How often do you consider the costs of discipleship? Is it even something we should be concerned about? In reviewing the lives of the apostles we can see that there are definite actions indicative of one being a disciple of Jesus. One of the things we see in the lives of the apostles included leaving behind their families and their occupations to follow Jesus. This wasn’t a total severance, for we do see them back in these parts of their lives at various points after beginning to follow Jesus, but they indicated that Jesus was primary, first and foremost, in their lives. These costs do not change with differing cultures or time frames. Many today seek Jesus as savior in their lives without accepting Him as their Lord as well. This is not possible, for discipleship calls for complete submission to Christ and His will.
You may have heard it said, “His children are his life.” You can replace ‘children’ with any number of things including possessions and recreational or vocational activities. What this says to us it that we (and they) believe their life is meaningless without them. In the words of Jesus, those who love family more than Him are not worthy of Him (Matthew 10:37). This certainly would include other elements or activities as well. A statement regarding a disciple of Jesus would be more accurately reflected as “Jesus is his life,” or “Without Jesus her life would be meaningless.”
Another aspect of discipleship is bearing our cross. (Matt 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 14:27) Jesus bore His cross on the road to Calvary and eventually was nailed to it. It was His purpose, God’s will for His life. As disciples of Jesus, we too have a purpose for our life, which is consistent with God’s will. Do you know what it is for you? If not, you cannot “bear your cross” for you don’t even know how to do so! Examine the abilities God has blessed you with and how you can put them to work in serving God.
Is this something that can be said of you? Is your relationship with Jesus consistent with the one we see in the lives of the apostles and disciples? Let us not accept the notion that Jesus today would count us as His disciples if we won’t place Him first in our lives and pick up our cross daily and follow Him.
Copyright © 2006, Nolan P. Rutter