Monday, August 8, 2011

The Cost of Discipleship

This week I got to teach the college Sunday School class at church, and this post stems from the lesson I taught:

We are often taught that salvation is a free gift, and it is.  There is no amount of money or work that you could ever do to merit the grace of God.  Grace is defined as unmerited favor after all.   But salvation is hardly free.  It has a cost.  The cost is that we become disciples of Christ, and in order to do that . . . well I’ll let Jesus tell you how much that costs:  

“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.

Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.

For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.'

"Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.

"So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.”

"Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear." (Luke 14:26-35)

Jesus also says, “Anyone who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is not fit for the kingdom of God.”  (Luke 9:62).

So while you could never afford salvation, it will cost you everything. 

If following Jesus hasn’t cost you anything or has cost you very little, I invite you to give up all that you know is holding you back in your life.  If it’s material possessions, sell them.  If it’s money, give it away.  If it’s family, surrender them to God.  If it’s success, become humble.  Whatever it is that leaves you unfit for the kingdom, there’s no time like the present to repent and turn your life completely over to God.



1 comment:

Graceful said...

This, Stephen -- "If following Jesus hasn’t cost you anything or has cost you very little, I invite you to give up all that you know is holding you back in your life" -- this is incredibly convicting. Thank you for getting straight to the point and telling it like it is.

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