Am I Willing To Lose Something to Be a Disciple of Christ?

Discipleship has really been on my mind a lot lately. And for the Christian, this has two parts: becoming a disciple of Christ, and then becoming a discipler 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.

All throughout history, discipleship COST something. Followers of Christ left something behind. 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 Americanized gospel is often self-centered,  focused only on what you will gain for following Christ. Wealth, answers, health, victory, etc. But Scripture indicates that discipleship will cost us.

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. I am not saying that to be a Christian you lose everything and gain nothing.

But I think first things must come first. If I am willing to lose my life, I will find it. But am I willing to lose it? (“If any man would come after Me, he must deny himself…”)

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? All but one of Jesus’s disciples were martyred for their faith.

Wow. We can’t even fathom persecution like that. Aren’t we wimps, in light of what so many Christians have suffered?

How many of us are willing to admit that many things we do or refuse to do, believe or refuse to believe, defend or refused to defend, are determined by what we are afraid to lose? We hold onto our comforts, popularity and pride–easy things to give up in light of what many have lost.

What are you willing to lose for the sake of Christ so that you may gain the fullness of Him?

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11 Responses to “Am I Willing To Lose Something to Be a Disciple of Christ?”

  1. Lisa B. says:

    I love it! In following Christ we say not my will but yours…in our children, in our mariages, in our lives. Your will for me, Christ. That is different then do what she says or he says or they say! There are basic ‘rules’ for us all and in addition God’s will for each of us individually. Cuz’ He’s just that kinda God. His expectation is not perfection or performance but obedience and willingness.
    I really enjoy reading your posts. When I disagree or have a question it is usually next lesson God brings me to. I also appreciate your williness to be humble in this prideful world.

  2. Rachel says:

    This is great. I believe this is really at the heart of the matter. And I think the reason for so much debate here. I think there are too many of us that are not willing to “lose” it all for Christ.

    How different would our world look and be if we really lived this out. Twelve men who were disciples of Christ were used by God to change the world. Just imagine if Christians today gave up everything, just like the disciples, and were willing to let go and let God control their lives.

    Great point, I absolutely love this post.

    Rachel

  3. Kim M. says:

    Awesome post!

  4. jonash says:

    These last few posts have really uplifted me, Kelly!

    I feel like I’m “losing” my reputation in a way. I married the *sucessful* guy, we drive a new-ish (paid-off) car, I have so much going for me.

    And now I’m going to have had three children within 34 months.

    People really do look at me differently for it. My dental hygenist this afternoon was so happy to hear I was pregnant, then she started asking if this was our first, then she wanted to know the ages of our other children. It’s so unusual. It staggers people. She was still upbeat, and she told the dentist I was expecting my third, and he was like “Oh, three times cursed.”

    Ouch.

    It is so important for me to realize that it’s okay not to be understood. It’s okay to be happy with babies so close together. Really.

    Thank you so much for this post. 🙂

    Ashley
    http://www.homesteadblogger.com/Jonash2004

  5. 5intow says:

    I love how your posts are always so meaty, packed full for me to chew on for a while. I especially love when it concerns a topic already stirring in my own heart and God just throws in some more ingredients from your blog, or another source.

    Last week my focus verse for the week talked about giving up all for Him. (http://delightinginhisrichness.blogspot.com/2008/07/verse-of-week-matthew-1344.html)
    The thing that really struck me was the joy we should have in doing so. It shouldn’t be a drudgery or obligation, but a joy as we keep our eyes fixed on our heavenly Father and eternity.

    Thank you for keeping me thinking,
    Erin

  6. Word Warrior says:

    Erin,

    The irony is, even though I write it, it’s just as much for me to chew on as well…these are never, BE SURE, principles I’ve arrived at, or even come close.

    But rather, the Lord gives me the idea, the vision of some truth, and I just sit back and say, “wow, Lord, please help me–that is so hard!”

  7. Ana Smith says:

    “The cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise God-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ. When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die….The only man, who has the right to say that he is justified by grace alone is the man who has left all to follow Christ.”
    -Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  8. Livin' out loud says:

    This is SO the path I am trying to get on! And, you are right, in today’s society, its not an easy task but how am “I” to change today’s society if I don’t set the example….something I remind myself of when I see I am letting outside influences slip in!!
    Susan

  9. Mrs. Lady Sofia says:

    WOW! I go away for a few days on vacation, and I see all the GOOD posts I missed!

    This post should convict any Christian who is serious about following Christ at all costs. Currently in my walk with Christ, I am learning this very principle, and it’s NOT an easy one.

    I’m currently reading the book of Ezekiel, and I’m learning how horrible, at that time, the Israelites REFUSED to follow God, and instead, followed the world (e.g., by worshiping the idols of the surrounding nations.) They didn’t want to be different. They wanted to be “just like everyone else.” Because of their refusal to worship God in HIS way, dire punishment for the Israelites was the result.

    I think this is a stern reminder for us today as Christians. I think we need to learn something from this experience the Israelites faced. If we choose to follow the world, the best we can get is a reward from the world. However, if we choose to follow Christ, our rewards are not only material possessions, but eternal life (e.g., being a part of God’s Kingdom).

  10. Autumn Black says:

    Our 5 children were kidnapped by NYC government for Christian Homeschooling. That was 821 days ago. I had a dream it would happen before it did. In it, I was reported to the authorities for being a Christian. I remember counting the cost the day I got saved with such enthusiasm. But persecution is much different when Christians surround you with meaningful support instead of running away scared because they fear the same. Before the end we will be all be tested for our religious sincerity — and yes, it may mean losing it all. Please share our story and consider supporting our family: https://www.gofundme.com/freethekings

  11. Autumn,

    I am speechless. I can’t even imagine in my wildest dreams what you are going through. I have begun to pray for your family and for justice to be quickly served.

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