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The Cost of Following Jesus

(Luke 9:57-62; 14:25-33)

Lesson 7 -- first quarter 2001
January 14, 2001

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2000, Christian Light Publications

What is a disciple?

A disciple is one who loves the Master. Love moves the disciple. While he is conscious of duty, responsibility and requirement, these do not drive him. Because love does. This love far exceeds his love for others, even those otherwise dearest and most precious to him. This love even goes way beyond his love for himself and all that he would naturally value in himself and in his life. This love isn't some mere human emotion or sentiment. This love is a commitment to obedience to and self-sacrifice for the Master. So . . .

A disciple is one who lives for the Master. The disciple's love compels him to serve his Master. Cost is no longer an issue because he has already surrendered his all to the Master. You see, the disciple has chosen to be a servant. A disciple is not to be confused with modern-day servants whom we commonly know as employees. A disciple could more accurately be compared to the slaves of years gone by. The focus of his life is the Master. The purpose of his life is the Master. His delight and desire is the will of the Master. Therefore . . .

A disciple is one who lives like the Master. Compelled by love and addicted to service, the disciple naturally lives like his Master. His values, his motives, his thoughts, his speech, his actions -- these all not only glow in the reflection of the Master, they spring forth directly from Him. Staying in touch with his Master through prayer and meditation on His Word, the disciple daily grows in his likeness to the Master. No wonder . . .

A disciple is one who loves other disciples. The Master Himself made sure we would get this point straight and unambiguously: "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:35). The Master left no room in His kingdom for disconnected, independent discipleship. In fact, He prayed to His Father thus: "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me" (John 17:21).

How anxious are you to follow Jesus?

I was anxious to get married. Anxious enough to give up the security and familiarity of my parental home. Anxious enough to make some deep, far-reaching promises. Anxious enough to give up certain social liberties and take on some formidable financial obligations. And I didn't consider any of it a burden. I didn't have to do any of this, I wanted to.

Just how anxious am I to follow Jesus? Would to God that I be anxious enough to follow Jesus that I want to be a disciple as described in the preceding section. How about you?

Doing business at the SoulXchange.

Jesus once asked a short but probing question, "What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Mark 8:37). I doubt any of us would say, "Sure, I'll spend eternity in hell just so I can do what I like in this life." But so many people willingly indulge in those things that not only jeopardize their souls for eternity but also warp and shrivel their souls in this life.

Think of every aspect of your life as doing business for your soul. Make sure you get the best deal! What are giving in exchange for your soul?

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