It’s Not Hard To Be A Disciple, Part 2

May 13

(Read part 1 first, if you haven’t.)

So I’m supposed to lose everything in this life in exchange for Jesus…are we saying that I must quit my job, sell my home, give away all my possessions in order to be a disciple of Jesus?

Why wouldn’t you be willing to do so? Wouldn’t you rather follow Jesus than have all that stuff? No? If you wouldn’t be willing to lose it all for Him, then do you really know what a treasure it is to know Jesus?

It’s very clear in Scripture that Jesus called people to give it all away in order to follow Him. Why would it be any different now?

The fact is, I think Jesus is calling every one of us to give it all away. Even if God wants you to keep your present job or keep your present money for the time being, it is only for the time being. It isn’t yours anymore. Jesus has a plan in place for how to spend it all. The same is true for your very life.

For example, if God asked you today to die for Him, some might say, “Could you do it? Could you die for Jesus?” But a disciple of Jesus would say, “I already died when I was baptized. It is nothing to die for Jesus today.” If God asked you today to quit your job, some might say, “Could you do it? Would you be able to trust God to provide for you and your family?” But a disciple of Jesus would say, “Since the day I confessed Jesus as Lord, I have been trusting God to provide for me and my family. This is no different. I’ve already given this job over to the Lord years ago.”

Whatever things were yours before you became a Christian, they are no longer yours. Jesus now owns them, because Jesus now owns you. You have already sold everything you own to Jesus, and He has bought them. He is now free to do with them as He wishes, just as you were free to do with them as you wished before becoming a Christian.

And I have a hunch that what Jesus wants to do with all your possessions, with your job, with your family, and with all your life looks very different than what you had in mind before making Him your Lord.

Ok, Tim, you’ve now made being a disciple of Jesus hard again! Is that so? Oh, I forgot to mention: Yes, Jesus gets everything you have, nothing held back. That’s the deal. But the other part of the deal is that in exchange, you get everything Jesus has, nothing held back.

I would caution anyone who is interested in becoming a disciple of Jesus to consider if they think it is a better deal to give up everything you already have earned, owned, accomplished, or received in this life in exchange for everything that Christ owns or has earned. If you determine that this is a poor trade-off, I see little reason to become His disciple–you lose everything you have so painstakingly achieved.

But if you have discovered in Christ Jesus a perfect righteousness that isn’t your own, a new right-standing between you and God, complete forgiveness of all your sin, adoption into God’s very own family, eternal life that will never fade away, a lasting love that is genuine in all respects and knows no boundaries, the power to overcome any sin, complete power over Satan and over death, a friend who sticks closer than a brother, eye-opening truth like you have never known before, the real purpose for your life, the solution to living in peace even with your enemies, a hope that does not disappoint, the ability to live in love joy peace patience kindness goodness faithfulness gentleness and self-control, complete and unhindered communication with God, the authority to heal and even cast out evil spirits of hell, a peace that rises above any circumstance you face in life, a love for others that is unexplainable, a new life that restores all things broken…well then, why is it so hard to give Jesus your petty job, your temporal family, your junky possessions, your broken life?

If by faith, you believe that Jesus has won all those wonderful things I recounted for you and more, and is freely offering them to you, why not empty your hands of the messed-up life you are holding on to, and in exchange receive what He has heroically won for you by His death and resurrection? If it is indeed true that Jesus has won all of this for you, is this not a no-brainer? Is this not an easy decision? Why must we make it hard to be a disciple of Jesus?

If you cannot believe that Jesus really has rightful possession of these things or that He will not give them to you, it will be impossible to be one of His disciples. But if you are willing to believe, then step out and discover what it means to walk by faith in Jesus. He loves you.

3 comments

  1. You speak the truth, but it’s a hard truth. A constant theme from the New Testament is that God expects everything from us with nothing held back.

    All I can say in the face of this is that I can’t possibly have that sort of faith without God’s help. Paul said this best in Philippians 4:12-13:

    “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

  2. Tim, this is an incredibly inspiring piece of writing…

    This morning it dawned on me just what an incredible privilege and honor it is that Jesus does call us in this way. He forgives our sin and gives us His very own Righteousness, but it goes even beyond that. We have the opportunity to serve Him, to be His children, to be His friends, to bear in our life His likeness and character.

    The early Apostles counted it an honor to endure physical abuse for Him, and I briefly caught a glimpse of where they were coming from. Wow!

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