Nothing, in fact, has done more harm to Christianity than the practice of filling the ranks of Christ’s army with every volunteer who is willing to make a little profession, and talk fluently of his experience. It has been painfully forgotten that numbers alone do not make strength, and that there may be a great quantity of mere outward religion, while there is very little real grace. Let us all remember this. Let us keep back nothing from young professors and inquirers after Christ. Let us not enlist them on false pretenses. Let us tell them plainly that there is a crown of glory at the end. But let us tell them no less plainly, that there is a daily cross in the way. – J.C. Ryle
Jesus is redeeming a vast people for Himself from every tribe, language, people, and nation, but he is not after a crowd, he is after disciples. Jesus is not after a million-man-militia ready to run at the first hint of danger, He is after the 300 of Thermopylae ready to lay down their lives, and He lets you know the terms up front. Jesus does not refuse either one of these would-be disciples, nor does he eagerly accept their proposal, rather he calls them to think. He calls them to count the cost.
You cannot barter the terms of you discipleship. You may not build your own custom Christ desiring the benefits of knowing Him as Savior without the demands of His being Lord. What are the terms? All. Your heart, your mind, your will, in totality, are to be His.
Discipleship costs, but it is a blissful bankruptcy. In sacrificing all we are the ones who receive. We give up the finite for the infinite. So yes, count the cost, but also consider the Christ.