As we learn about God, we start to see and experience His love, kindness, patience, faithfulness, and goodness. This helps us to love and follow Jesus up the last step to discipleship. This is where we really start to know and serve Jesus, not just know about Him. In Luke 14:27 Jesus said, “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— lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’? Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”
Bearing our cross can refer to afflictions, trials, or persecutions of one sort or another, but the cross was also an instrument of death. Jesus was saying that He wants us to commit ourselves to Him, even unto death. Being a disciple is hard work and requires sacrifice. It is a call to die to self. It is absolute surrender. If we are not willing to give up our hopes, dreams, and possessions, we are not truly disciples.
The rewards are worth the cost. James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” And Jesus said, “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:25). The pleasures and comforts we forego in this life for the sake of Christ will be repaid with endless joys in eternal bliss with God. And during our time on earth, we have the Holy Spirit to help us (John 14:16), teach us (John 14:26), and guide us into all truth (John 16: 13) so that we can be legitimate disciples of Christ. We will think like Jesus, develop His characteristics, and be endued with His power. This takes us back to God’s original design for us.
So, if you believe that Jesus is the Son of God and He died for your sins and you are ready to commit yourself to Jesus, then you are ready to take the first step. Pray the following prayer from your heart to become a child of God:
God in Heaven, I admit that I am a sinner and I ask You to forgive me for my sins. I believe in my heart that You sent Jesus, Your only begotten Son, to take away my sins by dying on the cross and that You raised Him from the dead.
Jesus, I open my heart and invite You to come in. I ask You to take control of my life and change me into the person You want me to be. I turn my back on evil and I no longer live for myself, but for You Jesus, my Lord and Savior.
HALLELUIAH! You have just been taken out of the kingdom of darkness and put into Jesus’s kingdom, the kingdom of light. Luke 15:10 says, “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” A celebration is taking place in Heaven! Godspeed on your new journey!