Tag Archives: Disciple

Counting the Cost

Having just finished a lesson study on Discipleship, I find it interesting that friends of mine are expressing frustration with the burdens they carry – especially at church. Maybe you got asked to serve as a deacon one too many times. Perhaps you got stuck with the (fill in the blank) program that no one else wants.

Take some time to count the cost during this struggle. Deep down we all know that anything worth having is worth sacrificing for. Look at Jesus. For Him the salvation of the human race was worth having, so He sacrificed Himself for it.

Don’t get angry at yourself for struggling. Consider it a time to count the cost. Everybody has the freedom to choose. God doesn’t force. Perhaps serving in some capacity at your local church isn’t a part of God’s plan for your life right now. But count the cost of choosing to follow Jesus – wholeheartedly. Take your time. This is a matter of great consequence. Jesus likened it to taking up a cross. You just have to ask yourself – is it worth it?

Life forever with no more sin, sorrow and pain. The ability to enjoy this Earth that way it was originally created to be enjoyed – forever! Is that worth a few struggles and hiccups over the course of a few years now? Forever. A few years now. Go ahead, count the cost.

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Costly?

“Salvation is free, but discipleship is costly.” Kenneth W. Osbeck.

When I read these words early this morning I knew it wasn’t talking about pennies, inflation or returns on an investment, at least not in the general sense that we would normally expect. Discipleship cost me this morning. It cost me a half hour of sleep that nearly caused parts of me to mutiny. I did manage to get my whole self to my quiet place to spend time with my Creator and I was glad.

Discipleship is costly. That’s a nice piece of typical Christian jargon to throw around, but let’s make it a little more practical. Spiritual Disciplines are costly. That hour of Fellowship with like believers, it will cost me that time I wanted all to myself to be a bit lazy. That discipline of Sacrifice will cost me that pedicure I was so sure I absolutely needed. The need to be in Service to others will cost me time I could have spent watching the latest lineup on my favorite television network or satellite channel.

Salvation is free. There is nothing we can do to earn it. Praise God! After we have received this amazing grace gift, God calls us to get to know Him better, closer. He calls us to discipleship and that is where it can get costly. But God is a perfect gentleman, so He never forces. You can choose to practice the disciplines of simplicity, meditation, humility, frugality, confession and fasting, among others; but you are never forced to do so. Love that is demanded ceases to be love.

Discipleship can be costly, if you choose not to draw closer to God. What? Isn’t that just opposite of what I already said? Nope, not a bit. You see God has promised many things to us, powerful and wonderful things that come about in our relationship – read discipleship – with Him. Failure to be in discipleship will cost you the peace that passes all understanding. Failure to turn your lack of control over to the One who promised to give you grace whenever needed, could cost you that promotion you were hoping to get. Tossing aside prayer and reflection as unnecessary will rob you of moments of awe and praise to God; for answered prayers and moments of deep revelation.

“Salvation is free, but discipleship is costly.” A question for each one of us today is, which side of the equation am I on at this point in my life? Am I worried about the costs of my time and money? Costs to my pride, career and advancement? Or am I in that stage in my life where I worry more about missing out on the peace that comes from practicing silence and the joy that comes from the discipline of celebration?

Discipleship is costly. Tossing aside the blessings of spiritual disciplines is costly.

The God that made salvation free and available to you wants to get to know you better. Take the time to practice some spiritual disciplines today, but remember, discipleship is costly. You may even lose your tastes and desires for fleeting things and long earnestly instead for worship, submission, intimacy, guidance and study of God’s Word. You may even choose to be a life long disciple of Jesus Christ.

 

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