The moment we decide to follow Jesus under his discipleship, there are several principles we need to live by.
Discipleship, as taught by Jesus Christ, goes beyond mere belief or intellectual assent. It demands a profound commitment, a willingness to pay a price, and a radical transformation of one’s life. Member’s Class 102 by Mary Venable Vaughn is a program designed to teach people the cost of discipleship.
Mary Venable Vaughn also wrote a book called Stepping into Discipleship to help us begin our spiritual journey. The author also expresses the struggle and cost of discipleship, its relevance today, and how it can serve as encouragement. Principles like the “Fruit of the Spirit” aim to develop our character and strengthen our connection with God. Acknowledging the cost of discipleship makes it easier to apply the following aspects in our personal life.
The Call to Sacrifice
Discipleship entails the willingness to sacrifice worldly desires, ambitions, and comforts for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Jesus, in his teachings, emphasized the need to prioritize the eternal over the temporal. This may involve sacrificing personal goals, material possessions, or even relationships that hinder our devotion to Christ. Furthermore, sacrifice is not easy but is a crucial component of discipleship.
The call to sacrifice for Jesus is a fundamental aspect of discipleship that challenges our priorities, values, and desires. Jesus Himself exemplified sacrificial love by willingly laying down His life on the cross for the redemption of humanity. In following Jesus’ footsteps, we are called to embrace a similar attitude of selflessness and sacrifice.
The Act of Surrender
Surrender lies at the heart of discipleship. It involves yielding control of our lives to God, acknowledging His sovereignty, and submitting to His will. Jesus exemplified surrender in the Garden of Gethsemane when He prayed, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” Moreover, surrender requires humility, trust, and a willingness to let go of our desires and plans, allowing God to lead and direct our paths.
Another thing we need to remember is that surrender is not a one-time event but a daily commitment. It requires surrendering our thoughts, desires, and actions to Christ’s lordship. Daily surrender involves seeking His guidance through prayer, studying His Word, and listening to His Spirit. It means aligning our will with His and asking Him to transform us according to His purposes.
Discipleship demands radical obedience to the teachings of Christ. It means aligning our thoughts, attitudes, and actions with His commands and instructions. Observation is not selective; it encompasses all areas of life, steers our resources, and engages with the world. Radical obedience requires a daily commitment to follow Jesus, even when it is difficult or goes against societal norms.
It goes beyond surface-level compliance with religious rituals or cultural norms. It delves into a profound, transformative obedience that permeates every aspect of our lives. Radical obedience requires a radical shift in our priorities, values, and actions as we seek to align ourselves with the will of God.
Counting the Cost in Following Jesus
Jesus Himself warned about counting the cost of discipleship. He said, “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” The cost of discipleship requires a realistic assessment of the challenges, trials, and opposition that may arise. Additionally, following Jesus’ footsteps urges us to be in our most humble state, which includes sharing the burdens of the cross.
The cost of discipleship may involve facing persecution, ridicule, or even rejection from those who do not share the same faith. Moreover, understanding the worth helps us make an informed decision to follow Jesus, knowing the challenges ahead.
Reaping The Rewards of Discipleship
While the cost of discipleship comes with many burdens, it also brings immeasurable rewards. Through sacrifice, surrender, and radical obedience, we experience a deepening relationship with God, transformed character, and a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Discipleship allows us to participate in God’s redemptive work, bringing hope, love, and truth to a broken world. The ultimate reward is the assurance of eternal life with Christ.
Discipleship fosters an intimate and personal relationship with God. Through Jesus, we can access the Father and experience His love, guidance, and presence. And with the emergence of technology for spiritual growth, we can enjoy the privilege of communing with God and growing in our knowledge and understanding of Him.
The cost of discipleship is not to be taken lightly. Sacrifice, surrender, and radical obedience are integral to following Jesus. As we embrace the cost, we discover the immeasurable rewards of a life devoted to Christ. May we pay the price, trusting that the cost of discipleship leads to a life of purpose, joy, and eternal significance.