Matthew 16:24-27 “Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.”
Jesus told this to his disciples after telling them he would go to Jerusalem and suffer and die. Although they were probably struggling to comprehend it, that was in their minds when he spoke of the cost of following him. What it would mean to keep being his disciple.
That cost would involve self-denial, and for nearly all of those disciples it meant eventually giving their lives because of persecution.
Even today in many countries physical violence, discrimination, imprisonment and even death are the price people pay for choosing to follow Christ. Western Christians have it easy by comparison.
Yet, each person faces the same difficult choice: to choose selfishness and control over one’s life and reject of Jesus’s gift of salvation or to choose surrender to Christ and follow him regardless of the cost.
Which will you choose?