In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples. Luke 14:33
Let's make a list of what Jesus meant by 'everything.' Actually, it would take infinitely less time to write what isn't on that list. <blank page>
In the same way that a King counts the cost of battle before heading out to war, I need to count the cost of following Jesus. Just like figuring out if you have enough money to finish a building project, I need to count the cost of following Jesus. What is the cost? Everything.
Will I give everything? Again? I believe I have given it all to follow Jesus before, but I have the tendancy of taking some back. Christ is gracious and waits for me to open my hand, giving it all to Him once again. This all encompassing discipleship is described by Jesus as even hating your biological family compared to loving and living for Him.
Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:25-27)
Carrying one's cross is not putting up with inconviences or ridiculous people in life, but rather heading toward your own crucifixion. Following Jesus leads us to death… and life. Paul wrote this concisely to the church at Colossae:
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)
The 'everything' we give up does not compare to what Jesus has given us by His grace.
Thank You Lord Jesus for calling me to follow. Thank You for Your grace and patience and for not casting aside those of litle faith. My hope and life is found in You. I live for You today.