When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.

~Mark 8:34-35 NKJV, WORD Of The Day

Jesus was quite explicit about the cost of following Him. Discipleship requires a totally committed life: “Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33). Sacrifice is expected: “Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me’” (Matthew 16:24).

We call ourselves Christians. What is a Christian?

Biblically speaking, A CHRISTIAN IS a DISCIPLE OF CHRIST. A Christian is someone who has PLACED HIS FAITH IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST Christ (John 1:12). A Christian has been BORN AGAIN by the power of the Holy Spirit (John 3:3). A Christian “BELONGS TO CHRIST” and is DAILY BEING TRANSFORMED into the likeness of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18).

A true Christian (and not one in name only) will have to be a disciple of Christ as well. That is, he HAS COUNTED THE COST and has TOTALLY COMMITTED his life to following Jesus. He ACCEPTS THE CALL to sacrifice and FOLLOWS wherever the Lord leads. The Christian disciple COMPLETELY ADHERES to the teaching of Jesus, makes Christ his number-one priority, and LIVES ACCORDINGLY. He is ACTIVELY INVOLVED in making other Christian disciples (Matthew 28:19–20).

A true Christian disciple is a BELIEVER IN CHRIST and POSSESSES NEW LIFE through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Because he loves Christ, a Christian will also be an OBEDIENT disciple (John 14:15). Paul describes the reality of being a Christian disciple: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

LET US PICK OUR CROSS, FOLLOW JESUS CHRIST, BE A TRUE DISCIPLE. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Mark 8:36 NKJV