The Cost of Following

Luke 9:23

DO YOU RECALL JESUS’ RADICAL philosophy of servanthood? It’s found tucked away in His now immortal words:

He said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.”

LUKE 9:23

Following Christ as His disciple is a costly, unselfish decision. It calls for a radical examination of our self-centered life. Whew! That’s one of those easy things to say but awfully tough to carry out.

Let’s see if I can break this down into smaller, bite-sized chunks so we don’t gag on it. When you look closely at Jesus’ statement, a couple of things seem important. First, those who desire to follow Him closely must come to terms with self-denial. Second, the decision to give ourselves to others (taking up our cross) must be a daily discipline. That means every day, I bow before the Lord and recommit to the truth that I am not the center of my world . . . that I’ve been called by Christ to give myself to meeting the needs of others.

That’s costly stuff. Terribly expensive.

If we take His words seriously, then it isn’t difficult to see some questions that we must ask and answer ourselves, like:

  • Am I serious about being a close follower of Jesus Christ?
  • Do I think of others to such an extent that self-denial is becoming the rule rather than the exception in my life?
  • Am I taking deliberate steps to take up my cross daily?

What is it that keeps you from making such a self-denying commitment to Christ today? A relationship? Your desire to advance your career? A stubborn habit or addiction you just can’t shake? Bring whatever it is to Him. He knows where you are. He’s been there . . . done that. Yet He went to the Cross for you. Will you take up your cross for Him?

Has God worked in your life in a significant way through Chuck Swindoll and the ministry of Insight for Living? Whatever your story, we’d love for you to tell it to us! Psalm 9:11 tells us to “declare among the peoples His deeds” so others can be encouraged. Submit your story.

Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at

Posted in Christian Living, Fruit of the Spirit, Jesus and tagged .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.