Discipleship

Do you like to know how much things cost? Maybe you look for the sign at a gas station because you want to know how much the gasoline’s going to cost and if you can get it two cents per gallon cheaper across the road? Have you ever ordered from the right side of the menu in a restaurant? Do you like to know how much a mechanic is going to charge before he/she works on your car, or how much a hotel charges before you make a reservation? If you are like me, you like to know how much things cost before you commit.

But how can you ever begin to calculate the cost of being a parent? How can you know how much it’s going to cost you to be a son or a daughter when you need to take care of an aging parent? If you are married, what was going through your head when you said “until death do us part” on your wedding day? I didn’t have any idea what it would cost both me and my family on the day when I was ordained and became a pastor.

When Jesus calls you to follow Him on an adventure of faith, it’s hard to know where that journey will lead. Maybe Jesus will call you to do something simple like spend more time reading your Bible and praying, or maybe Jesus will call you to volunteer at a homeless shelter or food pantry. Maybe Jesus will call you to be financially generous, or maybe Jesus will call you to parent a disabled or handicapped child. Following Jesus always costs you something. When you follow Jesus, you will find yourself laughing and crying and seeing life from the top of a mountain and continuing to push yourself during times when you are dog-weary to the bone.

But a life of discipleship is also filled with unexpected blessings.

I remember a day when a young man, that I met on a mission trip, called me from 1,000 miles away to ask me if I would talk with him about what he believes about God. I remember a father thanking me, on the day of his daughter’s baptism, for visiting him in jail and for telling him that he better straighten himself out before he does something that ruins the rest of his life. I remember sitting beside both of my parents’ beds while they were dying, so that I knew that the last words they heard were, “We love you.” Have you ever thought that something you did made the world a better place? What kind of unexpected blessings have you received because you felt called to step up to the plate and do something important? How have you answered Jesus’ call to come and to follow Him on your own journey of faith?

The call of Jesus is very special. It’s something that changes lives and moves people toward their God-created destiny. And this week, I’d encourage you to think about that as you live your life in a world that needs people just like you. When Jesus calls you, Jesus will always invite you on a life-changing journey of faith. And, when you come to the end of that journey, you will be able to look back and see that your life is one that has been well lived.

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