Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Disciple's Sticker Shock

CattleDriving across Colorado and Kansas  this last weekend I saw herds and herds of cattle. There were all different breeds, colors, sizes and ages. It reminded me of a story I once heard:
Once there was a dairy farmer who went to buy a new pickup truck. He had seen an ad in the paper about discounts and factory rebates, so he decided to trade in his old clunker. He chose a new model and was ready to write a check. The salesman said, “Wait, I haven’t given you the final cost yet.” The farmer said, “I saw the price advertised in the paper.” The salesman said, “Oh, that’s for the basic model, all the options cost extra.” So the farmer paid the price and drove off in his new pick-up.
A few months later the salesman called the farmer because he wanted to buy a cow for his son’s 4-H project. The farmer assured the car salesman he had several good milk cows for sale for $500. The salesman drove out and selected out a cow and took out his checkbook. The farmer said, “Wait. I haven’t given you the final cost yet.” Then he handed the salesman a bill that read:
BASIC COW $500.00
Two-tone exterior 45.00
Extra stomach 75.00
Milk storage compartment 60.00
Straw recycle compartment 120.00
Four handy spigots @ $10 each 40.00
Leather upholstery 125.00
Dual horns 45.00
Automatic rear fly swatter 38.00
Fertilizer attachment 185.00
GRAND TOTAL $1233.00
Whether you’re buying cars or cows, it’s important to get to what we call “the bottom line.” What is the “bottom line” of following Jesus? You may go into “sticker shock” when you discover it. Many people are only interested in the basic model of Christianity. They want just enough Christianity to keep them out of hell without intruding on their lifestyle. You don’t find the full cost of discipleship advertised very often these days. Few preachers discuss it because it is unpleasant; it doesn’t fill pews.
Here is what Jesus said, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?” (Luke 9:23-25).
Are you a disciple? Do you desire to follow Jesus? Surrender to Him (lose your life). I really think that Jesus isn’t just after attenders or spectators, but disciples. He doesn’t just want 10,000 well-dressed carnal believers to gather in an auditorium every Sunday. He is looking for more.
Is Jesus looking for more from you today?
Do you understand the cost?
What act of surrender will you take today?
Please leave a comment telling about your act of surrender:


  1. Love the story Richard! You sure know how to make a point. I feel like I always grow from reading your daily discipleship posts. I am a work in progress - pray for me.

  2. I am a work in progress too. At least we know what Jesus is wanting to do in us: make us into His likeness. And we know it is the power of His Holy Spirit that does it when we surrender to Him. I am praying for you. --Richard

  3. Surrendering . . . not so easy. Not something we can do -- the Holy Spirit can do it in us once we're willing and once we see Jesus. So many people try to surrender to something they think is Jesus. Missions, church work, good deeds; the list goes on. Only in surrendering to Jesus will any of us see life. For me, it took walking away in dazed bewilderment that the whole church thing hadn't worked at all.

    Then He found me -- Wow! Now I understand that He is truly all my heart has always longed for. None of those other things is any good without Him, and yet in Him we have all good things.

  4. All I got to say is can I post this for my blog tomorrow?

  5. That was good Richard. I think God is definitely calling me to more but I'm not yet sure what direction or action steps he is calling me to take on this. So while i'm waiting i'm trying to see what he is telling me.

  6. Cindy, Christianity is the only thing I know of where you win by losing, you gain by given up, and you have victory through surrender. Isn't that just like Jesus, to turn our world up-side-down? Or perhaps I should say, right-side-up! --Richard

  7. Kevin, YEP! I especially like the "Fertilizer attachment" Everyone needs one of those! --Richard

  8. Becky, I'll pray for you and what God is calling you to. Surrendering to the Lord is the best way to listen to Him. --Richard

  9. "Do you understand the cost?"


  10. Chad, exactly. Free for us because Jesus paid it all. Therefore in gratitude for the grace we've recelved we gladly surrender all to the one who gave all for us. There is no other way to experience the fullness of a relationship with God. --Richard

  11. I always struggle with language of saying that salvation is free. I keep coming back to the notion that our salvation is not the final destination if we are following Christ. It is only the beginning. It is true that Christ paid the penalty for us and it costs us nothing in the redemptive work, but to follow Christ and to live as he did will eventually cost all of us something.

    I think this is the message that you shared as you ask us if we understand the cost.

  12. BTW... You have done a great job making changes to the blog. It looks great.

  13. Lsrry, thanks for noticing the changes.

    There is a difference between free and cheap. Grace is free, but it is not cheap.

    Bonhoeffer put it this way, "Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate. Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has... It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble... Costly grace ... is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son...and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us."

    I don't think I could say it any better. --Richard


Thank you for commenting. I appreciate your thoughts and opinions on this post.