“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26-27 (NIV)
You have first place in my heart and mind and life. I hesitate to use that expression. Why is that? Saying you have first place in my life seems to indicate that other things are in the running. Nothing is also in the race for my heart and mind and life. Nothing else places or shows. Nothing comes close to my desire to be fully devoted to you. That is very good.
I understand that I should have counted the cost of being your disciple. I know that your gift of salvation is a free gift. I also know that being fully devoted to you will cost me everything. I hesitate to think in terms of counting the costs of being your disciple. I will move forward with that idea only because it is in your word. Why is that? What is your hesitancy? Counting the costs seems to indicate that there might be some value on each side of the scale. There is no value in not being your disciple. If I were to decide to not be your disciple, I would be wasting my life. It would be a disaster to one day look back at what it cost me to not be your disciple. In fact, I could say it will cost me just as much to be or not be your disciple. Each choice will cost my life. That is true. So, I have finished counting the cost. I want to be your disciple. That is very good.
You know, even though it will cost me everything to be your disciple, that cost is not burdensome to me. Why is that? I love you with all my heart and mind and soul and strength. How much of a burden is it to do what pleases the one you love? How much of a burden will it be for me to follow and serve you? None at all. Will I sit around waiting to follow and obey you? No, I will look for ways to follow and obey you. It will be my delight to do what pleases you. That is very good.
Will I love and follow and serve you perfectly? Will I always do what is pleasing to you? No, not perfectly. No, not always. But you will help me. You will keep me on course. You will help me to keep on loving and following and serving you. You will make me able to live as your disciple in the world. You will help me to live the life you have called me to live. Yes, I will. You can be certain of that. For that, I am thankful beyond measure. That is very good.
Lord, you have first place in my life. Nothing else competes. Nothing else places or shows. I am devoted to you. I love you with all my heart, mind, soul and strength. Help me to live as one of your servants. Help me to be one of your disciples. I will follow you. Amen
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