Friday June 22, 2018
Title: Ruth 4:8-12. Final chapter - The virtuous woman creates a home as a type of Christ, part 4.
The Lord Jesus has made us a home in our souls so that every aspect of our lives on earth can simulate our home in heaven; relationships, family, work, leisure, skills, etc.
Is God for marriage, family, work, relationships, entertainment, rest, enjoyment, etc.? And if He is, what would He like to see them look like?
PRO 31:10 An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
PRO 31:11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
PRO 31:12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
PRO 31:13 She looks for wool and flax,
And works with her hands in delight.
PRO 31:14 She is like merchant ships; She brings her food from afar.
PRO 31:15 She rises also while it is still night, And gives food to her household, And portions to her maidens.
PRO 31:16 She considers a field and buys it; From her earnings she plants a vineyard.
Virtuous, faithful, a lover of good, prepared, delighted with the work, brave, energetic, and now … industrious and wise.
She is not rash. She considers the property.
All decisions, everything meaningful that is said, everything important that is done can be first considered. We have plenty of time for it.
Jesus instructs us that we should first consider what we should do.
The Lord attended a Sabbath dinner at the house of a Pharisee. He noticed the other guests seeking the places of honor at the dinner table. He told them the parable of taking the last place from which you can only go up. He then taught them not to invite only their friends to the luncheon, but to invite the poor, the lame, and the blind since they could not repay you. In other words, you would have to give without receiving in return. Then He told the parable of the guests invited to the dinner who refused to come. Others were invited until the dinner was full.
After this, great multitudes were following Him. He was extremely popular. But why were they following Him. It was then that He stopped, addressed them all and told them to consider the cost.
The excellent woman considers the cost of what she does and she knows that she can fulfill it through Christ who empowers her.
LUK 14:25 Now great multitudes were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them,
LUK 14:26 "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.
The Orientals use strong language [hate] where cooler spirits would speak of preference or indifference… It is only where the element of choice comes in. (Robertson's Word Pictures)
When we compare Luke’s account with Matthew’s, which is the same event: (MAT 10:37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.”) we conclude that the Lord means that we must always love Him more than the people closest to us.
The word hate can be used in this way, especially in the East, as an exaggerated contrast when one has to choose between Christ and a loved one who opposes Christ. If our closest loved ones interfere with the will of God, we choose the will of God over them.
He is addressing the disciple or the learner.
Salvation is by faith. The disciple is the saved one who is an avid learner. He dedicates his life to the way of Christ.
Can a believer not be a disciple? Yes, or else salvation is by works. Disciples are willing to pay a price. A modern equivalent is the word apprentice. The cost is time in learning, dedication, diligence, striving, groping, more learning, recovering from failure and pressing on, etc. The Lord says, “Consider it,” to the extensive crowd that has been following Him.
LUK 14:27 "Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
Carrying our cross is the willingness to go through and do anything to remain or abide in Christ.
Carrying our cross means death to our own plans and ambitions and a willingness to serve Him as He requests. Our cross is something we willingly accept as the will of God no matter what it interrupts. The man who said his unruly teenager or his overbearing boss or his noisy neighbor is his cross to bear doesn’t quite get it.
The disciple is a willing follower. The woman disciple who manages a home is a willing doer of good to her household in which she loves to do it.
Don’t be deceived. You can easily justify your own plans. Consider them fully. Are you in any way neglecting your responsibility to the Lord and His people?
LUK 14:28 "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?
LUK 14:29 "Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him,
LUK 14:30 saying,' This man began to build and was not able to finish.'
LUK 14:31 "Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and take counsel whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand?
LUK 14:32 "Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks terms of peace.
LUK 14:33 "So therefore, no one of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.
Jesus has taught on this on many occasions. He does not mean that we give everything away and stand naked on the street.
“give up” - Greek verb apotássomai which means to renounce, set-apart, or say goodbye to. Whatever we have, we renounce ownership.
He means that we understand that we possess nothing but Him. The material that we do have belongs to Him and we are extremely gracious with it.
LUK 14:34 "Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned?
LUK 14:35 "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."
Discipleship is serious business. If we are not disciples then we can’t fight the good fight.
"There is always an if in connection with discipleship and it implies that we need not [be disciples] unless we like. There is never any compulsion; Jesus does not coerce us. There is only one way of being a disciple, and that is by being devoted to Jesus." [Oswald Chambers]
The Lord wants us to know exactly what we are getting into as disciples.
If we tell Jesus that we want to take up our cross and follow Him as His disciples, then He wants us to know exactly what we are getting into. He wants no false expectancy, no illusions, no bargains. He wants to use us as stones for building His church, soldiers for battling His enemies and salt for bettering His world; and He is looking for quality over quantity.
Jesus Himself did what He asks us to do and He did it to a much greater extent. He said these words while He had begun to journey to Jerusalem for the final time and you know what happened to Him there.
Every believer has all that he needs to be a disciple of Christ. He has everything he needs to finish the tower and to win the battle. Any believer who considers the cost and chooses against devoting his life to Christ has not understood and is a fool.