To come to Christ costs us nothing. But to be a true disciple of Christ costs us everything.
But nothing to everything commands a sizable leap. Especially for a college freshman.
Having come to Christ at sixteen, I wanted to jump into every aspect of the Christian life.
Still, living on a university campus at eighteen became a whole new world. Since I desired to grow in my faith, I participated in several Christian student groups; Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU).
The Cost for Following Jesus
A foreign concept, I lacked knowledge about discipleship. During the two years I’d been Christ-follower, my only spiritual teaching came from church youth groups.
But I knew the basics about God and eternal life. I understood the great cost to God by sending His Son to take my place on the cross. Jesus gave His life as payment for mine. Grateful for His free grace.
A female staff member for CRU, Reba, discipled me. For over a year, she poured her life into my life. She explained the cost of a true disciple of Christ—everything.
Jesus laid down His life to give us life. We lay down our lives to follow Him. Simple, right?
No, it’s not easy. But it’s the way of a Christ-follower.
To follow Him with complete abandonment costs us something. Costs like:
- Giving up going our own way.
- Laying down our personal agenda.
- Trading our kingdom come for God’s Kingdom come.
Even when my way feels good or my agenda seems right, my kingdom often crumbles.
Following Jesus with complete Abandonment
Back then, I didn’t entirely grasp the concept of being a true disciple of Christ. And I don’t now. As we continue to follow, we more fully comprehend life as a disciple.
It’s a learning process. An act of doing. A choice to follow Jesus and not turn back.Christ followers, by the very nature of the role, must keep moving forward. #disciple Click To Tweet
Following after Christ with our whole heart and life.
Yet, it’s an irony. Counting the cost equals freedom. A place of completion. Giving it all for the sake of the call.
Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” Matthew 16:24-25 ESV.
Counting Losses to Gain Jesus
Unlike a financial investment gone wrong, we count our losses as gain in our spiritual lives. What we lose, we gain back in things of far more worth. The return on investment (ROI) is immeasurable because it’s of eternal value.
The apostle Paul described it this way:
“Whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ” Philippians 3:7-8 NASB.
Time has passed since my college days and my passion has grown for mentoring and discipling followers of Christ. I’ve been called to pour my life into women as Reba poured her life into me.
I’m still learning what it means to count the cost daily. I’m asking the Lord to show me what taking up my cross looks like in real life. I want to know. Because I want Him to show me as I show others.
The heart of discipleship—investing in the kingdom of heaven where the return on investment is the greatest of all.Even when my way feels good or my agenda seems right, my kingdom often crumbles. #disciple Click To Tweet
Images and design courtesy of Adobe Spark. Heart of discipleship picture, Teresa and Shara, ladies I disciple.
© 2017 by Karen Friday, All Rights Reserved
April 27, 2017 at 10:01 am | Uncategorized