Counting the Cost

There’s a line from Jesus Christ Superstar that goes,

Always hoped that I’d be an apostle,

Knew that I would make it if I tried

That has to be one of the greatest misunderstandings of what being one of Jesus’ followers is about.  You don’t “make it” as a disciple.  In fact if you think you have made it, then you almost certainly haven’t…

Luke 14:25-33

Being a Disciple

25 Large crowds were walking along with Jesus, when he turned and said:

26 You cannot be my disciple, unless you love me more than you love your father and mother, your wife and children, and your brothers and sisters. You cannot come with me unless you love me more than you love your own life.

27 You cannot be my disciple unless you carry your own cross and come with me.

28 Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. What is the first thing you will do? Won’t you sit down and figure out how much it will cost and if you have enough money to pay for it? 29 Otherwise, you will start building the tower, but not be able to finish. Then everyone who sees what is happening will laugh at you. 30 They will say, “You started building, but could not finish the job.”

31 What will a king do if he has only ten thousand soldiers to defend himself against a king who is about to attack him with twenty thousand soldiers? Before he goes out to battle, won’t he first sit down and decide if he can win? 32 If he thinks he won’t be able to defend himself, he will send messengers and ask for peace while the other king is still a long way off. 33 So then, you cannot be my disciple unless you give away everything you own.

So now it’s time to talk about being a disciple and its cost.

It sounds awful for Jesus to say to be a disciple means that you have to love him more than your family.  I understand that to mean that the rest of our relationships fall into place when we have our relationship with Jesus right.

But Jesus makes it clear that following him is no picnic.

For Jesus, doing what God needed of him involved carrying his cross – and not just carrying it, but being nailed to it.  He had to surrender all he had and all he was, even his life.  The cost for us may not be quite so dramatic, but a cost there will be.

Are we ready for that?  Are we willing to give up all that we have and are and hand it over to God?  To allow him to take us and use us?

It’s a sobering thought, but one we need to consider if we are to finish the task God has called us to.

What is God calling me to surrender to him?  To give away?  To carry?

Is there anything I’m putting in front of him that I shouldn’t be?  Or that would be enriched by putting him in his right place in my life?

Do I think as a follower of God I’m entitled?  Or am I looking to see what I can give, not what I will get?

Lord
help me to put you
above everything else in my life.
May I be willing to give,
to carry,
to follow your way.

Help me Lord
to stay the course
and
to give you all I am
and all I have

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5 thoughts on “Counting the Cost

  1. Timely as I struggle with the demands of others at the manic start of another academic year. Realising the need to spend time (which is in very short supply at the moment) in prayer, being still, open to the will of God, is of paramount importance as the pressure mounts. And then being willing to follow the call of the “still, small voice” even if that flies in the face of the priorities others (and societal norms) would set me.
    Thank you Pam.

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