Summary: The cost of discipleship can be summed up in three commands when Jesus said Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Him.
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Pastor James May
THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP
(To be or Not to be, Which will it Be?)
Matthew 16:21-27, "From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works."
Everybody wants to go to Heaven but not many are willing to pay the price to get there.
When I ask you whether you love Jesus or if you want to make Heaven your home, I know that there is not one person here who would tell me that this isn’t what they want most of all. The thing that I want to impress upon you in this message is that just “desiring” or “wanting” to be like Jesus and to be with Jesus aren’t enough. There is a price of discipleship that must be paid if we are experience God’s best.
I cannot begin to tell you the times that I have seen those who call themselves a disciple of Christ who have the same attitude and mentality of Peter that we see in this passage of scripture. It is though they are speaking out of both sides of their mouth at the same time. On one side I hear them say that they are spiritual minded and that they spend time in seeking God’s will for their lives and still I see them doing things and going places that are absolutely contrary to the Word of Almighty God. They are too stuck on themselves and their own desires to really be a true disciple of Christ.
The life of a disciple is the life of surrender to a cause greater than our own. The life of a disciple is a life of discipline to force our will to conform to the will of God and not to be conformed into the image of the world. We will never experience the accolades and praises of this world for we are not seeking after those things that this world loves to applaud. We will never do great exploits according to the standards of this world; not if we are striving to please God and be more like Jesus.
We may do great and mighty works for Christ but the world won’t recognize those works. We must march to be beat of a different drum for we are listening to a different voice than what the world hears. We will live according to a completely different mindset than what the world has. We will often be at odds with the ways of the world around us and everyone will look at us as though we were “out of touch with reality”!
I submit to you that it is not the disciples of Christ, those members of the true body of Christ who are following Him, who are out of touch. It is the world that is deceived and out of touch with reality. Jesus is the only reality there is!