May 12

Luke 14:31-33 31"Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

To be a disciple of Jesus means that you will pay a great price. Jesus' first example of the price in the passage is family. Family members will challenge Jesus' place in your life. They will demand that they be first. Your love for them and your Savior will have you sharing the truth of His life with them. When they see your attachment to Him, they will feel their position in your life is threatened. By their choice, relationships will be severed.

Jesus' second example is of a builder. A building takes careful planning. The complete costs of material and labor must be calculated. If this is not done, the project will be half completed. Everyone who passes that way will see your shortsightedness. The half-finished structure will be a monument to your failure to count the cost. How often we see people follow Jesus for a time and then return to the world.

The third illustration is of a king going to war. If you are outnumbered, you should send a delegation to ask for terms of peace. Jesus' illustrations are about thinking ahead and preparing for what is inevitable. If you choose to follow Jesus as a disciple, you will face loss. You must forsake all things if you desire to follow. Anything you cling to will be a challenge to His lordship in your life.

You can be a believer and not a disciple. You can accept His work on the cross in your place but not go on to learn from Him. A disciple is a learner. To learn you must follow. To follow you must let go of all other things that would compete for first place in your heart. According to Matthew's gospel (28:19,20), Jesus asked us to go out into the world to make disciples, not just believers. Have you counted the cost?

Consider: Are you willing to let Jesus take the place He deserves in your life and begin learning of Him? He's worth it!