10 March 2014
There are some verses in the bible which are hard to digest. One of them would be in Luke 14:25 where Jesus taught about the cost of following him. He wanted us to count and consider the cost it might require of us to follow him – he wanted believers who had solemnly chosen to follow him whatever the cost.
“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?”
Jesus was intimating that perhaps there would be some of us who would start off eagerly in faith but later fade away when it becomes inconvenient or too demanding. This reminds me of how comfortable and convenient going to church is like at the moment, and how free i am to worship and express my faith in Jesus. But not every disciple has this opportunity.
For some believers, they would literally need to leave family behind for the sake of walking in the faith or face persecution for being a Christian. They have in a very tangible and obvious way, taken up their cross to follow Jesus.
So for me, although i do not face persecution for my faith, nor do i need to leave family for Jesus, i will probably be required in some other way or form to carry my cross. My cross may look different at different times or seasons in life, but the cross is nonetheless a central part of faith.
I think it is crucial as a believer to be constantly re-assessing my walk in faith and maintain a self-less heart to follow Jesus completely. Whenever he calls and whenever the circumstances require.
If it’s one of the hardest verses in scripture to digest – it is probably because it is the one i will struggle the most with and one which will not come naturally for me. Jesus said it would require deliberation and it would be challenging – “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?”
Just as we would take the time to prepare ourselves for an exam, a presentation, a speech or a competition, Jesus is telling us to consider the challenges of being a disciple and asking us to be ready and to keep up with a healthy sense of this duty. I don’t suppose this is some morbid task, but is instead something to lead us closer toward living out our faith and growing in God. And there would clearly be eternal benefits and rewards in completing the task of carrying our cross. Just as the student receives a distinction in his exam, or receives applause for a good speech or the prize over winning a competition, we know we have the same spiritual reward awaiting us. But only if we have prepared well. And to prepare well requires reviewing and re-assessing our walk on a regular basis.
Father Lord, i ask you to continually remind me of your will for my life. i pray for guidance in your Word and in my thoughts about how i am to live out the cost of discipleship. Help me have a willing heart to follow you whatever the cost. It is really hard but i know you will not give up on me. Thank you Lord.