What is the True
Cost of Discipleship?
Did you ever consider the cost of discipleship? If you made the choice to follow Jesus, did you have any idea what the costs might be for you? Or did you jump aboard hearing promises of abundant wealth and prosperous living on all levels? Was your heart really in your commitment? Did you really consider giving up all to follow Him? Did you consider the costs at all?
First Things First
In Luke 14:25-35, Jesus talks about the cost of following Him. He defines clearly the cost of discipleship. You must be willing to give up everything and everyone to put Him first in your heart. It is always a heart issue and nowhere is it more important than in the decision to follow Jesus Christ. Putting Him in first place all else falls into place in your life.
Discipleship is not simply about a class in church, a book you read or a workbook assignment. Discipleship is first a one on one heart commitment and relationship building journey with the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
This is true discipleship. You must first be discipled by the Lord before you can even consider disciplining anyone else. Too often in our culture we take a discipleship class and then launch out to disciple others. The problem with this surface program is that if you have not allowed the Lord to circumcise your heart and renew your mind in Him you are potentially bringing your woundedness to others.
You can learn about God. You can talk about God. However, if you do not develop a personal relationship with Him you simply know some things.
How do you develop a relationship with God? As with any relationship time and commitment are required. Alone time with Him is critical.
I hear many say they cannot hear from God. Is it any wonder with cell phones, computers, and gatherings of all kinds that the Lord’s voice has become dimmer to our ears? If you want to hear from Him spend alone, personal time with Him through the Bible, prayer and solitary worship. You cannot develop a deep personal relationship with anyone in a group. The same applies to a deep relationship with God.
Do Not Get Trapped!
To be discipled by Jesus is to submit all…the best seat in the assembly, the most prestige in the marketplace, the finest cars and houses, any life trapping that takes precedence in your heart over Him. The trappings of life can literally trap you in a quagmire of deceit that will move you far from the Kingdom way of life on earth as it is in heaven. This is not to say you cannot have nice things. It is to say that if the pursuit of these things takes priority over the Lord you have stepped away from His discipleship of you.
Jesus came to save all. If you are His disciple you will grow into His compassion for others. Sadly, in many churches a spirit of division and exclusion has been allowed to fester. This is not of the Lord. If someone does not look like, dress like, pray like and worship like the established ‘in the box’ mindset they are excluded, talked about and even at times spitefully treated.
Think about where you worship. Is there a clique mentality? Step out of your comfort zone. Step out of the box. We serve a God much bigger than the boxes He has been put in by humans!
Jesus came for all who would come to Him for salvation. He did not die on the cross to save Christian cliques, buildings, religion or denominations. He came to save souls. If you follow Him in truth and His light extend your heart and hand without judgment to those you may think to be ‘not good enough.’ Remember, as you judge others so you will be judged by the Lord.
Whose Disciple Are You?
A disciple is one who spreads the teachings of another. Magnifying these precepts as you live your life is being a disciple. What are you spreading? What do you magnify by the way you live your life? Is it compassion and love for others? Are you open to the Lord’s lead even if you feel discomfort in the natural? Do you live the Word or can you just recite chapter and verse with great precision?
Think about these things this week. It is never too late to arise and be a true disciple of Jesus Christ. Spend time with Him alone and let Him bring you to the Kingdom fullness He has prepared for you ‘for such a time as this!’
Quotes to Ponder This Week
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” ~Jesus, Matthew 5:3
“Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” ~Jesus, Luke 6:36-37
“So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” ~Jesus, Luke 15:33 (emphasis added)
“You are these who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” ~Jesus, Luke 16:15
A Prayer Request
Thank you for your continued faithfulness to pray. Please keep all who serve our country, our servicemen and women and their families in prayer for salvation and safety. They are our front-line on the battlefield, let us be their front-line in the spirit. Also, let us cover all who have come home wounded that they and their families will receive the kindness, help and support they need to go forward in their lives.
God bless all our diplomatic and military personnel and their families. May the Lord keep them safe. Pray for all throughout the world for hedges of protection against radical Muslim extremists and all forms of terrorism. We have long prayed for spiritual victory over radical Islam in Esther’s Warriors Ministry. We now see the reality of this threat come to the forefront in this time in world history.
Please pray for all in authority over us, for the full truth to come forth concerning Benghazi and for safety in Israel. May God richly bless the United States of America, bring to light every single crooked place and keep her safe. May we may arise united once again as One Nation Under God in this auspicious season in our country’s history.
We continue to pray for truth to prevail as we saturate this country in prayer and stand for all that is right in America and for all of us who call ourselves American. These are treacherous times and now more than ever we must maintain our walk. Fail not in this hour.
Please Join Me in Prayer
Father we thank You that You sent you Son, Jesus Christ, to bring salvation to a lost and dying world. Cleanse our hearts of all worldy enticements and grant that we may put Jesus ever first. We open our heart today to the fullness of discipleship with the Lord. Teach us to follow Your lead and hear Your voice. Let us not look to the left or to the right but stay ever focused on You. Let us be a pure reflection of Your teachings as we live our daily life. Equip us to go forth to bring Your Kingdom to earth as it is in heaven ‘for such a time as this.’ We pray this in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen and amen.