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Costly Discipleship

“And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it...” Luke 14:27-28

Western culture is potently narcissistic in its orientation. Self-esteem, self-absorption, self-gratification, self-promotion, self-service, self-entitlement, self-help and personal ‘rights’ define modern existence. The core of this worldview can be summed up as simply the consuming quest for self-fulfillment. The danger this poses is that instead of meeting Christ and having everything turned upside down through a radical reorientation of one’s entire existence, the Gospel is at risk of being presented in such a way that God is merely assimilated into the preexisting view of the world. Through this human-centered view of reality, existence (including God’s existence) is evaluated with man as the reference point. God is seen in terms of His relation to man rather than man’s relationship to God. We are in danger of believing that God exists for us rather than us existing for Him. The cumulative effect of this distortion is that in salvation, man’s self-fulfillment remains the final goal rather than the glory of God, and Christ simply becomes the means to achieve that goal.

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24

Jesus describes a different path altogether. At the very heart of following Him is the invitation to self-denial. The salvation we have experienced through our glorious Savior (and all subsequent sanctification) is primarily to free us from the enslaving self-compulsion caused by sin, so that we could fulfill our created purpose of magnifying Jesus and yearning for the Day of Lord when He alone will be exalted (Isaiah 2:17, Colossians 1:18).

For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. 2 Corinthians 5:14–15

Scripture simply does not endorse the idea of Christianity being primarily the benefits we will receive through Jesus in this age. We are saved for Him, because we exist for Him. When these truths are lucid, the outcome is that it is normal and reasonable to gladly choose risk, pain, lack and loss for His sake. This biblical 'logic' is what drove the apostles to do outrageous exploits for Jesus and it must be recovered if the commission He gave us is to be completed. Who will make costly choices so that the Lord would be proclaimed in the hardest and darkest places?

Total Surrender

October 28, 2015 By Daniel Hoogteijling in Costly Discipleship

The world's ultimate weapon is killing. Our ultimate weapon is dying. When James Calvert went out as a missionary to the cannibals of the Fiji Islands in the 1800's, the ship captain tried to turn him back, saying 'you will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages.' To that, Calvert replied, 'we died before we came here.'

Risk is Right

October 26, 2015 By Brian Kim in Costly Discipleship

If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, “A servant is not greater than his master.” If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. John 15:18-21

Denying Self-Denial

…saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.” Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? Luke 9:22-25

War Zone Mission

“You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes...“ This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:6-7, 14