The picture above is a net. When Jesus approached Peter and Andrew casting their net into the sea, he said to the “Follow me, I will make you fish for people”.
Now, I’m studying the book of Matthews at the moment and what I have noticed, is that, every time Jesus said to his chosen disciples “Follow me” their immediate response was to drop what they were doing and follow Jesus (Matthew 4:18-22, 8:21, 9:9) For their response to be immediate, it reveals an intentional yielding. The disciples left their business, their job, their family, their security and all to follow Jesus.
I had to be honest with myself, if God was to lead me on a different path – would I immediately drop what I’m doing and be obedient? The answer to that question is no. I’m the type of person that needs to have everything figured out (I’m grateful that the Lord is patient with me and is teaching me).
As I was reading, the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “Keep your eyes on the cross, rather than the cost. If you focus on the costs, you will lose sight of the cross”.
What I didn’t realise is that, in that moment of weighing the pros and cons, looking at what I will have to sacrifice, what does this mean for me? What will others think? Making up excuses of why I can’t do it – I’m essentially thinking about myself and missing out what God is trying to do. Everything that He is calling us to do, should point to Him and the center of the gospel which is Jesus, his death on the cross.
If I constantly count up the costs and I allow it to determine whether or not following Jesus is worth it – in that moment I have temporarily forgotten how powerful his death on the cross of Calvary is.
The life of Jesus in the four gospels shows us a life of submission and obedience – even obedience to death on the cross (Philippians 2:8). He did whatever the Father did and in the garden of Gethsemane, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
Luke 9:23 says, Then he said to them all, “If any wants to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me”
This gives us a glimpse of living a life like Christ – a life that is surrendered. To follow Jesus is not going to easy. We’ve got to deny ourselves and take up the cross daily. When we are denying ourselves, self being our flesh – the things that are against God or can cause us to exalt ourselves. And taking up the cross daily requires humility and commitment to Christ. There will be sacrifices, persecution, people not understanding you but the Cross of Jesus Christ will always outweigh the costs.
The disciple knew what was at stake. Jesus instructed them in Matthew chapter 10 of what was to take place because they chose to follow him. He forewarned them of betrayal, division between loved ones, persecution, imprisonment, rejection, some will ignore them, doubt them, punishment, false allegations and hatred!
“and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one that endures until the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:22)
Even so, they still chose to proclaim the good news, to perform miracles in the authority that Jesus gave them and preach the gospel.
We have the bible, and we see how the gospels shine a light on the Father’s love and His compassion for us. Jesus knew the cost of reconciling us to the Father. He paid a big price because he gave his own life. That was one example of a cost, but without death on the Cross, those who repented and believed in him will not be saved. But because of his death, we are alive in Christ Jesus. He was crowned in thorns so that we could be crowned in righteousness. ‘For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God’ (2 Corinthians 5:21)
“But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us”
I want to encourage us all, whatever God asks you to do – be obedient and trust in Him. If He is asking you to drop your net in any area of your life, trust that God is with you. He will never ask you to do something by yourself. It’s not about self-sufficiency but full dependency.
Just like the disciples who followed Jesus – he began to teach, disciple, minister, correct and equip them. And when he left, they were given the Holy Spirit who is our Helper. They were empowered and equipped.
And we have the same Holy Spirit (our Advocate, Counselor, Teacher) that is in every single believer. Like I mentioned earlier, being a Christian is not going to be easy but through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will grow more in Christ. Be obedient, have faith and follow Jesus til the very end.
Love you all,
God bless 🙂
4 thoughts on “The Cross over the costs”
You are a beautiful young Christian lady Susan. I enjoyed reading this post. God bless you.
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Thank you Lydia for your kind words. God bless you richly 😊
Susan thank you for posting this it came just at the right time. It really challenged me to ask myself the same questions.
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You’re welcome Grace. I’m glad this encouraged you ❤