Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, “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. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.
Insights: Here are a few sentences of review for the week. Jesus requires the first position of priority in our lives. Out of that position we serve sacrificially for Him. Before we begin our service, we need to truly count the cost and determine if we are willing to pay it. Finally, the cost required is absolute abandonment to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Whatever He requires of us is worth the satisfaction we find in Him. He brings a joy to our lives which far surpass any cost incurred on our behalf. Serve Him boldly, Beloved of the Lord.
As we close this week out I want to give you some resources which might help you become a better disciple of Jesus. These are not listed in any specific order.
- Gregory Frizzell, Returning to Holiness: A Personal and Churchwide Journey to Revival, ISBN: 0-9665424-7-9
- John Piper, Desiring God: Meditations of A Christian Hedonist, ISBN: 1-59052-119-6
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship, ISBN: 0-684-81500-1
- David McCasland, Oswald Chambers-Abandoned to God: The Life Story of the Author of My Utmost For His Highest, ISBN: 1-57293-050-0
I encourage you to read these and any other resources that speak to the heart of sacrifice and abandonment for God. Biographies of godly men and women are great resources as well.
- What steps are you taking to grow in your love for the Lord?
- Does your life reflect an overflow of such priority, sacrifice, costliness and abandon to Jesus?
Prayer: O Lord, I so desire to serve You. Continue to purge my life of its old sinful nature and let me reflect Your glory and grace before a world which so desperately needs You. Amen.