build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
It was in the midst of the large crowd following Him, that Jesus then turns and says that to truly follow me has a cost. It’s as if Christ is saying “seeing miracles, getting mesmerised and following me around is a pointless activity, it’s not true discipleship”. “To truly following me there is a requirement and there is a price”. It’s as if Christ is setting boundaries, “those who genuinely follow Me are willing to sacrifice their lives.” This would have been a reality call for those who had followed Jesus around and wanted to be His apprentice and disciples, wanting to know how they could follow Christ how they could be part of this movement. Christ’s standard “Simply hate your life on this earth”.
When we hear Christs’ call to give up our lives and the cost associated to it, this is a real sacrifice its Christ life for our life. Christ died that we may live and now He requires that our carnal self-centred adamic nature dies so that Christ can live in and through us. When we share the finished work of the cross and salvation with unbelievers, often, we speak of all the benefits of our relationship with God. We tell people, “if you come to Christ, He will heal you, He’ll give you hope and a purpose, He’ll provide for all your needs”. We speak merely about the benefits believers have in Christ, but rarely do we speak of the cost of being a true Christian. In fact, at times we have even encouraged them coming with all their idols, vanities, lusts and worldly passions. We say come as you are and often forget that true discipleship requires a sacrifice as one grows in maturity. More critically, you have places called churches that attempt and revive this old man that Christ requires dies.
The truth is that unless our Christianity renounces all that Christ requires of us, if our Christianity is void of sacrifice, the cross and separation from the world, we cannot be His disciples. It doesn’t matter whether we are a bishop, pastor or mother, it doesn’t matter if we are in church 7 days a week and give much to the poor. God is calling us all to the place of death, a death that brings forth much life. If we are still holding unto our lives, our habits our way, we may have a label as Christian yet through negligence or disobedience we cannot be His disciple.
Lord open our spiritual eyes that we may see clearly our spiritual condition. Lord search our hearts and convict us of self-love and self-righteousness, so that we may seek your power to die and renounce all that takes us away from your presence.
Much Love in Christ,
Biblical Counsellor | Spiritual Director | Leadership Coach