The Cost of Discipleship

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And there went great multitudes with Him: and He turned, and said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish (Luke 14:25-29). So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple (Luke 14:33).

Hate is a strong emotion. But used within the context of this Scripture, the connotation is completely different from what one might think. Here, Jesus explains, that if we don’t hate those we love, we cannot be His disciples. Is the Lord asking us, or, is He commanding us, to hate our parents, our siblings, and  ourselves, in order to be  His disciples?  Let us briefly focus our attention on the word hate, as used by our Lord and Savior, within the context of this Scripture, and otherwise. Hate in the natural sense of the word  means, to dislike intensely or passionately; to feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward. However, as used by the Lord in the Scriptural sense, when He commands us to hate our loved ones He is speaking in a comparative sense. Jesus is strongly expressing to us, that our relationships with Him, must be greater than any relationship we have, with anyone else! We must love Him, more than we love ourselves, as well as anyone that we are in relationship with. He is expressing that, He must be Lord of all, or He will not be Lord at all, in our lives! Matthew 22:37 says, “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all my mind. This is the first and great commandment.”  If we are going to be disciples of Jesus, persons who are pupils or adherents of the doctrines of Jesus,  we must be willing to bear our crosses. In other words, “we must experience the shame and humiliation, as well as the toil and suffering that bearing one’s cross entails.” Just as Jesus bore His cross, we must also take up our crosses, and follow Him!

When we become disciples of Jesus, we must be willing to leave all to  follow Him,  and we are to turn from our worldly ways. No longer are we to continue in sin. Hebrews 12:1 says, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  When God called Abram, the LORD said unto Abram, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee.” Being a disciple of Jesus, requires sacrifice, and it requires suffering. It requires sacrifice, in the sense that at times, we have to walk away from those we love. We sometimes have to sever friendships of many years. Once we have committed ourselves unto the Lord, that commitment entails learning of the Lord, by reading His word, and meditating on it day and night; it requires a fluid prayer life, which means talking to Him daily, and listening for Him to talk to you. We must be filled with His Spirit, the precious gift of the Holy Ghost,  as well as be led by His Spirit!  “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Christ Jesus, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To whit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” (II Corinthians 5:17-19)

Since the body of Christ, the redeemed of the Lord have been given the ministry of reconciliation, it is up to us to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those that are lost. We should take advantage of every opportunity that is afforded us to tell of the goodness of Jesus! We must first be sure, that we are firmly committed in our walks with the Lord! We must practice what we preach, literally. It is imperative, that we not say one thing and do another. Have you ever heard on occasion these sayings from individuals who are unsaved, “That’s why I don’t go to church anymore,” “They are just hypocrites,” or “I knew there was nothing this.” Why? Some who are professing to be Christians may be guilty of sending mixed signals at one time or another, to the unsaved, thus causing them to doubt the efficacy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! (Father please forgive me!) In some instances we are the only epistles that people will read. So, if we are going to talk the talk, even under duress, we must walk the walk! That is what discipleship is all about! Each one, teach one! If you are able to, teach more than one. Let the light of Jesus, shine brightly in your life, that men may see your good works and, glorify the Father who is in  heaven! Holiness without which, no man shall see the Lord! May God’s blessings be upon you, today and every day!

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21 comments on “The Cost of Discipleship

  1. Hi Paulette,

    Yes, it is our love for our Savior that should control our daily being and witnessing…. We cannot honor others more than we honor God and still claim to be loving our Savior….. Throughout the Bible, God’s children have shown their faith and love in all sorts of situations…. Joseph served God by being a model prisoner, even in all his suffering…. Isaiah, Jeremiah, and many of the other prophets suffered tortures of all kinds, and even death, because the people didn’t like the word of God that they preached….. Truly, loving God above all and serving Him to the best of our ability makes us a disciple of the Lord…. Well put… Thank you.

    Love,
    Margaret

    • Hi Margaret,

      We must have a relationship with the Lord, that is, above all other relationships! We show our love and commitment to Him, by keeping His commandments, and following Him, in loving obedience to His will, not our own!

      You are so right. There are many prophets in the Bible who are perfect examples of loving God with all their hearts, in spite of the suffering they endured, because of their love and obedience to Him!

      Thank you, Margaret. I appreciate your input.

      May God’s blessings be upon your life!

      Paulette

    • God bless you Pastor Burris!

      I was so glad to hear from you today! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I appreciate the encouragement. I hope we’ll be able to talk soon. Until that time, may the blessings of the Lord continue to rest upon your life!

      Thanks again! 🙂

      Paulette

  2. Thank you, Preacher Paulette

    “We should take advantage of every opportunity that is afforded us, to tell of the goodness of Jesus!”
    Amen.

    Praying He will put the words in our mouth when we step out to share His love to others. May we always remember that it’s about Him and spreading His message to others is the least we can do.

    Blessings, sister.
    ann

    • Hi Ann,

      Thanks so much for your comment! 🙂 As always, your statements are thought-provoking and encouraging!

      You are so right. It is all about Him, and not about us.

      Blessings to you, as well!

      Paulette

    • Hello Sam,

      Welcome! Thank you so much for stopping by! I truly appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment. By the way, your comment was very encouraging to me, and I am very appreciative! 🙂

      I hope you’ll visit again. May God bless you!

      Paulette

  3. Paulette,

    You did a great job explaining the different meanings to hate as used by the Lord in His Word. If we truly love the Lord SUPREMELY then by comparison we are to hate all others (meaning to love less, just as you say.)

    What is so sadly, we even use this meaning for hatred when it applies to sin. We find ourselves only loving sin less than our Lord. How sad that is when we should be feeling “to dislike intensely or passionately; to feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward”.

    As Christians, may we all come to a clear understanding of the meaning of “to hate” in God’s Word and live according to it!

    Thank you Paulette, you have made it clear for all of us how we are to understand this subject. May the Lord continue to bless you.

    Rob

    • Hello Bob,

      Thank you so much! I appreciate your comment. The fact that, at times, some find themselves only loving sin less than our Lord, rather than intensely hating sin, is a sad, but true commentary!

      Thank you for your encouragement.

      Blessings to you,

      Paulette

  4. Hi Paulette

    Extremely well done!!!

    As you know, this is a “pet” subject of mine and one I can’t stress enough with young people. There is so much “easy-believism” around today – “Just believe, accept Christ and you’ll be right for eternity” – how damaging that can be! I have counselled so many with a false assurance, based on an event they can’t remember and one that made no difference whatever in the life.

    As you clearly state, discipleship is costly. It costs us our everything. It means death to self and self-will – BUT – its rewards far, far, far, faaaaaaaaar outstrip anything we give up. To KNOW Christ and to experience the REALITY of His constant presence, His guidance, His encouragement, His providence, His enabling . . . everything He is . . . is gain beyond measure.

    Thanks Paulette.
    Angela

    • Hi Angela,

      Thank you. I really enjoyed your comment! “There is so much “easy-believism” around today – “Just believe, accept Christ and you’ll be right for eternity” – how damaging that can be!” I agree 100%! Yes, discipleship is costly, but it does not begin to come close to comparing with the price that was paid for our salvation, by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! As you said, “its rewards far outstrip anything we give up!” Thank you so much, for your contribution to this discussion.

      May God continue to bless you, abundantly!

      Paulette

  5. Why is it so hard for us to just let go for Jesus, completely. Is it that we have not fallen in love with him? When a man and woman fall head over heels for each other, they will do anything for each other, literally anything that is good. Why do we have such a problem with doing that for Jesus? This really bothers me about myself.

    • Hello Todd,

      You used a great analogy in your comment.”When a man and woman fall head over heels for each other, they will do anything for each other, literally anything that is good.” When we give our all in our relationships with the Lord, we will truly be examples, of disciples of Jesus Christ!

      God bless!

      Paulette

  6. The is a steep price to pay when one decides to follow Jesus. That is the reason He says, “If anyone wants to come after me, let him say ‘No’ to himself, pick up his execution-stake daily and keep following me.

    Thanks so much for sharing this great reminder Minister Paulette. God blesses.

    • Amen, Noel! ““If anyone wants to come after me, let him say ‘No’ to himself, pick up his execution-stake daily and keep following me.” I’ve never heard it said that way, but oh so true, and so very well said! Thank you so much for sharing in this discussion! May the Lord bless you, abundantly!

  7. Thank you, God’s pearl Paulette, for sharing this again, for us to read and pray about. Praying for that consistent holy living, of being a disciple, so that I don’t hurt anyone who is just coming to Jesus. I’ve heard many say the same things you mentioned. Asking for forgiveness and for the grace and strength necessary to live out His word in a way that reflects Him.
    God bless you and yours today, Paulette! I’ve just gotten back and I needed some good teaching! love and prayers!

    • Thank you so much, precious one of His! “Asking for forgiveness and for the grace and strength necessary to live out His word in a way that reflects Him.” I have prayed your prayer, as well! Amen, and amen! May the Lord bless you abundantly, Encouraging Debbie! Love and prayers!

  8. Thank you for clarifying what “hate” means in these verses–it’s easy to get confused, but I understand now! God bless you abundantly–love, sis Caddo

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