In the two earlier parts of this series, we have gathered so much knowledge of true discipleship of Christ and I believe, many of you have started practicing the teaching in your daily lives. Now, this is the last part of the discipleship series. It may be the last part, but learning how to become a Disciple will never end. We can learn many things throughout our lives. So never quit learning from the Holy Spirit. Those who are hungry will be fed.
Counting the Cost
When Jesus was on this earth, He didn’t seek to attract a huge crowd by preaching a popular message or the words which will make people happy. In fact, whenever people followed Him, He would set forth the sternest terms of discipleship.
On one occasion, Jesus warns those who want to follow Him that they would need to count the cost first.
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘this person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace(Luke 14:28-32).
The beginning of Christian life can be smoother and seemingly easier, but it costs everything to walk daily as a believer with sacrifice, separation, and suffering for Christ’s sake. A disciple is a soldier who fights with the world, the flesh, and the devil. There is crushing, discouragement, bloodshed, and persecution.
Anyone who wants to be His disciple should remember Gethsemane, Gabbatha, and Golgotha. They should also count the cost. What is the cost? Jesus says “those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples” (Luke 14:33). The cost is everything.
The Rewards of Discipleship
The one who denies himself and walks on the path of righteousness has a reward that is imperishable and eternal.
“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for, in the same way, they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:10-12).
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The true disciple is concerned with eternal matters and such, not with worldly things that are not eternal. He enjoys a few things that he has to care for. He may be unknown; yet he is well known, dying; yet he lives with greatness, beaten; yet not been killed. A true disciple may be in sorrow; yet he rejoices in every situation, poor or have few things; but he makes many rich. He may have nothing, and yet possess everything in Christ (2 Corinthians 6:9-10).
Jesus says “For the Son of Man is going to come in His Father’s glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what they have done” (Matthew 16:27). There is sure a reward for the ones who will do the will of God and who will take up the cross and follow Him daily.
It can be said that the life of true discipleship is the most spiritually satisfying life in this world. Serving God is the noblest of all, and if we realize it, our lives will take on new loftiness. Let’s surrender our lives in His hands and He will take care of us.
Source – True Discipleship by William MacDonald (Highly Recommended Book).