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Following Jesus: A Call to Discipleship

Luke 9:57-62

Two simple yet challenging words fell from Jesus’ lips as He traveled throughout Israel: “Follow Me.” Today His call still reverberates with the same life-changing possibilities it posed to first-century seekers. Yet following Jesus isn’t always easy, comfortable, or convenient. When the press of daily life overshadows your commitment, consider what the Scriptures teach about discipleship.

The Call

  • A higher purpose: Peter left fishing to catch men for the kingdom (Matt. 4:18-20).
  • A transformed life: Matthew chose righteousness over his corrupt job (Matt. 9:9).
  • An intimate connection: Jesus’ followers are called into a close relationship of love with Him (John 14:20-23).

The Cost

  • Self-denial: Imitating Christ, disciples must deny themselves and take up their cross daily (Luke 9:23).
  • Relationships: The Lord must have priority over everyone else (Luke 14:26).Possessions: All ownership belongs under Christ’s authority (Luke 14:33).
  • Sacrifice: Because Jesus knew the heart of a rich young man, He could see what held first place in his affections. To help the man gain eternal riches, Jesus asked him to sacrifice what he valued most (Matt. 19:21-24).
  • Persecution: Because the world persecuted Christ, it will also mistreat His followers (Matt. 10:24-28).

The Rewards

  • Eternal security: The believer has salvation permanently (Luke 9:24-25; John 10:28-30; 1 John 5:11-13).
  • Earthly returns: Anyone who has left possessions or relationships for Christ’s sake will “receive a hundred times as much” in this life (Mark 10:28-31).
  • Eternal rewards: Disciples are promised not only eternal life, but also privileges and rewards in the kingdom (Mark 10:30; Luke 22:28-30).
  • Greater insight: Those who follow Jesus are given deeper understanding of His words (Matt. 13:10-12, 16-17).
  • Divine direction: Christ personally directs His sheep, who know His voice and follow Him (John 10:3-4, 27).

Questions for Reflection

  1. Are pleasures or important tasks competing with the Lord for first place in your life? What changes can you make this week that will facilitate a closer walk with Christ?
  2. Does the high cost of discipleship keep you from a commitment to the Lord? How can focusing on the greatness of the call and the promised rewards encourage you?

(Taken from InTouch.org)