Take a moment to pause, be still, and prepare your heart and mind to receive God’s word.
The Cost of Being a Disciple
25 A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, 26 “If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. 27 And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.
28 “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? 29 Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. 30 They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’
31 “Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? 32 And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. 33 So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.
Luke 14:25-33 NLT
I abandon hobbies like a bad habit. Every time I start a new hobby, I go full tilt for 6 weeks – maybe even 6 months! But by the end of the year, I’ve given up. Knitting, Watercolor, Wordle… Don’t get me started.
For many of us, our spiritual lives can look the same. We have a mountaintop experience: we go to camp, a conference, get baptized, join a community group – and we ride the initial momentum for a while. But then we get busy, we get discouraged, we get lazy … and that momentum that carried us at first fizzles out.
Being a disciple of Jesus isn’t a hobby. To be a disciple is to declare Jesus as Lord of your life, and live into the presence and mission of God. This costly discipleship requires costly grace. Why?
“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.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship)
What has the cost of following Jesus looked like in your life? Are there any areas in your life you haven’t given over to Jesus’ lordship?
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal anything in your life you might be withholding from the Lord. Thank Jesus for his costly grace!
Discuss some areas in our lives that Jesus is Lord over. What does it look like to put Jesus above those things? Give some examples.