The cost of discipleship, following Jesus Christ, have you counted your cost to follow Christ?
Things, possibly people, that you will have to give up and strip away from this present life you live.
In this message we will show you what it means to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ.
Moreover, what your cost to follow Christ will be!
Matthew Chapter 28:18-20, “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Read on in part one of our series on the cost of true discipleship, following Jesus Christ!
Your Cost To Follow Christ Means Your ALL
To be a true disciple of Christ, HE must be first in your heart, first in your mind, first in your body and first in your soul.
You cannot permit anyone or anything to influence you otherwise.
Matthew Chapter 22:37-38, “And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.”
Nothing is to be placed before The Lord.
Jesus Christ must reign supreme in your life.
You commit ALL of You to Jesus Christ.
Say No To Idolatry
Beware of modern day idols.
Because before you know it, they consume you and you end up worshipping them instead of Almighty God!
- Fancy Cars
- Big House
- Expensive Clothes
- Latest Electronic Gadgets
- Best Seats To The Biggest Events
- First Class Treatment
The list of idols above is just the beginning.
Because from there idol worship escalates to addiction!
Anything that separates you from Almighty God is idolatry.
The cost of discipleship, of following Jesus Christ means saying no to idolatry!
The Rich Man And Lazarus
The Holy Bible best illustrates how man can allow material possessions to become his god in the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus.
Luke, Chapter 16:19-31,
“Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day.
“And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores.
“Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried.
“In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. “And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’
“But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. ‘And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’
The rich man realized the fatal error of his ways and he wanted those he loved to be forewarned!
“And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
“But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’
“But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’
“But he (Abraham) said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.”
Almighty God gives us many chances in this life to repent and turn away from sin.
God is love, mercy, compassion.
Moreover, He gives us second chances.
Know this however.
Your hourglass on second chances runs out when you die.
Which could happen at any moment because tomorrow is not guaranteed, let alone the next moment in time.
Hebrews 9:27, “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.”
To flee from idolatry, easy to understand, though for many, difficult to do.
Measure the cost of discipleship, following Jesus Christ, which leads to eternal life; against sin and the second death!
Read on because we will speak about the second death below.
Cost To Follow Christ: Avoid The Dark Curriculum
When you are born into this world you are also born into a dark curriculum, the college of this world.
Eat, drink, sleep, enjoy your life as a child because one day you will have to work for a living.
Go to college, party with your college friends at the fraternity house or the campus pub or bar.
You might have tried drugs; you might have vandalized someone’s property as a way of admission to your college fraternity.
Graduate, get that job, rent your first apartment, pay your first bills on your own.
Eat at nice restaurants, open a 401K savings account, invest money in the stock market.
By the standards of this world, YOU HAVE MADE IT!
But have you really?
In truth, you are living inside the matrix created by the god, the king of this world?
He goes by many names, and if you don’t think he’s real, then I encourage you to think again.
Most notably, he is the father of lies, the ruler of this world, the power of darkness, the devil, Satan himself.
Moreover, he is the father of peer pressure, materialism, pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, which is anger, hate and rage and sloth, laziness, indifference, discouragement, gossip, and slander.
He is sneaky, a snake that creeps up on you and before you know it, it, is too late because he has got you.
Here is how it happens.
Awareness—you become aware of all the world has to offer you, your worldly inheritance-dark curriculum.
The material things people crave and worship, the causes led by people who scream and shout and raise their fists in fury toward Father God and Christ Jesus.
You may not bite at first—though you may express a tolerance for it. “Live and let live” you say.
Moreover, you accept these dark occurrences under the umbrella of love, healing and before you know it, YOU, are Participating.
Satan has you right where he wants you. Awareness, Tolerance, Acceptance and Participation.
Who will you serve, the god of this world or the GOD of all creation?
Cost of Following Jesus Christ: Death To Self
There is a cost of true discipleship and this cost means that you must reject the pleasures of this world.
Your old self must die for you to be born anew in Christ and to SANCTIFY Christ in your heart.
You Believe because you know HE died to save you.
Moreover, you have died to the ways of this world.
In order to be a true follower of Christ, your “Self” must die.
“Self” loves the world, wants you to experience pleasures, no matter what the cost is to your soul.
For all who want to live eternally must die the first death to avoid the second death.
Revelation 21:8, “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
Yes, you must die to self in order to live in the faith and become one with Christ forever.
Galatians 2:20, “ I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Moreover, when self has died, you are now ready to go out into the world because you have understanding of what true love is.
Cost Of Discipleship, Following Jesus: Carry Your Cross
Following Jesus Christ is easy when life appears to be going well.
But are you prepared to carry your cross for Jesus when life gets tough?
True commitment to Christ is revealed to you and to others during times of trial.
Jesus prepared us for this in John 16:33, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Commitment, the cost of discipleship, requires sacrifice.
Moreover, Almighty God and Jesus Christ showed us the true meaning of commitment when Christ died on the cross in our place.
Luke 9:23, “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
When we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior we are to proclaim to the world that we are now a child of God and saved by and through the blood of Christ.
Be prepared for people in your close circle and those you do not know to view you differently.
Moreover, be prepared for loss of family members, friends, reputation or career!
If and when that happens, know that it has nothing to do with you or your walk.
Sadly, it has everything to do with where the other person is in his or her own walk through this life.
Your cost to follow Christ may mean stepping away from a family member or a close friend.
Loss of reputation in that people may begin to gossip about you and slander your name without cause, all because you have now surrendered your life to Jesus Christ.
In part two of what is your cost to follow Christ, we will show you true examples of what others have given up as their cost of following Jesus.
Moreover, we will show you ways to shine as a disciple of Christ inside and outside of the workplace.
Yes, there is a cost of following Jesus Christ.
Though an amazing reward awaits those who do. Eternal life!
Read the conclusion of what is your cost to follow Christ here.
Let’s take this journey together each week as you will find new Christian Blogs here each and every week designed especially for you to help with your walk through this life.
Psalm 102:18; “Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord.”
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