The Cost of Discipleship

“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.’” - (Luke 9:23)

                We hear the word “disciple” thrown around quite a bit in the world today, especially in the sports world.  Some say that Bill Belichick was a Bill Parcells disciple, emulating many of defensive principles he learned from Parcells.  I’ve watched a documentary on those two.  Belichick was the defensive coordinator when Parcells was coach of the New York Giants.  Though Belichick was well-paid, coaching under Parcells still came at a price – a lot of yelling, harassing, second-guessing, etc.

                No matter the cost Belichick had to pay, it’s nothing in comparison to what a disciple of Jesus must pay in order to enjoy the privilege of following Him.  Jesus didn’t mince words – “If anyone desires to come after Me” – that is, to be my disciple.  “Let him deny himself.”  If you want to follow Jesus, the first thing you must do is deny yourself.  By signing on as a disciple of Christ, you are relinquishing all control of your life.  It’s no longer about you – it’s all about Him!

                Next, a disciple must “take up his cross daily.”  What does that mean?  Let’s think about that – a cross was an instrument of death.  So then, Jesus was saying that a Christ-follower must die to Himself every day and willfully take up the burdens that come with following Jesus.  And of course, a disciple must “follow Me” – he must follow in the footsteps of Christ.  I heard a preacher summarize it as denying, dying, and devoting.  Can those three words be used of your pursuit of Christ?
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