Salt.

Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness… it is thrown out.
Luke 14:34

We kicked off the youth group new year with a look at ‘counting the cost’. Do we really know what is demanded of us if we choose to follow Jesus?

Huge crowds were following this great teacher and miracle worker… but why? Waiting for another miracle? To watch some verbal sparring with the local authorities? Or to be fed with some more fish and bread? Had any of them counted what it really means to live with Jesus as the King of their lives?

Jesus has a 3 question test:
1. “In comparison to your love for me, will you hate every other relationship?
2. “Will you carry a despised, humiliating, brutal, bloody, painful cross?”
And the all encompassing question: 3. “Will you give up everything and follow me?”

Ouch.

Suppose there were 2 piles of salt in your Jewish backyard that you’d use for your cooking and preserving. One had been there 5 years, and over that time all the actual salt had leached out of the granules and into the ground. The other pile was collected last week, and was full of salty goodness.
On the surface, both piles looked exactly the same: little, white particles of salt heaped on top of each other. But if you went to use some salt from the first pile, it’d be like pouring sand over your dinner: no extra flavour, just grit in your teeth.

Trouble is, you can never tell, until you actually taste it, which pile is which. 2 identical piles, but the substance is completely different.

So it is with followers of Jesus. On the surface, Christ followers can look identical – but the reality can be worlds apart. I may not be able to tell just by looking which follower is genuine; but the one who can, is the one who’s judgment really matters.

What does he do worthless salt? He simply throws it out.

So who am I? Have I really counted what it will cost to follow Him? To hate all else… to carry… to give up…?

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