Welcome to this edition of My Thoughts and the first of our eight-week series on “The Cost of Discipleship.” This week, I will open our series discussing the very cost of becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ.
What is the cost of discipleship? Does it have a monetary value? Do we need to take out a loan from a bank and make payments? No, not at all. There could never be a monetary value placed on discipleship. The cost is much higher than you think.
Salvation and discipleship are free, but it will cost your life. You will be mocked, persecuted, loss of friends and family, and possibly lose your employment. God will tell you, “I never said it would be easy, but I will make it worth it all.” Jesus spells out the cost of discipleship.
The Cost of Discipleship
First, We Must Hate our Families and Ourselves
Luke 14:26, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.” Jesus stated that we must be more loyal to Him than to our family and ourselves. They will not ever get us into heaven.
Only Jesus’ atoning death on the cross can provide our way into heaven and eternal life. Jesus made it clear that if one loves their father, mother, sons, or daughters more than Him, they are not worthy of Me (Matthew 10:37).
Second, Willing to Die to Self-Will
Luke 14:27, “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” A disciple must be willing to die to self-will, take up their cross, or embrace God’s will no matter what the cost entails.
In Luke 14:33, “So, likewise, whoever of you who does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” We need to talk to worldly people to evangelize the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but not to associate with what the world offers. We do live in this ungodly world, but we do not have to participate.
Based on 2 Timothy 2:2-5, what can make discipleship hard is keeping your disciple makers encouraged:
- Entrusting the gospel to faithful men to teach others, we also must share in the hardships (v. 2-3). As Christians, we are to place trust in others to spread the Gospel. As we continue to teach the Gospel, we will always face difficulties when sharing our faith.
- We should never engage in civilian pursuits (v. 4). The civilian pursuits I am speaking of are the ungodly use of smartphones, tablets, iPods, and social media sites that can distract us from serving God.
- Never play favoritism with others (v. 4). Jesus treated everyone the same and was not into becoming popular with the “in crowd.”
- Paul encouraged Timothy to persevere to the end (v. 5), no matter what trials came his way. Fight the good fight and stay the course. The ones who persevere make it over the finish line of eternal life.
Time is a good reason why discipleship is hard. It is time-consuming as it takes time to plant the seeds of God’s Word, to cultivate and water, so that God may have a bountiful harvest of souls.
Microwave discipleship will not produce the type of disciples that are needed in our world today. Only crockpot discipleship will produce those disciples. It does not happen overnight. We should not be discouraged when we do not see instant results. It could take months, but it is incredible when those results come to fruition.
There are as many triumphs as there are defeats, trials, and tribulations. The ones who are victorious are the ones that place their eyes on Jesus. Satan will do all he can to use the only power we give him deception. Satan would love nothing more than to tear down the body of Christ. We will be afflicted, but never crushed. We do get a bit perplexed, but never let it drive you to despair (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).
As Christians, we should be used to being persecuted. As a disciple-maker, they will attempt to strike us down, but no one can destroy us. We will live to fight again. Put that armor on (Ephesians 6:10-20) and remember we disciple and make disciples for the glory of God.
The cost of discipleship includes living with a selfless heart, being a humble servant, always believing, keeping an open mind and being obedient, dependence on the Holy Spirit, giving Jesus honor and praise, for it is not because they hate you, but Jesus.
Salvation cost one man, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the Son of the living God, His life for all humanity. Our debt settled and paid through His blood. The cost of discipleship will also cost us our lives. It can cost us our family, friends, status in our communities, and our jobs or career.
Now ask yourself this question, “Will the world or Jesus get us into heaven?” The world only has misery, heartache, and coldness to offer. Jesus offers love, compassion, and eternal life with Him in heaven. It is worth becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ, Amen!
I am Dale Van De Bogart and I fully agree on God’s Word!
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