The biggest change in your life, like with the Apostles, has occurred: you believe that Jesus rose from the dead. Consequently, you believe that everything he claimed about himself, everything he taught, and every miracle he performed is true. Now you face major changes in your life: a new spiritual outlook, a new focus of life, and a number of other new things. Although this seems daunting, don’t turn back. God has called, listen to him!

What Cost?

In Luke 14:28-33 Jesus challenged the disciples to consider what it will cost them to follow him. He tells the story of a man considering a building project; the project failed because he didn’t consider what it would cost. As with any project, plans must be made, materials must be procured, and workers must be paid. Without appropriate planning and resources, projects fail.

Like the builder we must think about the cost of us following Jesus. Jesus does not seek to intimidate us but wants us to consider how discipleship will affect our lives and whether we willingly pay the price to follow. In examining this, never forget the cost/benefit ratio. Jesus examines this in the Parable of the Pearl of Great Price (Matthew 13:45-46). A pearl merchant finds a priceless pearl and pays for it with everything he owns. He knows value when he sees it. If the cost of being a disciple seems high, remember the benefit of gaining something of greater value.

A New Life

Let’s look past the disciples and their breakfast on the beach. Fifty days after Jesus’ Resurrection, the Apostles move beyond their own uncertainties. They receive the power of the Holy Spirit, and upon relating the message of Christ’s death and resurrection, Peter tells the listeners they must repent and be baptized, Acts 2:38. These acts mark the beginning of new life. The “Wow, this is really true” event we’ve been talking about is faith that is exhibited in a changed life and the washing away the sins of the old life.

Yet this is just the beginning. As the later Apostle Paul maintains in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” We are called to be transformed in our thinking. It is Peter’s exhortation to repent in a different expression. To repent is to change; to be transformed is also to change. Years of conforming to the sinful ways of the world must now be jettisoned to form in us the image of Christ.

An Everyday, Everything, and Everyone Challenge

There are no shortcuts to the transformation that must take place in our lives. A person who believes in Jesus will demonstrate his belief by changes that happen everyday and by changes that affect everything. From a new morality to an entirely new way of seeing life, we stop being conformed to a lost world and are transformed into a new way of living. Because Jesus is Lord, every follower of Christ has a new master, and this new master calls us to follow everyday and in everything.

The “everyone” challenge may demand new friends. Some old friends often look askance at the disciple’s new life and decide that the new life is not for them. This is part of the cost. Take heart; new friends await. Christ calls us to a community dedicated to his kingdom and to providing a family in which to succeed in this new adventure.

In the your daily life, keep your “Wow, this is really true” moment always in mind. Consider what your life was before that. Keep looking ahead to new things. Be transformed. You are on track to live forever.

© Robert Weber, Words Done Right LLC and The Lazarus Chronicles

NOTE: For those of you who may be looking at The Lazarus Chronicles for the first time, you can Parts I and II associated with this post on previous weeks. Of course, I invite you to look at any of my previous posts. There are posts on every chapter of the Gospel of John as well as posts on various topics.

Welcome! I hope you’ll read on. Email me at [email protected] to sign up for weekly posts. Also, be sure to check my other blog, Words Done Right.