Counting the Cost

Key Verse: “Whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”
—Luke 14:27

Selected Scripture:
Luke 9:57-62;

A DISCIPLE IS A PUPIL, one who follows a teacher or leader. The Lord has promised his disciples certain great blessings. If they are obedient, they shall be greatly blessed with everlasting life, shall sit with him in his throne, and be with him where he is. It becomes, therefore, an important question as to what is involved in discipleship. Is it an easy or a difficult matter? First of all, one must see what discipleship is and what the cross is. How can we enter the school of Christ? The Lord here and elsewhere tells us the terms.

Jesus said, ‘Whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.’ (Luke 14:27) Those who faithfully bear the cross are the ‘little flock,’ the ‘elect.’ Respecting these Jesus says, “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matt. 7:14) Our Lord said that it would be better not to take up the cross unless we have the determination to go on unto the end. He illustrates this in saying, “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”—Luke 9:62

The Lord very distinctly told what the cross would imply to those who become his disciples. He said that whosoever would be his disciple would suffer persecution. He warned us that carrying the cross would be a serious matter. If, therefore, you determine that you would like to be his disciple, sit down and count the cost. If you take up the cross, it is to be not merely lifted, but carried faithfully unto death.

Our Lord said, “When they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another.” (Matt. 10:23) Therefore, to be without opposition is proof, not that we are being favored of God, but that he is not dealing with us as sons. The Apostle Paul tells us, “If you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.” (Heb. 12:8, New American Standard) Only those whom he deals with as sons will become of the Royal Priesthood and participate in his glorious kingdom.

The bearing of the cross is the way of growth in character for the consecrated child of God. If no trials or difficulties come to us, if our earthly appetites or desires are never interfered with in our service to the Lord and the Truth, we may be sure that we are making some mistake. We have not become his disciples. But if we should have these trials, the apostle says that we are to consider them only as light afflictions and but for a moment; and that these are working out “for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” We are looking at the present time, not for the things that are seen—the earthly applause and glory—but for the heavenly glory—for the things that the Lord has promised to those that love him. (II Cor. 4:17,18) The Lord will truly bless those who, having put their hand to the plow, and not looking back, have endured hardness, rejoicing in the privilege of service and sacrifice. These will be rewarded with the Divine nature, to which no cost could ever be attached.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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