What has following Christ cost you? Most Christians today, if they were honest, would say, “Not much.” The truth is, we have created a safe form of Christianity that requires very little real sacrifice on our part. True, many followers give up some of their time. Others may quickly pull out their checkbook to give. But how many of us really sacrifice ourselves in the name of Jesus? How many of us daily carry our cross and entirely give ourselves to God?
It seems that Christians, myself included, have compartmentalized religion, relegating the worship of God to Sundays and keeping the rest of the week to ourselves. We must want to give ourselves over to God every moment of every day. In Luke chapter 14, Jesus discusses with us the sacrifices a true disciple of Him would make.
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate is father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters- yes, even his own life- he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 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. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.”
While these teachings seems difficult to adhere to, they are really straightforward. We must not put other relationships before God. We have to be willing to follow wherever he leads without holding back. We cannot wait too long to count the cost. We must follow God with our whole heart and trust in Him to meet our needs. The world will tell us to live for ourselves and amass as much wealth and power as possible. Luke 9:24 preaches the opposite. Living for Jesus gains us everything but living for ourselves will cost us everything… including spending eternity with God.
What more can you offer to God? Is there any sin you have not given up? Is there anything holding you back? Where does your treasure really lie?