The Cost of Discipleship
Be Strong, Be Well — Saturday, December 26, 2020
When we think back on the day we believed the truth of the gospel and committed to being baptized into Christ, we may not have thought too deeply about what that was going to cost us. Some of us may not have had to change too much in our lives. However, it has been extremely costly for others.
Jesus taught the need to count the cost of discipleship. “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple...And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple...So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26, 27, 33).
How difficult it is for those who do not have believing family members who rejoice in their obedience and support them in it. Some face the extreme treatment of those who fight against them. There would still be a strain, even if our family was indifferent about our Christian conversion. Living with those who are not believers will always be a negative influence trying to pull us away from the truth, or be a hindrance to our doing what Christians need to do. We have committed ourselves to strive to live a righteous life, worship God and study His Word, do good deeds, and try to teach others the way of truth.
How much more difficult it would be when our whole world is turned upside down when we became a Christian. Did you have to find a new job just because you became a disciple of Christ?
The priests of Acts 6:7 needed to do that very thing. “Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.” Imagine the changes they had to make. Acknowledging the end of the Law of Moses, these priests were out of a job. They had to change professions.
These thoughts make me appreciate my upbringing in the church. Early on, after my parents became Christians, our family focus was church-centered. Even though we had some rough times and some struggled with faithfulness, I am grateful for God’s helping hand in my life and in the raising of my children.
These thoughts make me aware of those less fortunate. My prayers go out to those who have had to make drastic changes after their conversion—who struggle with the lack of family support and who live daily in the presence of obstacles to their faith.
In Paul’s inspired words, he said, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10). And Peter’s “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6–7).
Regardless of how rough things may be, it will all be worth it in the end. —Chris