Count the Cost - Your Daily Forward Devotional

Count the Cost


April 19


Read Mark 8:34-36 (ESV)

And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?



According to Jesus, what do we have to do in order to follow Him?


There is no doubt about it. Salvation is a free gift from God. We cannot earn our salvation in any way. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a cost involved in following Jesus. In Luke 14:28, Jesus gives the example of building a tower. He said, “’For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?’” In Luke 14, Jesus was telling the crowds that following Him involves sacrifice. If we want to be His disciples, we can’t be half-hearted. He gives us full disclosure about what following Him entails and then He asks us to make the choice considering the facts. He wants us to count the cost.


When the crowds were following Him, they were amazed. He fed the hungry, He healed the sick, He gave sight to the blind! His teaching was fascinating, and the miracles were something to witness for sure! Following Him around was no doubt an amazing experience. But then Jesus clarifies what it actually means to follow Him. In today’s verse, He says that His disciples must be willing to deny themselves. They must “carry their cross.” They must lay down their lives.


To be followers of Jesus we must identify with Jesus’ suffering. We must surrender to His will rather than striving to live out our own. It means dying to ourselves every single day. When we follow Jesus, we don’t want what we want—we want what He wants. Plus, remember that Jesus said we would be hated as He is hated (John 15:18-25)?


So why would anyone want to follow Jesus? Jesus told us why we should in today’s verses. If we lose our lives here on earth for His sake and for the Gospel, we are actually saving our lives. It’s a no pain, no gain scenario. But the pain part is temporary. The gain is eternal.


Friends, following Jesus is the best investment you’ll ever make! Anything we sacrifice this side of heaven is small potatoes compared to the glory we gain in eternity! When I count the cost and do a risk vs. reward analysis, I see quite clearly that it’s worth it to take up my cross and follow Him. Who wants to gain the whole world only to lose their souls forever? No, as followers of Jesus Christ, we are willing to lose our lives for His sake so that we can find our lives forever in Him.



Jesus, following You is worth the cost! This world has nothing to offer me that is worth sacrificing my soul for. You are my treasure and my reward. Give me Your strength so that I can daily take my up cross and follow You. Amen.


~ Pastor Nat Crawford



If you found value in this post, please share your comments, questions, and prayers with us!

Discipleship Tip: Sharing is discipleship. Invite a friend to join you each day for a morning coffee and conversation about God. Click the sharing button below to get the conversation started.
Lord Jesus, help me to take up my cross daily and follow You. Your yoke is easy and Your burden is light.
This is such a powerful teaching! I'm going to print it out and keep it in my bible as a reminder. Thank you pastor Nat! May God continue to bless you and your ministry.
I agree, following Jesus is worth the cost, therefore I will trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. I will submit to Him and he will make my paths straight. All I have to do is follow. Glory to God.
I have counted the cost. Done the risk vs rewards analysis and my choice is to follow Jesus no matter the cost!🙏🏽
I will take up my cross and follow Jesus.
Thank you, Jesus for giving us I am giving up my life for the sake of you I will find my life agian,
Heavenly Father I Praise and Thank You for Loving and choosing us first. Daily Father I carry my cross at the right side of You. For You are not of this world, Thank You Lord for on Your Hands our names are written. We belong to You and You belong to us, we are Your's You are Ours. Father forever I surrender all to You Thank You for Your Faithfulness. Please continue to make our way safe in You and let Your Light shine bright for all to see. For Father I seek only Thy Will Ways Path Light and Perfect Timing each new day I am Yours, for this world has nothing to offer us, because You have already given us all we will ever need. Thank You Lord for being The Joy of our Strength, in Jesus name Amen
Hallelujah, Hallelujah,Hallelujah, Amen. Jesus, I am following you. I will put up my cross, and follow you Jesus Christ my savior.I love you. Amen 🙏🙏🙏
Help me to take up my cross and follow thee
Salvation is free for us, but conditional. Lord please help me help those who don't know you.
Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice . I needed you and you answered me. I am so very grateful
BELIEVE in Jesus' divinity, vicarious sacrifice and resurrection for salvation. Thereafter I LAY MY LIFE DOWN to make room for Christ to live through me as His AMBASSADOR until he "recalls" me at the rapture is my goal, not always realized, but still my goal.
Take up My cross daily and follow Calvary...for I am crucified with Christ never the less I live, yet not I but Christ who lives in me! Blessings, J
Amen thank you Jesus for dying for me
Lord, I want to do Your will for my life. I want to put my wants and desires away and do what pleases You. Give e Your will and Your strength so that I can lay down my life and pick up my cross to follow You. Thank You Lord. In Your Son Jesus name I pray, Amen
Glory be to God. Truth...Yes and Amen, by the grace and help of God through Christ.
Yes self denial is not enough we have to take up our cross and also follow Him. That's a great command.
Lord, each day I renew my love for You. Each morning I thank you for Your gift and blessings. Today, I pick up my cross and freely follow You. Thank you, Lord. Amen.
Words to live by, thank you! Adam was created perfect by Yahweh but since the Fall of man, we can only be re-created (resurrected) by the sacrifice and Blood of the Lamb for the atonement of that sin. This scripture also teaches: if we to forfeit (zēmioō) this unmerited gift, we not only choose to lose eternal life, but we also inflict “damage” to those around us. Something to ponder...Thank you, Jesus !!!!
Lord! Please help me to draw close to you! Help me to stand for you and the Gospel no matter the cost! In Jesus Name! AMEN
Jesus we 💕💕💕 you 💞💞💞
Jesus we need you !!!
Beautiful! Amen!🙏🏻💗
Wow it doesn't get any clearer than that!
Very valuable. I'll rather follow Christ giving up these worldly treasures to gain eternal life in the new system with my heavenly father in Jesus name Amen. I LOVE YOU LORD. Thanks for your Great Works.
There is nothing worth than following Jesus because He only is the living God. I am a living witness to this fact. Thank you,
For the joy set before him Jesus endured the cross and its shame for us and for the glory he now has as Lord, Savior and King of all. We have the promise of be the children of God and sitting with Jesus in heaven. The joy is so wonderful it can’t be described in all its glory. Many people suffer for worldly treasures but we have to go through difficulty’s for an eternal treasure that will never end. That treasure is Jesus who has now given us his Holy Spirit to live with us now. There is no comparison of the trials now to the glory in heaven. Thank you Jesus. Amen
Thank you lord, without you there wouldn't be no world. Amen.