The Cost of Discipleship

Salvation is the free gift of God through Christ.  On the cross Jesus Christ paid the price for the salvation of every individual.  There really isn’t any better news than the good news of the free grace of God.
Beyond salvation, there is a cost for Christians who are pursuing the life of a disciple.  When Jesus called his twelve, each left a life of relative security to follow the Teacher who turned out to be the Savior.  Discipleship is a costly thing, however like most things that are costly it is worth the price.
Jesus spells out the cost of being a disciple in Luke 14.  Here he says that if you don’t hate those closest to you and take up your cross to follow after him then you are not a disciple.  Strong words.  In comparison to our love and dedication to Christ, our dearest relationships (spouse, children, parents, etc.)  should appear like hate.  We should love Christ that much more.  Note: this is not a reason to say to these people, “I hate you,” rather you are to love these immensely, but to love Christ more completely.  This was illustrated in the Old Testament by Abraham who was commanded to take the child God had promised him and sacrifice him to God.  This was a test, would Abraham trust God and would he demonstrate his belief in the goodness of God?  Abraham did trust God, and God came through and blessed Abraham for being willing to part with the most precious thing in his life.
It is true that following after Christ may cause some hard times in your life.  Perhaps you lose a friend, or have a strained relationship where there previously was no tension; regardless, following is worth the cost.  What are the benefits of being a disciple?  First, you get to be in a relationship with the Almighty.  People spend many hours dedicating themselves to the election of a congressman or president, because they believe that they are part of something greater (if only for 4 year stretches).  However, we are able to take an active part in the greatest thing in history.  We are able to meet with our Maker and then to do his will on the earth.  We are able to introduce loved ones to God and to see lives changed for eternity.  Eternity.
Is it costly to follow Christ, yes.  Is it worth the price, absolutely.  Are you choosing to be a disciple?  What steps are you taking?  Do you spend regular time in the Bible?  Do you have a spiritual mentor?  I hope you see the value in being a disciple, and are disciplining your children to follow closely to Christ.

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