One thing that I have kept hearing over and over again throughout the last several months is the phrase "count the cost". Of course, this phrase is often associated with Dietrich Bonhoeffer from perhaps his greatest work The Cost of Discipleship. This is not the first place we see this phrase used however. Jesus commissions us in Luke 9:23-25 to take up our cross daily and follow after him. If I would follow after Jesus and be his disciple, I must die to myself and carry my cross daily. Counting the cost of following him must therefore be taken with solemn and courageous hearts. Jesus offers a life of suffering and trial, not a life that is carefree, but he does promise that he will be with us as we walk that road.
So the question begs an answer. Am I counting the cost? Jesus commands that I give up everything to follow him. I must be able to say with Paul that "everything is but loss, for the sake of Christ." Do I see the worth and beauty of following Christ? Am I willing to give up everything on this earth for him? Heavy questions to ponder and consider. The eternal life promised far outshines any earthly gain or wealth that can ever be attained here in this temporal existence. This life is fleeting and will pass away, but life eternal will never fade away. How could I ever trade the glorious riches of eternal life in Christ for cheap and fleeting idols that only weaken and destroy? Yet, the tragedy of this is that, often I do drink out of broken cisterns that hold nothing. May it never be, that I would trade what Christ has paid for with his own blood, for empty promises that broken cisterns offer!
A life filled with pain and suffering would be worth the cost if it meant spending eternity in the glorious presence of my God! A life of sacrifice would be worth it if it meant that I had the joy of heaven to cast my vision toward! Jesus, give me the courage to deny myself, to walk the hard road, and to follow after Thee; to gladly share in Thy suffering, and truly count the cost of following Thee as a disciple.
If you know anything about the extraordinary life of Bonhoeffer, you know that he was martyred on April 9, 1945 for resisting the Third Reich. He gave his life for his fellow believers in Germany and entrusted himself to his Savior, which enabled him to face death with the certainty of being united with Christ. Bonhoeffer was able to count the cost of following after Jesus because the grace of Jesus Christ compelled him to live a life in total surrender to his Lord, and live sacrificially, even at the cost of his own life. Bonhoeffer himself wrote these searing words, "Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again... It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life." This was certainly true in Bonhoeffer's life as he lived it out to his tragic death only nine days before he would have been liberated by the Allies. Perhaps the greatest statement he ever made was this:"When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die." His life is a poignant example of how a man ought to live for God, but more importantly, it points to the great sacrifice of Christ who took up his cross, and died that I might live. Christ bids me come and die, and so I die...
Thursday, November 11, 2010
at 2:14 PM Posted by Tyler Bailey