The Cost of Discipleship
Written by Zach Jones
As believers, we are disciples of Christ. Being a disciple of Christ means that we are willing to follow Christ in His authority and direction. As it states in Luke 14:33, “So, therefore any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” There is a cost of being a disciple of Christ, one being willing to leave everything behind to follow Him. That could be giving up family, fame, money, or power.
In Luke 14:25-33, we where it is stated that there will be a cost of being a discipleship. We see this in the times of the original disciples, but also currently. Andrew and Simon were fishermen, and they gave up their occupation to follow Christ. When He stated, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19) They left their nets and followed Christ, they were willing to follow Christ, while giving up their jobs. How often are we willing to just get up and go like they did?
The twelve disciples not only gave up their occupations, homes, and families, they also were persecuted. They were willing to go a step farther and give up their lives for the Gospel. They were beheaded, crucified, stabbed, and stoned. Eleven out of the twelve gave up their lives for being a disciple of Christ. However, all twelve of them were persecuted for their faith in Christ. They were willing to give everything up to follow Christ because they knew it was worth it because He is Christ.
I have heard that there was a cost of discipleship, but I never had to sacrifice anything to follow Christ before in my mind. Honestly, this is not true looking back because I consistently had to give up my desires and my plans to follow Christ. But this past year I had to sacrifice my family time to follow God’s plan for my life. I moved from Florida to Tennessee, about ten hours away from my family and friends. I had to give up my community to be able to serve the Lord in the role of Male Intern Coordinator. After much prayer and talking to wise counsel, I knew I had to make that sacrifice of my family to follow the plan that the Lord had for my life. I thought it was going to be easy because I could still visit them and spend holidays with them.
However, that was my idea of the situation and my ideas and plans, are not always what God has in store. I am a sinner and I want my own will sometimes. On my second day of living up in Tennessee, the Lord took my dad home. That was a gut punch for me because I thought I was willing to sacrifice everything for the Lord. This showed me that yes, I was willing to sacrifice my family time, but I was not willing to sacrifice my actual family members. This was hard for me because my dad was one of my best friends, I thought he would be there for all the triumphs and struggles of ministry.
Many people questioned if I was going to end up leaving and going home to be close to my family. Many people thought I would and even stated it would be okay if I left to be close to my family. As I was praying through this situation, Jeremiah 29:11 kept coming to my mind. “For I know the plan I have for plans to prosper you and not harm you.” I realized that even though I was grieving and struggling, the Lord was there to comfort and guide me. He had this planned, and it was time for me to rely on the Lord through struggling and grieving. Has it been a perfect time of following Him? Absolutely not. But He is still there even when I fall.
We see that being a disciple of Christ still has a cost. I am a huge fan of Voice of the Martyrs, which is a ministry that helps share the Gospel in closed countries and share the work of the missionaries. The stories of what our fellow Christians are going through in countries like China and Korea are disheartening but also encouraging. It reminds me that we still have believers that are willing to lose everything to be a disciple of Christ. They are not just stating that they are a disciple of Christ, but they are also living it out through their actions and the consequences that they are willing to endure.
As a disciple of Christ, there will be a different cost that we have to be willing to sacrifice for Christ. We need to be willing to be persecuted, mocked, and ridiculed for being a follower of Christ. We know it is truly worth it because we have Him as our personal Savior and we are willing to share the Gospel at all costs.
Zach is a part of the Pre-field Missionary Program; he is raising support to join National full time as the Male Intern Coordinator. To learn more about the CBM Internship program click HERE or to support him click HERE.