character needed starting with becoming poor in spirit.
Evaluate your priorities and make changes to put Jesus Christ first. When one becomes poor in spirit – he hears.