If you want to be my disciple you must hate everyone else by comparison -- your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters -- yes, even your own life. Otherwise you cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26)
Today's Bible reading is emphasizing two distinct principles. The first principle requires each of us to count the cost of discipleship. No man enters into a business partnership without first sitting down, devising a plan, and counting the cost. Such factors as product desirability, market needs, work force and labor costs, salesmanship, etc. In the spiritual life, God wants you and me to first count the cost and see if we are willing to give every area of our lives to him. Are we willing to leave all and follow him? The disciples gave up their lucrative fishing careers. Matthew gave up his tax collecting job, and Paul, his heritage and position as a Pharisee. What are you willing to give up in order to follow Jesus?
The second principle that I believe is embedded in the words of Luke 14:26 is that of being willing. God is looking for willingness on the part of his followers. Sometimes this is called availability. Just be willing. We can't hang onto the world and cling to Jesus at the same time. Something has to go. Are you willing to give up all your personal ambitions, your possessions, your friends and family in order to be Jesus' disciple?
Moses counted the cost and ended up leading an entire nation. Joshua counted the cost and led the Israelites into the promise land. David counted the cost and slew the giant. Elijah counted the cost and defeated the prophets of Baal.
Have you counted the cost of discipleship?
Thought for the Day: The cost of discipleship is no more than was asked of Jesus.