Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Luke 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
There is an important difference between being a born again believer in Christ, and being a Disciple of Christ. Being birthed into the family of God costs us nothing. Jesus paid the penalty for the sins of mankind so that we don’t have to. We become a Christian by faith alone, by the grace of God. Accepting the gift of the finished work that Jesus preformed on the cross. Becoming a follower of Christ on the other hand comes with a cost. Please do not get the two confused. What I mean is, many people are trying to be a disciple of Christ without being a Christian first, or they think that by following some of Jesus’ teachings they are saved. WE cannot work our way into favor with God. Jesus made the way to a right relationship with God by dying in our place.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Once that personal relationship between us and God the Father has been established by:
- Agreeing with God about our sin.
- Confessing that we are sinners.
- Asking God to forgive our sin.
- Believing that Jesus is the only Savior
- Trusting in His death, burial and resurrection
Only then can we begin to be a Disciple of Christ. Salvation costs us nothing, however Discipleship costs us much. Following Christ clearly comes with a price.
- Self denial. Putting Christ and His commandments first, then prioritizing others before ourselves. That is not the normal way we like to order our lives. Our own desires normally come before the needs of others.
- Taking up our cross. The trials, problems and heartaches that we carry on a daily basis. The problems that we all face cannot be used as an excuse to NOT follow Christ.
- Following the Lord’s will for our lives. We are willing to follow after Christ as long as His will matches up with our desires. Being a disciple means that we are a follower, not the leader.
I hope today you choose to follow the Lord. But, please remember, that trying to follow the Lord doesn’t save you from your sins. You need to be saved, then follow after Christ.
Be a true follower of Christ today.