The Cost of Christ
In Luke 14:25-35 Jesus makes it clear that it costs to follow Him and in concise language He spells out the details on what the cost will be. The words He uses in this teaching really got my attention and challenged me to think about paying the price. His statements are direct and very absolute.
Consider verse 26, where He says, “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”, or when He says in verse 27, “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” Statements like “hate his own father and mother”, “carry your own cross”, and “cannot be my disciple” provide little room for interpretation. Studying these verses has challenged me to ask two very specific questions of myself and I wanted to share them with you as you seek to know our savior more deeply:
Question 1: What has following Jesus cost you in your life?
Question 2: When have you been uncomfortable or inconvenienced for the sake of Jesus?
Are these questions tough to answer? I know when I first started thinking through these questions, I really wondered if following Jesus had cost me anything. In the Luke verses He tells us that being His disciple can cost us relationships, a lot of inconvenient living, our resources of time or money, and even all our possessions. Had I given up any of those things for the sake of Jesus? Fortunately, as I prayerfully thought about the road I have travelled over the past 17 years with Jesus I was able to come up with a few situations where I was uncomfortable for the sake of the gospel. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for those situations, however, if I am honest with myself, I likely would not have thanked God for the experience in the moment. I specifically recall a time when I asked a co-worker if he wanted to pray for his wife who had recently been diagnosed with cancer. This guy was a friend, so I wanted to approach the God of healing on his behalf. When I offered to pray, he was grateful for the gesture, however, when I made it clear we could pray right now, right where we were, the situation became very uncomfortable.
Evidently this guy had never prayed out loud and he wasn’t about to start. For a brief moment (that seemed to last an hour), we just stared at each other; me wanting to pray and him wanting me to leave his office. Awkward doesn’t begin to describe how I felt. However, praise God for his infinite mercy and grace in the situation. I let my friend know that I would be praying for his wife and that if they needed anything, I was available to help. The exchange ended quickly and we went about our day. In full disclosure, it was a little bit uncomfortable the next few times we saw each other, however, things eventually went back to normal. I will never forget that feeling, but I will continue to pray for God to do whatever it takes that I might prove to be His disciple.
How about you? Are you willing to ask God to bring you the awkward, the uncomfortable and the inconvenient for the sake of Jesus? Pray that prayer and walk by faith knowing that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.