In February 1973, the Lord began the process of drawing me to be His disciple. This occurred through the dramatic revelation of Himself in my heart and mind. The more I got to know the person of Jesus, the more willing I was to want to follow Him and live according to His Word. Knowing Him more also made it easier to do so. I truly experienced a complete life change. Without minimizing the transformation, I was only 20 at the time and had little to lose when I gave my life to Jesus. I possessed no financial wealth, had no wife or children, and wasn’t even pursuing a career. I did have morals in much need of change and friends whose friendship became distant. But as a young man, the “cost” of being a disciple of Jesus didn’t really seem that hard.
Discipleship then and now
Let’s move the clock forward almost 50 years. The cost of discipleship hasn’t changed – He still asks for our all! Yet as our “stuff” has accumulated through the first half of our lives, the “cost” can often feel harder. Our assets are typically greater, and we may have acquired some hobbies. Our families may have grown to include a spouse, children, and grandchildren, and we likely enjoy long-time relationships. What alone remains unchanged is the beauty and wonder of our Savior. And regardless of our later season of life, He still asks us to surrender it all to Him.
“I have fought the good fight, and I have remained faithful” 2 Timothy 4:7
What does this mean in practical terms? He calls us to place all we HAVE, all we ARE, and EVERYTHING we may want, at the foot of the cross, and allow God to do with it all as He pleases. God lives in and cares about our details! Everything from where we live, and how we live, to what we do with our time. It is all as much His territory now, as it was when He first asked you to give Him your life.
Will you determine to follow in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul, who could claim, “I have fought the good fight, and I have remained faithful” (2 Timothy 4:7)? I encourage you – and myself – to live our latter years in devotion to Him as purposefully and passionately as we did when our eyes were first opened to His mercy and grace. He’s every bit as worthy as He’s ever been, and it’s our privilege to be His. Let’s finish strong!