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Women World Leaders' Podcast

May 31, 2023

Perhaps you gave your life to Christ many years ago. If you did, you can rest assured that God has a place for you in His kingdom. But Jesus is also calling you to be His disciple. What does that even mean? We invite you to listen today as Julie Jenkins teaches from Luke 14:25-35.


Welcome to Walking in the Word, the biblical teaching arm of the Women World Leaders podcast. My name is Julie Jenkins, and we are happy that you have joined us today as we continue to walk through God’s Word together, asking Him what He wants us to know today.

If this is your first time joining us, welcome! I encourage you to check out our previous podcasts as well as visit our website, Our goal at Women World Leaders is to empower you to walk in your God-given purpose. Some of the ways we do that are through offering teachings, devotions, seminars, and the Voice of Truth magazine. But one of the best ways you can grow in your God-given purpose is to get involved. God has a place for you in this ministry. We often say that we are reaching over 60 countries, but did you know we also have leaders in our ministry from many different countries? And we are growing every day. One offering we have is our Leadership Connect, where we meet on Zoom on the third Monday of each month to grow together as Christian sisters. We also gather on Zoom on the fourth Monday of the month to pray together for 30 minutes. We pray for specific needs of those on the call as well as for the needs of the ministry. If you would like to be involved, no matter where you are, visit our website at and fill out the contact form so we can send you monthly emails with all the information you need to get involved.

On this, the Wednesday edition of the podcast we have the opportunity to walk through the Word of God together, and currently we are walking through the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Today we will be focusing on Luke 14:25-35. Before we begin, let's pray.

Dear Most Holy God, as we dive into your teaching today, I ask you to be with us and show us clearly what you want us to learn. God, Your Word is living and active, and we know that it will meet us where we are, and it is you, Holy Spirit, who allows us to hear your thoughts, direction, and love for us as we read and study Scripture. God, cleanse us of all unrighteousness that we may hear your voice clearly. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.


As we have been following Jesus, most recently we have seen Him dining at the home of a Pharisee, where He spoke some difficult truths regarding humility and the value of being a servant. As He leaves, the Bible records that the enthusiastic crowd following Him is growing. But now, as we read Jesus’ words to that crowd, we wonder about their enthusiasm. Were they simply caught up in the moment, wanting to be part of the “in” crowd? Were they mesmerized by the fanfare of Jesus’ miracles? Were they looking for a warrior-type leader to usher them into freedom from the Romans? The answer is that there was likely a great mixture of reasons why individuals were following Jesus.

And isn’t that the same today? People follow Jesus for a multitude of reasons, ranging from selfishness to pure loyalty to God. The amazing thing is that Jesus offers salvation to everyone who comes truly seeking Him, and we are to praise and thank Him each time someone offers their life up to Him! The crowd following Jesus is still growing today!

But being saved once and forever by Jesus’ free gift and becoming a disciple of Jesus’ are two different things.

Being a disciple means being a learner. It is attaching yourself to a teacher for the purpose of intentional growth. It is seeking to work with Jesus, harnessing His teaching and power while here on earth every day, joining Him in His pursuit of showcasing the glory of God the Father to everyone.

Being a disciple is far more than celebrating with the saints and angels, enjoying the party, fellowshipping at church or in ministry, or wearing a beautiful cross necklace as a statement piece. Being a disciple of Jesus takes intentionality, effort, and sacrifice.  

And so in today’s teaching, we see Jesus turn to all those who are following Him and guide them not to be swept along in the crowd, but to intentionally become His disciple, that is, become an intentional learner, growing in all that He has for them and all He has for them to accomplish in His name.

Luke 14:25 begins in the New Living Translation…

25 A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, 26 “If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.

The first stipulation for being Jesus’ disciple is to put Jesus above all others.

Don’t get hung up on the word “hate” here. Jesus has advocated over and over for love. I like the way the NLT translates this - you must, by comparison, hate everyone. In other words – Jesus must be first. Your relationship with and responsibility to Him must come so far above others that there is no question who you, as a disciple, will be loyal to.

One of the most difficult things about loyalty is that when we claim loyalty, we often do it not knowing what perils lie ahead. Being a disciple of Jesus is no different. We don’t know the path that God has laid out for us to walk – we cannot foresee either the joy or the trials ahead. Yet as disciples, we are committing to put Jesus above all NO MATTER WHAT. The Bible tells us over and over that we CAN trust God, that when we give ourselves to Him, we will experience above and beyond what we can ask or imagine. BUT we can NOT and WILL not experience all He has for us if we do not trust Him completely. We can’t put the cart before the horse. A disciple must ALWAYS stay loyal to Jesus – in good and tough times that are and that are to come.

So the first qualification of being a disciple is to put Jesus above all else.

The second qualification flows from the first. As disciples, we are to surrender to God’s will. Verse 27…

 27 And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.

God has a different walk planned for each of us – but you can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He is in control of the plan He has for YOU.

The Jewish people were VERY aware of what it meant to carry your cross. It was common to see a procession heading through the streets with the central figure being a condemned man carrying his cross to his place of execution. Who wants to carry a cross? Yet when we carry the cross given to us by Jesus, we can trust that God will use it for a great purpose.

To be Jesus’ disciple, we must put Jesus above all others and surrrender to His will.

 AND, Jesus warns, don’t go into this lightly. Becoming a disciple of Christ is a very serious commitment. Verse 28…

28 “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? 29 Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. 30 They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’

This kind of hits home to me today as my oldest daughter is purchasing her first car. As parents, there is so much my husband and I are trying to help her prepare for. Not only do you have the cost of the vehicle itself, but you must be prepared to pay the tax and tag, insurance, and car maintenance. Neglecting to fit these costs into your budget before buying a car could be disastrous.

Jesus uses the parable of constructing a building – the builder must look at every financial angle before he begins or he might end up throwing all his money away.

Being a disciple – putting Jesus first and submiiting to His will – could cost us everything, up to and including our lives. Jesus doesn’t want us to be fearful of that, but He does want us to be prepared. When we are prepared to face the worst, we will also be prepared to lean on God in full and total trust.

Jesus continues in verse 31…

31 “Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? 32 And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. 33 So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.

When we follow Christ, we will have enemies, and there will be battles. God wants us to intentionally gather our forces. Who can you depend on to encourage and support you as you stand strong for Jesus? One of the things we must give up, as disciples of Christ, is our independence. God made us the body of Christ, we are made for community, we are made to be interdependent on each other. Together, as God’s army, we can stand against anything the world will throw at us.

Who is in your army? Who can you rely on? That is one of the reasons Women World Leaders exists. We are here to empower and walk with each other. If you haven’t yet joined in, we’d love to get to know you!

As disciples of Christ, we are to put Jesus first, submit our control to Him, be prepared to stand close to Him no matter what, and give up our independence as we operate in the body of Christ.

Jesus then encourages the crowd that they are in a good place! But He also warns them to not fall away.

Verse 34…

34 “Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? 35 Flavorless salt is good neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. It is thrown away.

Salt, in its purest form – sodium chloride, cannot actually lose its flavor. To me, this speaks of our security of salvation! Once a child of God, always a child of God.

But salt, in Jesus day, as found around the Dead Sea, was a mixture of sodium chloride and other compounds.

Salt is very useful! It is useful as flavoring and for preservation, fertilization, and as a weed-killer.

We can draw several parallels between salt and the life of a committed Christian.

As a flavoring, salt brings out the best flavor in other things. Aren’t we to bring out the best in others?

Salt also makes a person thirsty. Isn’t our aim in life to make people thirsty for the Word of God?

Salt preserves. There is no doubt that Satan comes against this world everyday. Our job as Christ’s disciples is to preserve God’s glory for all to see.

Salt fertilizes. As Christians, we have the joy of helping others grow in the power of Christ.

And salt is a weed-killer. Through our loyalty to Christ, God infuses us with the power to stomp on Satan and ruin all his plans.

But to maintain our saltiness, we must stay engaged – with God, His Word, and His community. If we don’t, we, like the salt compound from the Dead Sea, might just find ourselves flavorless and inneffective.

To be a true and effective disciple of Jesus, we must do far more than follow the crowd and enjoy the celebration. Jesus told those who were following Him then and He tells us now, that to be His disciples, we must put Jesus first and submit our control to Him. Then we must be prepared to stand close to Him no matter what, and give up our independence as we operate in the body of Christ, so that we can maintain our effectiveness for the Kingdom.

Jesus continues with this final statement…

 Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!”

In this statement, Jesus is calling for a response. And as you listen today, He is also calling for your response. You may have given your life to Christ 30 years ago – and if you did, your place in heaven is sealed today just as much as it was that first day – no matter what you may or may not have done! But today Jesus asks, will you be my disciple? Are you willing to work WITH Jesus to make a difference in someone else’s life for eternity?

Let’s pray…

Dear Most Holy God! We WANT to be your disciples! Thank you for teaching us how to be. Jesus, we give you our utmost loyalty and surrender our will to you, fully trusting in all that is ahead! We stand with our eyes wide open, we are ready for all you call us to. Jesus, we commit to operating within the body you have given us, and we praise and thank you for using us to make a difference in your Kingdom. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.