The following post is borrowed from Generation Cedar.
Discipleship has really been on my mind a lot lately. Discipleship has two parts:becoming a disciple of Christ, and then becoming adiscipler of others.
My dad and I were discussing a devotional he had read. The author pointed out a profound and almost foreign point about becoming a disciple of Christ:
Discipleship always COST something.
Christ always asked his followers to leave something behind. He spoke of “being worthy of ME”, and “selling all that you have”. For some, it cost everything; for others, it cost wealth; some left behind family, professions, reputations–things they loved dearly.
This is the price of discipleship. But Christians are not being taught this gospel anymore. Today’s gospel in many circles is focused on what you will gain for following Christ. Wealth, answers, health, victory, etc.
And before I am misunderstood, I will be the FIRST to shout about all the things I’ve gained for being a follower of Christ. But gaining is not the focus of the gospel. Losing is.
First things must come first. A life is found only if it’s willing to be lost. That’s the heart of the gospel. But am I willing to lose it?
Am I willing to deny myself first, before the benefits come? What am I willing to leave behind? Am I willing to lose all, EVEN IF I don’t see the gain?
Jesus called his disciples to some hard things; he told them without apology, “Look, some of you will be dragged before magistrates, beaten, and put to death. But take heart, your reward will be in Heaven.”Christians knew right up front that this wasn’t going to be easy. Why else were they willing to go to the stake for Him?
We can’t even fathom persecution like that. We complain about such light and momentary afflictions and most of us know little about “taking up crosses”.
How many of us are willing to admit that many things we do or refuse to do, are determined by what we are afraid to lose? I would submit that what separates a true disciple from an imposter is a reckless willingness to give themselves up….and this gives me serious pause as I reflect on my own heart.
When once we are completely abandoned to Christ, we follow Him and take no care about what we lose or leave behind.
What are you willing to lose to gain Christ?(Revised from the archives, 2008)