the privilege and cost of discipleship
"Anyone who does not take up his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple." —Luke 14:27
To be a Christian, that is, a disciple of Jesus, we must put our relationship with Jesus in a class by itself. Figuratively speaking, our relationships with those we love the most are like hatred compared to our love for Jesus (see Lk 14:26).
To be disciples of Jesus, we must take up our crosses daily (Lk 14:27; 9:23). This means that we deny ourselves and lose our lives (Lk 9:23-24) in that we decide to depend totally on Jesus and not on ourselves (see Jn 15:5).
To be disciples of Jesus, we must renounce all our possessions (Lk 14:33). We own nothing; the Lord owns everything, including ourselves. We may still appear to own things, as far as the world is concerned. Yet in actuality we are only managing Jesus' possessions. We as His disciples are His slaves (see Col 3:24).
To be disciples of Jesus means to love Him with all our hearts, all our minds, all our souls, and all our strength (Lk 10:27). When we give Jesus anything less than everything, our lives become a mockery (see Lk 14:29). Jesus gave all for each of us. Give all to be His disciples.
Prayer: Father, thank You for the awesome privilege of being a disciple of Your Son.
Promise: "Even if my life is to be poured out as a libation over the sacrificial service of your faith, I am glad of it and rejoice with all of you." —Phil 2:17
Praise: Dorothy was able to rejoice when her car was totaled because, in having her life spared, she gave it back to the Lord.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Making Disciples in a Culture of Death on audio AV 97-1 and AV 97-3 or video V-97.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Richard L. Klug, April 10, 2002
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 18, 2002