“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. Luke 14:26 NIV
In Fall 2017, I made one of the biggest decisions of my life. It was a decision much bigger than deciding what college I was going to attend or what job I was going to choose after college. I decided to follow Christ. I was on fire and eager to learn more about who Christ was and how I could build an indestructible relationship with Him. I started the new members course at my church, got baptized, and joined a disciple group. It was an exhilarating feeling. Then, about three months into my journey, I was asked two not so simple questions: “How are you following Christ? and Are you willing to lose everything, if necessary, to follow Him?” I immediately answered, “Well, I have joined three bible study groups, I attend church every Sunday, and I read my bible almost every day.” My friend from my bible study said “Azure’ that is good and all, but Jesus tells us in Matthew 16: 24 NIV … If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
During that season of my life, I had no idea what that meant or entailed. A trillion questions ran through my head and I bombarded five friends with text messages asking them endless questions. After reading their responses, I immediately went into prayer and reflection. I was led to Luke 14:25-33. As I was reading the passage, the word “disciple” constantly popped up. Remember, in the beginning I said I was involved in a disciple group, right? Well, let’s just say that I only had a vague understanding of what that term meant. Disciple means learner or someone who is a student. I then took the definition of disciple and replaced it throughout that text with the term learner.
In the text, Jesus clearly outlines what it takes to follow him. Luke 14: 26 says “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.” First, Jesus boldly says that nothing can come between you and God; not even good things like family or friends. Self-preservation cannot become idols to a true disciple. He asks for the ultimate commitment, and we give it to Him because we love Him. When we know and understand the unfailing love of Jesus, only then can we be committed to Him with great devotion.
As disciples we must do the following:
Whether we realize it or not, we make decisions every day based primarily on one core, foundational decision: who we have decided to follow. I pray you decide with your whole heart to follow Jesus. Like for me, it will be the best decision you’ll make.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your covering and your understanding of how to follow you. You know how difficult, uncomfortable, and frightening it is for me to change my life and rid myself to things unlike you to fully follow you. Lord, I ask that you continue to do a work in my heart and renew my mind. So that I will become a better disciple of you. It is in your most holy name. Amen!
Written by: Azurè Minor