“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24 (KJV)
To be born again does not cost a person one thing, but it cost somebody everything. Salvation may be free, but is certainly not cheap! Our salvation cost God His only begotten Son. The sinless, pure blood of His Son Jesus was the only suitable price for sin. Salvation cannot be gained by human works, merit, or any other price such as silver or gold. However. discipleship will cost us dearly. One line in the beloved hymn, Rock Of Ages, reads “In my hands no price I bring, Simply to Thy cross I cling.” Another hymn states, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”
But do we know much about sacrifice? Has following Jesus cost us anything lately? I remember reading in the Old Testament of the Bible where King David was going to offer a special sacrifice to God. Someone offered to give him all the necessary elements he would need: the land, a threshing floor, the animals, etc. But David refused the offer, and said, “but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing.” 2 Samuel 24:24 (KJV)
Jesus says that following Him is a costly endeavor also. Specifically, taking up a cross is costly. A cross has one purpose; it is made for death, hence the command to die to self. We must give up the dearest things to us, denying what self wants and submit to what our precious Savior wants for us. Jesus reminds us that before we build a house or go to war, we must count the cost. A person doesn’t simply get up one day and say, “I think I just might build a house this week.” Similarly a nation should not jump into a war without deliberately and carefully planning the costs. So it is concerning discipleship.
Many of us grew up in poverty and hard times, but most people today have been blessed with so much that it has created what I call a garage sale mentality. We have so much abundance that we sometimes gather up our excess and sell it for almost nothing just to get it out of our way. This makes room for more ‘stuff’ that we really don’t need, so we can have more garage sales! Consequently, it is easy to part with things that we really don’t want or need any more. It is easy to give away that old suit, dress, purse or shoes. It is painful, however, to give away the things we’d really like to keep. Are you willing to deny yourself, die to what king self wants and follow Jesus? Say friend, has your love for Jesus cost you anything lately?