Discipleship Is Costly.
“Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: ‘Ye were bought at a price,’ and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.” -Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
"Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.” -Romans 6:1-4
When you seek counsel from God about any situation and when you decide you want to go deeper with the Lord in your walk with Him, BE CAREFUL. Discipleship is costly. Be careful what you ask God for. Be careful when you ask Him to act on your behalf. He may tell you what you have to give up, what you need to let go of, and He may tell you there is an influence over you that has got to go.
Are you willing to do whatever it takes for you to draw closer to God? Are you willing to give up whatever God wants you to? What are you willing to give up? Do you want God to answer your prayers? Are you in right relationship with Him? Are you applying His Word to your life? Are you spending time in His Word and in His Presence? Is there sin in your life you haven’t repented of?
Don’t be surprised when you have to take a step of obedience or a giant leap of faith to do what God tells you to do. No one said living for God would be easy, but He gave us the greatest example: Jesus Christ. Look to Christ. He was obedient unto death (Philippians 2:8), and He is our Teacher (Matthew 11:28-30).
Those who do the will of the Father are His family.
“Pointing to His disciples, He said, ‘Here are My mother and My brothers. For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.'” -Matthew 12:49-50
“Then Jesus told His disciples, ‘If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?'” -Matthew 16:24-26
MEDITATION: “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and for the gospel will save it.” -Mark 8:36
When you abandon it all for Him, you won’t regret it. He will give you the strength as you step out in faith and obey Him. Answer His call, and do what He has called you to do. Be deliberate in your walk with the Lord. Be determined to do His will, and don’t let anyone or anything stop you from obeying God. If God before You, who can be against you?
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for covering me with Your grace, and always remind me how costly grace is, of the price that was paid so I stay free. Teach me to obey and to be the disciple I am to be. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Linda A. Knowles
Executive Director of Thread of Hope, Inc.