January 11 I Tuesday
“…those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be My disciples.” —Luke 14:33
Jesus told a story in the Gospel of Luke about a man who wanted to build a tower. Jesus’s word of caution to the man was that he must estimate the cost to see if he had enough money to complete the project. Jesus gave this analogy to illustrate the cost of becoming a disciple.
Having been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ is not the end, but the foundation upon which the construction of the work of Christ is going to be a lifetime occupation that requires a wilful decision on our part. The first thing we need to understand is that discipleship is not about where we are going or what we are doing, but who it is we are going with. To be a disciple of Jesus Christ is to be fully caught up in His program wherever He has placed us. It is surrendering everything we are and everything we have for the purposes of Jesus Christ. His agenda is our priority, and this may or may not include tough circumstances.
After Paul and Barnabas had been on their first missionary journey, they went back to the people who had become converts and said to them, “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). Paul was not offering a superficial, happy-ever-after experience, but one that would require hard work, dedication, perseverance and often risk. To be a disciple does not exempt us from hardships, but rather, it equips us to live securely within them. Our security in Christ is the fundamental ingredient in the life of discipleship to which we are called.
We cannot bring conditions into discipleship or place boundaries on our obedience and still regard it as true discipleship. Our first obligation is to Jesus, and all other obligations and relationships will work their way out of that primary relationship we have with Jesus. This may sound hard, but we dare not tame the demands of Jesus. We work with the eternal in mind, regardless of consequences.
True discipleship is not a sentimental journey of faith, but a denying of oneself for the purposes of Jesus Christ. There is no doubt the gospel is costly, but it is also deeply enriching and rewarding. It is a lifestyle dynamically alive and meaningful, as opposed to having beliefs we try to follow and do not pass on. We can choose to sit under the umbrella of Christianity, content with our own agendas as long as we have salvation, or we can choose to become a disciple of Christ, content with nothing less than His agenda.
Prayer: Precious Jesus, I choose to be Your disciple. There is no greater calling than to be in service to You. Use me Lord, I pray, in Your name.