What the Bible Says About Casting Your Cares on Jesus

What the Bible has to say about casting your cares on Jesus can help free you if you are feeling trapped under the heavy weight of burdens today.

The Burdens of Life

Burdens. We all experience them. Job stress, financial strain, marital difficulties, the child who has lost their way, failing health; they come in many shapes and sizes, but they come for us all. However, the bible tells us that we are to cast our cares on the Lord.

But what does that mean?

The cares of this world hang on the clothesline of our hearts and steal our joy and zap our strength. You feel like you are running a marathon until you look down at your feet and realize they are stuck in the mud.

You know that God loves you, you know that he hears your prayers, and you know that he will never leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6), but what happens when you feel like you have been thrown into the pit of despair and you can’t climb out?

What do you do when your anxiety blinds you to these truths about God?

The Fisherman on the Lake

Let me give you an example of casting in the natural.

Picture with me, if you will, an angler gliding his fishing boat down the sun-kissed waters of a river. He comes to a place in the water where he feels assured that he will find what he is searching for.

Perhaps he has been successful there before, maybe someone told him that this was a place of multitudes.

Either way, he drops his anchor slowly until it holds him securely to the solid ground. Most importantly, the fisherman knows he will not be successful if he drifts aimlessly; he knows the anchor holds.

As he skillfully casts his line into the deep, he does so with an expectation that there is going to be an exchange. The fisherman anticipates that as he throws what he has (the bait) into the water, a transaction will take place. He will trade what he no longer needs for that which feeds, sustains, nourishes, and blesses (the fish).

But what does that mean for us?

Casting Our Line to Jesus

Like the fisherman, we are called to come to the Living Water and to drop our anchor into the solid foundation of Christ’s love, grace, and mercy. Similarly, through prayer, we place on our hook all of the things in our life that we want to exchange.

As the burdens of our world dangle like bait, we cast these cares into the deep, and we wait in anticipation for the transaction to take place; for God to take that which is no longer needed and trade it for that which feeds, sustains, nourishes, and blesses our heavy souls.

Fishing in the natural as well as the supernatural is a process. Time and patience are required to wait for the blessing. We must be willing to trust God in the waiting. (For more about waiting, read my YouVersion devotional, No Waste in the Waiting.)

There is an expression, “fish or cut bait”. This simply means that you must make a decision to keep advancing or to give up. What is also true, is that when we are praying, we must keep our line in the water and have faith that God will come and make the holy transfer.

Because, if we pull it out of the water too quickly, we may miss the blessing.

Let’s look at four ways that casting our cares on Jesus can become a reality.

Four Ways to Cast

Speak It

Let me tell you that sometimes I am guilty of pondering my problems, thinking over them intently, and believing that this is enough for prayer. For the bible says that, “Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.” Psalm 139:4.

It is true that God knows our thoughts, but I also believe that God is calling us to speak to him in prayer. Instead of just thinking on things, calling them out, and being specific about what is burdening us, and what we want God to do for us.

Remember that prayer is not for God, it is for us.

Releasing those fears and anxieties out loud can bring its own type of healing. You can’t change won’t you don’t acknowledge.

The truth is, there is power in letting go of those things that are holding us in the pit. There is an exchange that occurs when we cast our cares on Jesus and do it with our voices.

Here is what you need to do, cry out to God, shout your fears, scream what makes you anxious, whisper your needs—God wants to hear your voice!

Soak in the Word

First, get into God’s Word! Whatever it is that is keeping your feet trapped in the miry clay, the answer is found in scripture. Many people write to me and say, “I don’t where to look in the bible for answers.” The answer I give them is to use the technology that is right at your fingertips.

First, Google it! You can put any keyword + bible verse in the Google search bar and you will find many resources that will lead you to not just one, but many scriptures on the subject.

Then, take the time to read those scriptures, either online, or even better, in your own bible. Write them down, highlight them, put them in a journal, put them on sticky notes. Do whatever works best for you. The point is that you begin to see that all the answers to your questions can be found in the glorious scriptures.

Finally, try memorizing scriptures that pertain to your particular situation. Because, when you need them in those desperate times, they will be there and you can speak them to your problems.

“My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.” Proverbs 4:20-22.

Sing: Praise and Worship

Oh how the enemy HATES worship! It’s true. There is nothing more effective at defeating the lies of the devil as when you sing songs of praise and worship to our God.

One thing that can happen when we are bogged down with burdens, is that it can make us very self-centered. Our focus becomes mired in— me, me, me.

This is a dangerous position to be in, and it is an open door for the enemy to come and tell you lies that sink you further into the pit. (For more about the lies of the devil, read my blog, “5 Lies from Satan You Must Stop Believing”).

Worship takes the focus off of us and places it directly on God. Rather than fixing your eyes on your problems, you fix your eyes on Jesus; casting your cares on the Lord through song!

Surround Yourself with Other Warriors

God did not design us to carry our burdens alone. My hope is that you have brothers and sisters in Christ who you trust and who can help you carry them.

Choose a few of your closest Christian friends and share with them the issues and struggles you are going through. In addition, ask them to join you in prayer and thanksgiving for the answers you are seeking. Because, keeping all of the fears, anxieties, and struggles to yourself can cause more undue stress.

When Moses could no longer lift the staff and the Israelites began to lose the battle, his two friends stepped in and helped him hold the staff up high.

We aren’t meant to do this life alone. Sometimes, the burdens are too heavy. Allow others to help you carry the weight so you don’t have to carry it alone. Essentially, allow others to help you win your battle.

Speak, sing, soak, and surround!

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22 ESV.

Friend, I know that you are going through a difficult time. Just know that God is there to carry the burdens you are trying to carry on your own. Be encouraged that God loves you and that he is making a way where there seems to be no way. Have faith and trust in God’s timing. Know that even if your prayers aren’t answered immediately, there is no waste in the waiting!

God’s blessings be with you,

Susie and Between the Gardens Ministries

Consider This

This week, try and think of a strategy you can use to incorporate the 4 s’s to casting your cares on Jesus:

  • speak
  • soak
  • sing
  • surround

I Recommend

If you are going through a dry season and you are needing refreshing from the Living Water, order your copy of my new book, Abundant Rain from Amazon today.

Abundant Rain is a 40-day devotional dealing with the struggles, situations, past hurts, and regrets that can lead us to feel overwhelmed and spiritually dry. The devotional takes you on a journey of self-exploration through the Word of God to bring you life-giving water to quench your thirsty soul.

I also recommend you try my YouVersion devotional, Broken to Blessed. This 5-day devotional will walk you through times of brokenness and how to find the blessing from that which God breaks. (This devotional has over 10,000 completions!)

Let’s Connect

To stay up-to-date with all that is happening with Between the Gardens ministries, please consider subscribing to my website on the form below.

Also, you can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.





When God Is Silent

Are you there God?

Silence. Sometimes what causes us the most pain and confusion isn’t what God says to us, but the fact that in the midst of a difficult situation, God seems to say nothing at all. What do we do when God is silent?

I went through a heartbreaking situation several years ago that left me on the floor in tatters. My eyes were swollen and red from days of tears splashing down my cheeks.

These are the moments when you lay on the ground like a pile of dirty laundry and you cry out to God for help, for comfort, and for answers.

The sun rose and set day after day and I began to question God. Where was he? Did he hear me?



Where is your treasure?

The pain that I was in became all-consuming. The situation that I was facing was as deep as the ocean and I was being consumed by the roaring waves. Hurt and heartbreak were my two faithful companions that went with me everywhere.

I could not work without them. They were with me in my bed in the night season. We shared every meal together. Nothing else mattered, they had become my treasure. For the worth that you place on something in your life is evident by your priorities.

But Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21. God was silent because my treasure was in the problem and not the provision.

I had a heart problem.

God’s silence is how it feels, but that doesn’t mean that is how it is.

Be on guard of the enemy during these times

The enemy will come to you in these times when you are spiritually dry and empty and he will whisper lies to you. And, like a moth to a flame, sometimes we lean in to him and allow him to plant seeds of doubt.

Know that your enemy will always try and defeat you when you are weak. He is a liar and the father of all lies. We must learn to protect ourselves with our spiritual armor for those times when he lingers near. (Read “5 Lies From Satan You Must Stop Believing” for more about this subject.)

Some of the greatest victories can come from those times when we are spiritually dry and empty. (If you are spiritually dry, order my new book, Abundant Rain, a 40-day devotional devoted to overcoming the dry places.)

It may feel like he is absent, but he is there, working in the background, making all things work together for your good. (Romans 8:28).

Deep calls to deep

Perhaps God is silent because he wants to teach us something about faith and trust. We want our problems to be solved and our questions answered right now; because we live in a society of “right now”.

Think about it, any information that you need, any questions you need answered can be done in seconds. But God is not Google and his ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8).

What I learned from my situation is that God was calling me deeper; he saw me crying out to him from the shore, but he wanted me to come out upon the water where feet may fail but he won’t let me drown.

The deep things of God were calling out to the deep things inside of me. (Psalm 42:7).

The answer isn’t always obvious

I did not hear an audible voice answering the questions that I had for God about this situation, but that doesn’t mean that he was not speaking to me. As I began to shift my focus from the way things were to the Way Maker, I realized that his answers were coming to me in unique ways:

  • Scriptures that spoke to my situation
  • Worship music that lifted my heavy heart
  • Friends who were there to encourage me

Not all of God’s riches are obvious. Some are buried below the surface and can only be discovered as we dig and search for the buried treasure.

Nothing is wasted

Little by little, day by day, God began to slowly bring me out of the broken place. I was able to come to him with arms open wide and soak up his love for me. I learned that much can be said in the silence. My job was to obey his command to be still and know that he is God and I am not. (Psalm 46:10).

Looking back now at that difficult time in my life, I see the abundant blessings that I received from the Lord. There were many lessons learned and most importantly, I grew exponentially in my faith and in my relationship with him.

I say all of this to encourage you, especially if you, too, are going through a time of brokenness and you feel like your prayers aren’t being answered and that God is silent.

There are two choices to make. We can pitch our tent in the campground of bitterness, pain, and callousness, or we can build an altar on the holy ground of his presence and watch, wait, worship, and pray until the answers come.

If you are in a broken place, I encourage you to read my YouVersion devotional, “Broken to Blessed” and I pray it is a helpful weapon in your arsenal as you fight this battle you are facing.

I pray you go deeper than you have ever been and know that although everything seems dark right now, the Light of the World is there with you every step of the way guiding you to victory.

Be blessed!


Spiritual Incompatibility in Your Marriage


Perhaps you find yourself in a situation in which you and your spouse are spiritually incompatible. You are what is know biblically, as unequally yoked; one of you is a person of faith and the other is not.

I have seen this happen a lot in the church today. Typically, it is women who are sitting alone in church. They confess that their husbands are believers, but they see no need to attend church every Sunday.

In my situation, the roles were reversed. When my husband and I were first married, it was me who was not going to church and my husband was strong in his faith.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, I want to tell you my story, how I came to know the Lord, and how it changed the trajectory of our marriage.

Looking Back on My Marriage

My husband and I stood face to face on the beach; our hands interlocking so tightly it was hard to discern where one began and the other ended.

The sky, like an endless canvas, had been brushed by the Creator with striated hues of red, gold, and splashes of violet—colors and patterns no human artist could conceive.

I looked at my husband as the ocean breeze blew strong through our graying hair. He smiled his familiar smile; deep laugh lines like bookends for his crystal blue-gray eyes.

Twenty-five years ago, I stood in front of a boy and vowed to love him forever. The boy was now a man, weathered by life’s experiences, joys, and heartaches. Our lives had changed and blossomed in ways that we could have never imagined.

So much time had come and gone as gravity pushes and pulls the tide and the tide pushes and pulls the sand. We gazed at each other while we reaffirmed our vows.

The sun and the moon where both visible as dusk was approaching and they stood as our witnesses. But, as we held each other, waves licking our legs, we knew that it could have been so different.

You see, when we were married, we were unequally yoked.

What the Bible Says About Spiritual Incompatibility

According to Easton’s Bible Dictionary, yoke is defined as, “fitted on the neck of oxen for the purpose of binding to them the traces by which they might draw the plough.” (biblestudytools.org).

In 2 Corinthians 6:14, Paul admonishes us, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?”

The oxen were yoked together because they were both beasts of burden, designed for a similar purpose and mission. They would equally share the work.

In Deuteronomy 22:10, God actually forbids the yoking of two animals that are not the same, “You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together.” In this scenario, the stronger ox will end up carrying the majority of the load.

The often stubborn and unreliable donkey may refuse to move. The donkey may veer to the right or the left, leaving ground unevenly plowed; creating an atmosphere for important seed to go unplanted.

When my husband and I were dating, we ignored that we were on opposite ends of the spiritual spectrum.

I had walked away from God and the church several years before. He was a spirit-filled believer who attended church every Sunday. There were red flags and caution signs, but we ignored them all.

We were deeply in love and blinded by that love. Looking back now, it is unbelievable that the discussion never came up. How good we were at planning the wedding, yet we forgot to plan for a lifetime of marriage.

After we were married, this issue grew from a tiny seed into Jack’s beanstalk in the middle of our living room. Every Sunday was the same. He invited me to church, I refused, he came home angry—rinse and repeat.

This went on for several months and the strain of what we once ignored was like a thin rope that was tearing more and more each week. Anger, resentment, and bitterness were sprouting where only love used to grow.

My husband felt spiritually divorced from me and it was hurting us both. I remembered a reading from our wedding from the book of Ruth, “For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. (1:16).

I knew something had to change; I knew I had to change.

I loved him and I didn’t want to lose him, and I didn’t want to be divorced. I swallowed my pride and I agreed to go with him to church. The first time I went I felt uncomfortable and out of place.

His church was so vastly different from what I grew up with. I wanted to run away that first time. The weight of the guilt I felt was overwhelming.

I know now that the Holy Spirit was convicting me. Like the prodigal son, my Father was calling me home and I felt unworthy of his love and acceptance.

After several months of reluctantly attending church, I made the decision to go to the altar and accept Jesus as my personal Lord and savior. The giant in the castle was defeated, and the beanstalk was cut down.

The rope was no longer tearing for we had added a third strand—Jesus—and “a three-fold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

We were no longer unequally yoked.

Becoming More Spiritually Compatible

Shortly after, I was water baptized. A few years later, I was leading worship, involved in children’s ministry, and dance ministry.

Today I have an online ministry, and I have written my first Bible devotional which will be released in a few months. My life, my faith, my eternity, and my marriage were forever changed.

I found out years after my conversion that my husband was praying for me every day. There were several members of the congregation that were praying for me every day. “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (James 5:16).

If You Find Your Marriage is Spiritually Incompatible

I want to encourage those who are reading this, and you find yourselves in a similar position. You know that you and your spouse are unequally yoked.

An ox can plow alone, and a donkey can plow alone, but they cannot plow together. It takes two of the same kind to successfully cultivate the soil of your hearts.

Perhaps you are feeling the strain of it and you are at the end of your thin rope. I want to encourage you to keep praying. All you can do is plant the seed and then wait for the Holy Spirit to do his part.

And if you hit a spiritual wall, keep praying and keep pressing in. You will find your breakthrough! (For more on spiritual walls, read my blog, “Hitting the Spiritual Wall.”)

In my situation, it was the fervent, unwavering prayers of my husband that saved me. It was not his insistence, his resentment, or his anger—it was prayer. You can’t change your spouse’s unbelieving heart—only God can do that.

Remind yourself daily of Colossians 3: 12–14, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”

Looking Forward in My Marriage

It could have been so different for my husband and I.

Through prayer, trust, and belief, we are now equally yoked; partners in love, in marriage, as parents, and in our faith. We press on together, both of us at the plow.

We walk side by side; equally pulling life’s load toward the next twenty-five years and beyond.

I pray for you and your spouse that you will find a way, through the grace of God, to become more spiritually compatible.


Four Soils, Four Hearts: The Parable of the Sower


“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears let them hear.” Matthew 13:3-9.

The Parable of the Sower

In The Parable of the Sower, Jesus is teaching us that he is the sower and the seed is the message, the Good News, the gospel, the Word of God.

Four different types of soil are mentioned in the passage. These four types of soils represent how we receive the message.

First, we will look at each of these soils and what we can learn from them.

The Four Soils

The Path


When the seed is thrown on the path, it has no chance of taking root. It will either be scorched by the sun, or it will be picked up by the birds.

Jesus is telling us that for those who have a heart like the path, the message will land and soon be snatched up by the enemy.

Because it disappears so quickly, there is not enough time for us to understand what we have heard or what we are supposed to glean from it.

It vanishes before it has a chance to make any impact on our lives at all.

No good farmer or gardener would lay seeds on the path. Seeds need to be planted down deep into the soil where they can take root, find water and nourishment, and grow.

Perhaps it has been awhile since you walked down a dirt path, but for the people in Jesus’s time, they would have understood this image very clearly.

They didn’t have concrete or pavement. They knew quite well how worn the path is from all of the foot traffic. Like the path, our hearts can become worn; worn from the everyday routines, the struggles, the stress, and the cares of this world.

When the seeds of a Word from the Lord are tossed at us, we can continue in our routine and the seed is trampled on. Before that Word can make a difference in our lives and in our hearts, it is plucked up by the enemy and it is gone.

The Stony Ground


When the seed falls on the stony ground, it is not stolen or ignored, it is received.

Have you ever heard a really good word from your pastor? Have your ever been super excited after a bible study or a retreat?

In these times, the Word that you are given from God is so good and it gets planted into your heart.

This time you decide that you are going to make a serious change. This time, you are going to break that addiction. This time you are going to make God a priority in your life, this time you are going to…(insert broken promise here).

Although it begins to sprout, it doesn’t last long.

Because the soil was rocky, the Word doesn’t have a chance to form deep roots; without deep roots, it cannot survive. It will be scorched by the sun, blown over by the first strong wind, or washed away in the storm.

On the surface, your faith looks impressive, but what is happening underneath matters.

You may be able to fool yourself and others for a season, but the heat, the wind, and the rain find us all—you can’t fool God.

You need depth.

You need something solid to keep you grounded when the wind blows and the storms come. Your heart needs to be attached to Jesus or you will wither, shake, and fall.

The Thorny Ground

The seeds that fall on thorny ground are Words from the Lord that are received, and they are deeply rooted.

As the Word is springing forth and blossoming, there is something else growing in your heart. Thistles, weeds, and thorns are the cares of this world and they grow fast, are very strong, and they are deeply rooted.

The roots of the thorns intermingle with the roots of our faith and they begin to choke and strangle, and steal vital nutrients from our hearts.

In my landscaping, there are weeds that pop up through the mulch. I can pull them out and literally the next morning they are back, like I never even removed them.

The reason they come back is because I only pulled what I could see, I didn’t get them at the root. The strength of the weed is found deep down in those places in the unseen—where it is deeply rooted.

It’s the same with the anxiety, fear, and other issues of the world that you are struggling with. You may think you have gotten rid of it, but have you dug it up at the root?

Until you can, it will keep popping up; reminding you, taunting you, strangling what God wants to make beautiful with its ugliness.

We can’t let the cares of this world choke and steal what God has for us—we must pull the thorns out by their roots when we recognize that they are trying to steal the blessing.

The Good Ground

gabriel-jimenez-jin4W1HqgL4-unsplash (1)

Oh the good ground! How we should always strive for the good ground!

The good ground refers to those hearts that receive the Word, that Word is deeply rooted, and that heart tends and cultivates the seed with maturity and great care.

A good gardener knows how to care for his/her garden. The good gardener knows that the plants in the garden must be planted in rich soil, fertilized and watered with prayer, worship, and reading God’s Word everyday.

It doesn’t mean that the good soil doesn’t have rocks that try and stop the roots from going deep. It means that the good gardener sees the rocks and removes them before they become a problem.

It doesn’t mean that the good soil doesn’t have weeds and thorns. It means that the gardener recognizes them when they pop up and deals with them immediately.

The good gardener knows that things don’t grow overnight. A healthy garden requires time and patience; but eventually the garden will flourish and prosper and yield a bountiful harvest of life and beauty.

New plants when first planted are small. But in time they not only grow, but they multiply and they spread. So too is the Word that is given to the good soil. It will grow and multiply and spread to others around them.

The Word of God

Jesus, as the sower, scatters the seed on all types of ground. Why doesn’t he just throw the seed on the good soil?

If you were a farmer, wouldn’t you be meticulous and put your seed in those places where you knew that it would grow?

I believe it is because Christ came to share the Word of God with everyone, not just those who were saved and sanctified.

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:31.

Jesus’s mission was to rescue sinners. He is calling ALL to be good ground.

Examine your own heart today. Know that Jesus will continually and freely throw you the seed of his Word.

How will you receive it?



@Between the Gardens Ministries

For more daily inspiration from the Word of God, follow me on Instagramand Facebook.






What Does the Bible Say About Discipleship?

Part One: Becoming a Disciple of Christ

Introduction to Discipleship

In this three-part series on what the bible says about discipleship, we will be exploring what it means to be a disciple of Christ, how we can disciple others, and how to use modern technology; the internet, blogs, and social media to teach, mentor, and disciple other believers.

In Part One, we will be exploring discipleship on a personal level.

How do we go from being believers to true disciples?

Jesus prayed, “I made known to them Your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:26)

Let’s first define what a disciple is.


Discipleship Defined

The word disciple comes from the Greek word mathétés which means pupil, learner, student, or apprentice.

If we think of an apprenticeship, we think of spending time, sometimes years, under the tutelage of a master in a particular field of study or work.

For a Christian apprentice, the master is Jesus, and the field of study is the Gospel.

We are called to be His apprentices; to study, to learn, and to put into practical application all we have been privileged to learn from the Master.

A good apprentice learns to do what the teacher does or to become what the teacher is.

This is the true calling of the believer, to enter into an apprenticeship with Jesus in order to do what Jesus does and say what Jesus says—this is discipleship—to become like Jesus.

The Church Today

So why isn’t this happening more in the Church today? Dallas Willard says in his book, The Divine Conspiracy :

“Churches today are full of people who haven’t been invited to become disciples. Being a Christian has come to mean going to church and being saved when you die. The ministry of the church is given over to “making the final cut” and solving our daily problem, not discipleship.”

If we are called to the higher purpose of discipleship, why aren’t we heeding the call?

Perhaps many Christians are not sure what discipleship even looks like. We will look at a few of the characteristics of a disciple of Jesus.

Are you ready to start your apprenticeship?

Characteristics of a Disciple

I believe there are many characteristics of being a disciple of Christ.

In Part One of this series, we will look at the following:

  • passionately committed to Christ
  • bearing good fruit
  • understanding the cost

Let’s look at our first characteristic.

1.  Discipleship and Being Passionately Committed to Christ

Jesus said, _Come follow


The First Disciples

I like the way Dr. Gary Burge describes discipleship in the context of our commitment to Christ:

“To be a disciple means having the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit living in us. It means having a supernatural, interior experience that is completely unlike anything available in the world. It is a way of believing and a way of living, but these are nurtured by the life-giving connection with Jesus Christ.”

When I think about how we are to be fully and passionately committed to the cause of Christ, I can’t help but think of the disciples that chose to walk with Jesus.

Simon Peter and his brother, Andrew, were seasoned fishermen who were casting their nets into the sea. When Jesus came toward them He said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”

Immediately they dropped their nets and followed Him.

This is the part of the story that I find amazing and shows us real commitment to following Jesus as a disciple.

What was it about this stranger that assured them that they could lay it all down; their jobs; their livelihoods, their families, and their futures to follow Him?

Remember they did not know Jesus yet. He had not brought sight to the blind or hearing to the deaf.

He had not healed the leper or made the lame walk.

Jesus hadn’t fed the 5000, or raised Lazarus from the dead.

He was a stranger, but there had to have been something about Him.

I believe that the Holy Spirit spoke something into their hearts to allow them to see something unique in the eyes of Jesus that told them He could be trusted.

There must have been something about the tone of His voice that made Peter and Andrew look at the sea and instinctively know that Jesus was the Captain; that He knew the route, for it was He that created the sea itself.

Many of Jesus’ disciples had the same experience as Peter and Andrew. They gave up everything to follow Him.

They stayed with Him, listened to Him, watched Him perform miracle after miracle, and watched Him die and rise from the dead.

The disciples were the original apprentices to the Master, Jesus. They may or may not have realized it, but Jesus was preparing them to be like Him in the world.

They had to learn to be disciples so that they could then, disciple others.

What Jesus Says About Being a Disciple

Jesus said, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, even their own life-such a person cannot be my disciple.”

“Whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”

Read Luke 14:25-33

Is Christ saying that if we follow Him that we must hate all others in our lives?


What Jesus is telling us is that our love for Him must be so strong that all other love is like hatred in comparison.

Carrying the cross means death to self. Like the first disciples, Jesus is calling us to drop our nets and follow Him.

Follow Him in complete trust and faith as we walk with Him into the unknown; our ships sailing into uncharted waters, but knowing all along that we are with the One who created the sea itself.

Jesus cannot get the job done with half-hearted followers—we need to give it all to Him, we need to be fully committed to Him.

Those who are not willing to give up all will not be used by Him.

I want to be used by Him, but I know that I must also be bearing good fruit.

2. Discipleship and Bearing Good Fruit



“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”John 15:5

“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”John 15:7-8

I like the way Beth Moore describes this relationship between the vine and the Vinedresser in her book, Chasing Vines:

“If you’re in Christ, He is your true vine, whether you realize it or not. But a whole new way of flourishing begins when you know it. When you count on it. When you live like it. When you let go of the vines you thought were giving you life.”

Why Fruit?

So why did Jesus say that we must bear fruit to prove to be His disciples?

It is not by accident that Jesus referred to fruit. Fruit has in it the seed for more fruit so that the process goes on and on.

We will look more at discipling others in Part Two of this series, but I want to touch on it here for a moment.

Jesus said we are the branches, but look at any tree or vine that bears fruit.

The branch doesn’t eat the fruit, others do.

“Spirit produced fruit will go on reproducing from one life to another. Your fruit, given to another, will plant a seed that allows them to bear fruit, and then they give their fruit away and so it continues.” (Warren Wiersbe)

Good fruit produces more good fruit and discipleship reproduces more disciples.

But your fruit must first be good fruit, and that only happens as you abide with Jesus.

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” John 15:4

Abiding in Jesus takes us back to our first characteristic: Being Fully Committed to Christ. 

Like the vine and the branches, they are all connected; it is a beautiful picture that Jesus is showing us, but even beautiful things can have dangerous thorns that we aren’t anticipating.

The life of a disciple is not an easy one, and it comes at a cost.

3. Understanding the Cost of Discipleship

Jesus invites us to come to Him. He tells us, “I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20

Salvation is free, but discipleship comes at a cost.

We have already looked at the sacrifices of self that we discussed in the first section of our text, but there is more.

We need only look at what happened to the original disciples to understand the cost:

  • Stephen was stoned to death
  • Peter was crucified upside-down
  • James (brother of John) was killed by Herod by the sword
  • Paul was beheaded

And many of the other apostles were said to have been martyred.

We know of many Christian disciples who have been martyred in the past, and many who continue to be persecuted and martyred today.

Discipleship and the World

Why is the life of a disciple of Jesus so difficult? Why is there such a cost?

Jesus said, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you has its own. As it is, you don’t belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” John 15:18-19

Discipleship comes at a cost because we are no longer of this world. We are in it, but not of it.

And that is the choice. That is what is so hard for so many—giving up the world and worldly things to follow Christ and to be His disciple.

Perhaps that is why Jesus said that the gate is narrow and few go through it.

Maybe that is why Jesus said that the harvest is plenty but the laborers are few.

How many are willing to pay the cost?




When Jesus came to the earth as a man, He didn’t need the disciples. He could have accomplished every task he desired without them.

He chose to partner with them.

In the same way, God doesn’t not need us to accomplish all that He wishes to accomplish on the earth today, but He wants us.

Oh how I pray that you will let this sink down into your spirit today!

God wants you to partner with Him. God chose YOU!

No matter what the cost, there is no price that can be placed on doing the will of the Father.

He has placed you at this time and in this place for a reason. It is now up to you to decide if you will choose to partner with Him. It is time for you to choose to love the world or be hated by it.

Do you just want to sit by and hope that you “make the final cut”, or do you want more?

This is an important question, because unless you become a disciple, you cannot disciple others.

That is what we will be discussing next week in Part Two of our series: Discipling Others.

Until then…

Be blessed as you choose to be a true disciple of Christ,





All photos courtesy of unsplash.com

All scripture references are from the English Standard Version (ESV)