So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
It was a very rare occurrence for all of them to make it home for the holiday season. It had been years since they had gotten together just to talk about life. By this time, each one had moved away to another place to seek success, and each certainly found it far away from that small town. They would say that they truly were living a sort of dream. During this reunion, they decided to pay a visit to the woman who had served as their mentor years ago. It was her guidance and encouragement that gave each one the strength and drive to pursue those dreams. Upon arriving at her home, they saw that she lived in the same tiny run-down house from years ago. They wondered how it was that the students had made it so far, yet the teacher seemed to make it nowhere. The answer was that the time and energy she could have spent sowing into her own success she sacrificed to sow into theirs.
Scripture is clear that living a life dedicated to Jesus Christ is a life of sacrifice. We do not get to choose between him and other things or other people. We do not have the right to select which of his teachings we will hold as truth and which we will discard or ignore for our purposes. When we disciple other people, that type of sacrifice is also required. We must be willing to say that the time we once believed was our own can now belong to someone else. We must be willing to sacrifice our energy and our resources to raise another up from where he or she is right now even if that means putting our desires on the back burner. It is about putting someone else first for the purpose of that person’s growth. We sacrifice not only for Jesus Christ, but also for one another. Discipleship is a gift because in doing so we give of ourselves instead of giving to ourselves, and this sacrifice is an act of worship to God.
Whenever we worship God we give him something. Sometimes that means we give our time and attention. Other times we give our finances or other resources. Even when we worship God simply by speaking of how glorious and holy He is we are giving up our pride and placing it on the altar. When we give to him instead of to ourselves, it is an act of worship. Discipleship is a gift not only to the student, but also to the Lord. Before entering into a discipleship relationship, we must ask ourselves what we are willing to sacrifice for the sake of building up a brother or sister. We must honestly reflect on what we are willing to give up to fulfill God’s will for that person’s life. Hopefully, we are willing to give all that He requires. Father, thank You for using us to disciple one another for your kingdom, and give us sacrificial hearts that are willing to do this with joy.