“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”
What is the cost of discipleship? Jesus said, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it – lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:28-33). “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:25-26)
The Apostle Paul understood the cost of discipleship! He was a man who enjoyed great prominence among the Jewish elite, but forsook all for the love of Christ! Paul declared, “What things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.” (Philippians 3:7-9)
The cost of discipleship is this: We must each give up our old selves in order to embrace and become the person Christ has created us to be. Therefore “put off the old man with his deeds” (Colossians 3:9-10), for “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
“The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:14), rather, “the carnal mind is enmity against God” (Romans 8:7). But even though “we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3), “…you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight” (Colossians 1:21-22). Thus, having been “reconciled to God through the death of His Son” (Romans 5:10), you have received “exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4). Therefore, “do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world” (1 John 2:15-16). “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4). “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor” (John 12:25-26).
In the old World War I trench warfare, it wasn’t until you came out of your trench and started attacking the enemy’s territory, that he would really open up and let you have it with all of his ammunition! Now that you’re saved, as far as the devil is concerned, YOU have “gone over the top”, and he will do all he can to oppose and stop you from moving forward! You are now a Christian soldier in God’s army, and a potential threat to hundreds or thousands of others of the devil’s captives! He knows that you now belong to Jesus and that he can never get you back, so since he can’t stop you from being a Christian, the next best thing he tries to do is to try to stop you from being an Active Christian. He’ll try to make you a dead Christian, instead of a real live one! He’ll fight and try to stop you from serving the Lord, and defeat you from being a good sample to win others, because he’s afraid that he might lose others from his clutches because of YOU!
God’s Word says, “We are not ignorant of Satan’s devices”–2 Corinthians 2:11. We should beware of the Devil’s devices and be on against the “fiery darts” (Ephesians 6:16) of discouragement, pride, fear, jealousy, selfishness, doubts, negative thoughts etc. which he hurls at us to try to hinder us! But the Enemy can’t lay a finger on us unless the Lord allows him to!–And if the Lord does allow him to, it’s only for our good, to make us stronger fighters, to teach us lessons or to drive us closer to Jesus!
Always remember, that as a Christian, you have nothing to fear from the Devil or his forces because JESUS is with you! In fact, you have power over all the devils of Hell, including Satan himself! God’s Word tells us, “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world!”–1 John 4:4.
We all need a Savior. To be a disciple of Christ, we need a sovereign Lord. How do we accept Jesus Christ as sovereign Lord? We need to give Him the place in our lives that He deserves and requires, and repent of our old ways. We must be born-again. We all have a choice. We can either live our life the way we please, obeying God and disobeying God as we feel is best, or we can recognize that Christ alone offers salvation. Christ alone offers a relationship with God. Christ alone offers significance and purpose to life that we can never achieve by our own wisdom or might — a significance and purpose the world cannot offer. Trust in Jesus Christ for your eternal salvation, and trust that He is truly worthy of first place in your life.
Scripture of the day: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” ~ John 13:35 NIV
Pastor Peter Okereke Jr.
The Living Word Ministries Inc.
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