Simon Peter was raised in the Jewish synagogue. He would have attended Jewish school, and just like all the other boys, he would have hoped and dreamed of excelling in his studies and being chosen by a rabbi to become a follower. However, he was not at the top of the class; he didn’t make the cut. So he surveyed his options, took up the family trade and became a commercial fisherman. He was a lot like you and me; he had settled into life with hopes of a family and future. He had long ago given up the dream of being chosen by a rabbi; then Jesus came into his life. Jesus was not just any rabbi, but the supreme rabbi, the Son of God. Peter was chosen by Jesus to be his disciple, his follower. How amazing! Peter was humbled and awed by this opportunity. Without hesitation he left his boats and nets and followed Jesus.
Luke 14:26-28, 33; Luke 5:4-11; Matt 28:19-20; John 14:12
“If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. But don’t begin until you count the cost.” (Lk 14:26-28) “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” (Luke 5:5)
83% of Americans call themselves Christians. They believe in God; most are decent people, and it doesn’t really cost them much. However, if you want to follow Jesus Christ in the way he requires, if you choose to be a disciple, it will cost you everything! Jesus says you have to hate everyone and everything in comparison to your love and devotion for him. At first glance it’s shocking to think that Lord of love would require that you hate your parents, spouse and children in order to be his disciple, but upon closer examination you see that it says in comparison to him. Jesus wants to be first in every area of your life. Peter walked away from everything to be a disciple. He died to his past life and took up a new life with Christ. If you choose to be a disciple the cost is great, but the reward of serving Christ cannot be equaled.
Do you consider yourself a disciple of Jesus? What has it cost you? What other things in your life need to be left behind in order grow in Christ? If you know God is telling you to do something, how quickly do you do it? Are there things he’s told you to do that you are putting off? Who do you need to be reaching for Christ?
Write down what following Jesus has cost you in these areas: time, treasure, and talent.
Then, write down what sacrifices you need to make in these areas in order to put him first.
Dear Lord, forgive me for getting so wrapped up in my own little world, so immersed in the culture of today, and so forgetful about what my true purpose is as a Christian and disciple of Jesus Christ. I want you to be first in every area of my life. You promised that if I seek you first, you will take care of all of my needs. Guide me and give me strength. In Jesus Name I pray.