The sermon text for this Lord’s Day is Luke 14:25-35. In it, the Lord Jesus issues a serious call to count the cost of following him. He requires full devotion, without which no one can be his disciple. We tend to minimize of ignore Jesus’ call, but the text, rightly considered, does not allow half-hearted devotion.
The hymns selected for the service express our singular focus on Christ and our determination to follow him as he requires.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Call to Worship: Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Note: Deuteronomy 6:5 lays the foundation for our relationship with God through Christ Jesus. God requires undivided love for him.
Hymn Insert I Greet Thee Who My Sure Redeemer Art
Note: With this hymn, we welcome the Savior and acknowledge our utter dependence on him and devotion to him. In the second verse, we express submission to him and pray that He will transform us completely (“our whole being sway”).
Hymn Insert A Charge I Have to Keep
Notes: Charles Wesley’s hymn declares our resolve to invest all our powers “to do the Master’s will.” We pray in song, asking him to help us to live in his sight and, thus, “prepare a strict account to give.”
Scripture Reading: Philippians 3:2-4:1
Note: The apostle Paul lived out the Lord’s call to follow Him. He counted his heritage and his accomplishments as nothing—less than nothing—in comparison to the great privileged of knowing Christ. He calls others to follow his example.
Hymn 546 Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken
Note: This hymn, once familiar, has fallen into disuse because of its bleak portrayal of the Christian’s relationship to the world. Yet it is an accurate description. “all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). But the focus of the hymn is the joy that belongs to everyone who forsakes all but Jesus: “how rich is my condition, God and heav’n are still my own!”
Message: Count the Cost
Text: Luke 14:25-35
Hymn 462 Be Thou My Vision
Note: The “high King of heaven” is the subject of this hymn. It is a prayer that he will fill our vision, that we will give him his rightful place as “first in my heart.”
Prayer Response: Mark Williams
Benediction: John Miles