FREE BUT NOT CHEAP
Lord, help me to be willing to be willing – whatever the cost.
Read Luke 14:25–35
The Cost of Being a Disciple
25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.
“Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat have you given up for Christ?
Yesterday, a friend admitted to me what it cost her to follow Christ. A successful nurse at the top of her profession, she heard the Lord call her to give it all up and become a volunteer nurse on the Mercy Ships, providing medical care to some of the poorest countries. For five years, she nursed on board, along the coast of West Africa, leaving behind family, friends, home, career, livelihood. Her love for her Lord and her obedience to him were so huge that all the rest paled into insignificance in comparison (26, 27).
The feast of the kingdom is a generous and free gift for all; but it does not come cheaply. To enter the narrow door may well cost everything we hold dear. In many countries, to follow Christ may mean you are expelled from your family with a death threat hanging over you. We need to remember to count the cost (28, 31). To do so is a wise move – salt is used in Scripture to represent wisdom – even though it might not be seen that way by the world (1 Corinthians 3:18, 19). Make this your prayer today: “Lord, teach me … to serve you as you deserve; to give and not to count the cost; … to toil, and not to seek for rest; to labor, and not to ask for reward – except to know that I am doing your will” (Ignatius of Loyola, 1491–1556).
What does it personally mean for you to carry your cross? What are you to leave behind to follow your Lord? It is in full surrender that the fullness of Christ is found.
Jesus, I want all of You; take all of me.
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