The Cost of Discipleship

“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?”  Luke 14:28

Are you aware that there is a cost involved in following Jesus?

While Jesus paid the price for your sins and mine on the cross, there is a cost involved in following Him, in being His disciple. Make no mistake about it. 

The cost? You must trade in your way for His way.  You must abandon the herd mentality and follow the voice of the Good Shepherd.  Every day you must lay down your own desires, take up your own cross and follow Him.  And while we cannot bear its weight alone, He is always with us, giving us strength.

The Christian life requires us to give up our own plans and dreams for God’s. The plans God has for us are far better and different than plans we make for ourselves. He weaves together every strand, every fiber of our lives with the lives of others until it becomes a tapestry so brilliant that we cannot even begin to imagine it. His desire is that all would come to know Him, to believe in Him, to find real life in Him.

Few who claim the title of Christian are actually willing to sacrifice in this way to follow Jesus, yet we find in Scripture that this is the only way to truly be His disciple.  It is not an easy way.  There is great struggle—both internal and external.  There is a spiritual battle and there is also the battle of the will.

Luke 9:62 says, "But Jesus told him, 'Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.'”

This looking back refers to the world and the culture we must not allow to control our destiny.  God is calling us to a different road, a narrow path.  It is this difference, this passion, this sacrifice that brings change in the hearts and lives of others, as well.  They are drawn like a moth to a flame, and it is the flame of Jesus Christ in our lives.

Jim Elliot, a missionary who was martyred while attempting to share Jesus with the Huaorani people in Ecuador is credited with saying, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”  It is the picture of our life with Jesus Christ.

C. S. Lewis says it like this, “Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’: aim at earth and you will get neither.”

And, the Holy Bible says it this way, “If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it” (Matthew 10:39).

When we choose to do things our way and live life on our own terms, following our own selfish desires, we come to the end of our earthly life empty, and with far worse eternal consequences. The benefits we receive for following Jesus are far greater than any cost of giving up our own way.

Is your life leading others to a counterfeit Christ in whom they can have their cake and eat it, too?  Or, are you leading them to the light and life of Jesus Christ alone?

Goodnight, Runners.


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