Every year at the end of December, people begin to consider the exciting possibilities for themselves in the new year ahead. Whether we’ve resolved to read more, run a marathon, eat healthier, keep a journal, or take up a new hobby, we’re surrounded by resources and tips that promise to make our goals easy and attainable.

Many Christians will set out to become more faithful followers of Jesus in 2020. It’s a worthy resolution. Jesus is Lord over everything in heaven and on earth, and he wants his followers to place everything under his lordship. He wants our gifts, talents, careers, money, time, health, thoughts, marriages, kids, singleness, aspirations, words, deeds, dreams, motives—everything.

In 2020 and in all years to come, the resolve of every Christian should be to follow Jesus on the narrow and difficult path of discipleship. However, Jesus’ words in Scripture and church history tell us the price of discipleship in 2020 will be costly.

In Matthew 8:19, a scribe approaches Jesus to tell him he would follow wherever Jesus would go. In the next verse, Jesus responds, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” This was Jesus’ way of asking: Have you considered the cost of following me wherever I go?

Since the earliest days of Christianity, many Christians have lost material possessions, status, connections, jobs, family relationships, and even their lives because of their obedience to Jesus. Even now, brothers and sisters face the daily risk of losing everything, including their lives, because of their commitment to Jesus Christ above all. The demands and risks of faithful discipleship cause many to choose the wide and easy path ...

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