My fingers lingered before finally deciding to type the message the Lord gave me for you today.
I'm warning you: It's not milk, it's meaty.
I am aware that many will not receive this.
This message is not for everyone, in fact I may lose my 300+ followers for this, haha.
It's so worth it though! That's the price of hearing from God.
In the words of Jesus:
"He who have ears to hear, let him hear"
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’;In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples."
The Cost of Discipleship is found in the first 4 books of the NT. Some Bible translations refer to these verses as "Discipleship will be difficult". Huh.
Pretend that you're looking for a job. You heard of this man, Jesus, who goes around healing people, speaking wisdom & saving souls. You hear that you can apply to be one of his disciples and you immediately believe this discipleship position is your dream job. You go online and download the application. The application states that every applicant has to have 2 prerequisites to qualify.
- "If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and
mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own
life—such a person cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26)
This job requires a certain kind of person, someone who will hate his/her parents, siblings, spouse and children. The word hate in this context is just a Semitic expression for "loving less". If you can love all those people less, then maybe you have a chance. He adds, as if reading the minds of our 'me' generation, "yes, even [hate] your own life". Love yourself less!
Crazy to think this is just prerequisite #1.
- The next prerequisite goes along the lines us acquiring and bearing a cross. Imagine you go to a store and you find your own cross with your name on it. Jesus paid it for you, you just need to pick it up and THEN follow him. Trust me, you don't get very far following him without the cross.
But what does this crucifixion metaphor mean? It means a disciple must die to self-will & embrace God's will, no matter the cost. If His will means leaving your country to save orphans in Africa, you take up your cross and follow Christ on to Africa. If His will is for you to endure torture, persecution & die a martyr, you bear your cross and follow Christ until your last breath.
"Well Savior, what's it going to cost me to call you my teacher, my master, my Lord?" you ask.As a potential disciple, you must always first count the cost in order to see if you will persevere in faith. If you're not willing to relinquish everything, you'll end up like the rich young man from Matthew 19. Jesus gave him the opportunity to be one of his close disciples (potential disciple #13). This young man was moral, keeping all the commandments, yet he asked the Lord what he was lacking still. "Renounce to your 'great possessions', give them to the poor and come follow me," Jesus answered (Matt. 19:22). This man could've brought the gospel to Asia, maybe even be the author of many books in the NT! But we will never know because he refused the invitation. And to think it was all because of what he 'owned' (If you're struggling with this, Jesus addressed materialism in Luke 12:13-21 & Luke 9:25). The young man went away sorrowful, probably knowing he would regret that decision.
His reply: "Everything. You must renounce to all."
Or you can be like those that, when they heard the invitation, "left everything & followed him" (Luke 5:11b). The Bible speaks of them as men who will inherit the kingdom of God, not because of them possessing any supernatural ability (they were as faulty as we are) but because they took up their cross and followed Christ.
These 3 conditions make up the commitment of every true follower of Christ. We've been taught to say/repeat a prayer to receive Christ as our Savior that often times don't really affect our everyday lives. We say the prayer and go back to our regular way of living all the while thinking 'we're saved'. The reality is that Christ died to be your Savior AND your Lord. There's a big difference.
I'm a disciple of Christ, a title I wear proudly that comes with desert & stormy seasons, modern-day Pharisees and betrayers, modern-day Judas you must love regardless. This is all part of the cost, to suffer with Christ.
Yet I wouldn't trade it for the world. I will always love the intimacy I have at the feet of Jesus more. The cost to know Him and make Him known is worth it.
But what about you?
If you don't have the discipleship commitment and have called yourself a follower of Christ, renounce to the tittle immediately if you're not willing to bear your cross. You cannot love Him less.
If you want to accept Christ as your Savior AND Lord, run and seek Him as fast as you can! Repent of your erroneous way of living, pick up your cross and follow Him. He is waiting for you as we speak.
"For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."