What It Means To Be A Christian
Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple. — Luke 14:33
Three times over in this chapter, our Lord says these solemn words: “he cannot be My disciple.” There are three conditions of discipleship. First, we must be prepared to put first things first; second, we must be willing to suffer daily crucifixion; third, we must be detached from all things, because attached to Christ. The conditions seem severe, but they must be fulfilled, if we would enter Christ’s School.
Disciple stands for learner. Our Lord is prepared to teach us the mysteries of the Kingdom of God; but it is useless to enter His class unless we have resolved to do as He says. Put first things first. When our Lord uses the word hate, He clearly means that the love we are to have for Him is to be so much greater, that comparatively our natural affection will be as if it were hate. No one could have loved His Mother more than our Lord did. In His dying agony His special thought and care was for her, but on three different occasions He put her aside. We are sometimes called to put aside those who are nearest and dearest, if their demands conflict with the claims of Christ.
The daily cross. In each of us there is the self-principle, and for each of us there is a perpetual necessity to deny self. Some talk about bearing the cross in a glib fashion, but its true meaning is shame, suffering, and sorrow, which no one realizes but God, and which perhaps strikes deeper down into the roots of our being as we grow older. There is an opportunity in your life, in respect to some person or circumstance, for an ever-deepening appreciation of union with Christ in His death, and for which you must be daily prepared to surrender your own way and will.
Renunciation. It may be necessary to surrender all we have for Christ, or it may be that He will ask us to hold all as a steward or trustee for Himself and others. No one can lay down the rule for another. The main point to decide is this: “Am I willing to do what Christ wants me to do; to yield my will for Him to mould it, and my life for Him to work through it?” If so, all else will adjust itself.
O Lord, save me in spite of myself. May I be Thine; wholly Thine, and, at all costs, Thine. In humiliation, in poverty, in self abnegation, Thine. Thine in the way Thou knowest to be most fitting, in order that Thou mightest be now and ever mine. Amen.