I lied today… This morning as I was installing a new app on my Macbook I scrolled down to the bottom where it asked if I had read the “terms & conditions” and I checked the box to say that I had, but I didn’t! Do you read the terms & conditions of the products & services you use? I usually end up tossing them out or scrolling down to the bottom so that I can check the box to continue, but not reading the “terms and conditions” can cause you trouble.
Two years ago I saw a deal online for tickets to see the Houston Astros play the Texas Rangers in Arlington. The deal was great. For $40 I would receive 4 tickets, unlimited grilled chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, peanuts, and soft drinks! The tickets were mailed to me and I took the family to the game. When we arrived we went to our seats and got ready for a fun evening of unlimited food and baseball. I left my family in their seats and left to find the food, after walking to several concession stands and not able to find this unlimited buffet anywhere, I decided to ask for help. I showed the man my ticket and he told me that I would have to pick up our unlimited food from the Cholula All-You-Can-Eat porch. Great! I asked him where that was and he told me it was on the other side of the stadium! So for unlimited food, I would have to walk all the way around the stadium and back!?!? Well, that wasn’t going to work for me. I went to guest relations and I shared with them my frustration. They told me that they have had a lot of people complain about this offer, but if I had read the “terms and conditions” it stated that for the $10 seats I would have to do that unless I wanted to upgrade to seats near the Cholula section. I ended up paying for an upgrade. It cost me because I did not read the “term and conditions”.
In Luke 14:25-33, Jesus shares with his disciples that there are “terms & conditions” when we choose to become disciples. The condition is that to follow Jesus you must hate your family and carry our cross (a Roman tool of death)! WHAT!?!? I hope you didn’t skip over that section and click the “I agree to these terms and conditions” box. Maybe Jesus was just being dramatic? No, he wasn’t. He was serious. The Greek word for “hate” here in Luke is “misei“. This word does mean hate but it can also mean and is better understood in this context as “like less”. Jesus is saying that in order to be a disciple you must like or love less your family, friends, and others compared to your love for God. That is still not an easy condition, but neither is agreeing to carry a cross or die!
Why does Jesus state that these are the “terms and conditions”? Being a disicple is not easy, but it is worth it. What you gain in return is purpose, power, and passion. This weekend at Cornerstone we will begin a new series call You 2.0 where we are encouraged to make the commitment and find our purpose, power, and passion. Join us this Sunday at 9:30 AM for Sunday School and 10:30 AM for worship as we explore You 2.0.
In God’s grip,
Pastor Chuck Church