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Editor’s Note: Local pastors partner with us to bring a message of hope and comfort to readers twice a week. Look for it on Sundays and Wednesdays.
A man once came to Jesus and asked what he had to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus talked about keeping the commands of God, and it made the young man happy, because he thought he had done that nearly flawlessly! Then Jesus took a sharp right turn with the man and told him the only thing he lacked was going and selling all his possessions to the poor. After doing that, he could follow Jesus. Unfortunately, the man went away with his head hung low because he had great wealth and couldn’t fathom letting it go. (Taken from Mark 10: 17-22)
Here’s what I find interesting about the passage: the man wasn’t willing to sacrifice his earthly wealth, all the while he was standing face to face with the one who left the glory of heaven to walk among men and build His Kingdom by making disciples. Jesus knew what it was to make sacrifices to fulfill his mission.
When it comes to following Jesus and making disciples, very few Christians would disagree with the idea that it’s what they should be doing with their lives. After all, in Matthew 28, Jesus commanded us, “Go and make disciples!” However, when people learn it’s going to cost them big time to make disciples, their passion often fades. Making disciples will come at great personal cost in the way you invest your time, talents and treasures. Every Christian wants to be associated with Jesus; very few want to make the sacrifices necessary to disciple others.
What might Jesus be asking you to give up or reprioritize to become a fully committed disciple-maker?
When we look at Jesus, we see a servant who was willing to make sacrifices in order to make disciples. Can you imagine God in flesh sleeping on the ground around a campfire when heaven probably offers the best sleep comfort bed ever? Can you picture God in flesh eating whatever the disciples caught out of the Sea of Galilee knowing that He will one day serve a wedding feast for the entire world? Can you envision the sinless Son of God being challenged by self-righteous spiritual leaders when angels and galaxies bow to His every word? And can you fathom that God in flesh would make the ultimate sacrifice of spilling His blood on a Roman cross to pay for our sins?
Following Jesus will require us to count the cost of being a disciple and making disciples and coming to the realization that whatever we are called to sacrifice for the Kingdom is worth it as we carry out His mission!
Joel Owen is lead pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Kingsport.
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