Counting the Cost | From the Pastor’s Heart
“Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:33), spoke Jesus to His listeners about the cost of following Him. He said we must hate our families and even our own lives if we want to be His disciples. He said that, unless we carry our crosses and follow Him, we cannot be His disciples (Luke 14:25-27).
Jesus is one of those true leaders who commanded only what He Himself was willing to do. He gave up His family; He left the close fellowship with His Father in Heaven to come to Earth. Here He had a family – brothers who ridiculed Him and “did not believe in Him” (John 7:5). Here He had fellowship with twelve disciples, one of whom betrayed Him (Luke 22:48) another who disowned Him (Luke 22:60-61), and the rest who fled in the face of danger.
And He picked up His cross and carried it to Calvary so that those family members and friends and we, too, might be forgiven for our sins of betrayal and denial and desertion. He carried the cross in our place, for it is we who deserve to die (Ezekiel 18:4). But, “you see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6).
What can we say to the reality of such great love? How can we count the cost of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins? We obey His command to deny ourselves and get rid of all encumbrances, and we pick up our crosses and follow Him. He does not place an unreasonable burden on us. He tells us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). Like those early disciples who, by God’s grace, were reinstated after their failures, we, too, are forgiven our sins and renewed in mind and spirit to witness for our Savior, rejoicing that we are counted worthy to suffer, if need be, for His Name (Acts 5:41).
During this Lenten Season may God grant us repentant hearts and the strength to live in ways that give Him glory.