November 30

Today's Bible Reading
     I Chronicles 28
     II Peter 2
     Micah 5
     Luke 14
''And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.  For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it" (Luke 14:27-28)
We hear much in the modem church about membership, leadership, scholarship, and fellowship. That may be the problem, because we hear very little about discipleship. It is discipleship that was on the mind and heart of our Lord as He taught His Disciples.
            Jesus never told us to go and make decisions; on the contrary, He told us to go and make disciples, and that is adifferent strategy altogether. When you read this powerful passage and discover what Jesus said about the cost of discipleship, it will indeed challenge your life. There is a price to pay, and a heavy cost to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Our Lord, however, was not referring here to the cost which we have to count, but to the cost which He has already counted.
            The cost was those 30 years in Nazareth, those 3 years of popularity, scandal, and hatred; the unfathomable agony He experienced in Gethsemane, and the assault upon Him at Calvary -the central point upon which all of time and eternity turn. Jesus had counted the cost, and in the final analysis people are not going to laugh at Him and say, ''This man began to build and was not able to finish'' (verse 30)
            The conditions of discipleship given to us by our Lord in verses 26, 27, and 33 mean that the men and women He is
going to use in His mighty building enterprises are those in whom He has done everything. Listen to this strong language: ''If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters; yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple." (14:26)
            Do you know what Jesus was saying here?  He is saying that our love for the dearest people on this earth to us must be like hate when compared to our love for Him. This verse teaches us that the only men and women our Lord will use in His building enterprises are those who love Him personally, passionately, and with great devotion.
            Those have a love for Him that goes far beyond any of the closest relationships on earth. The conditions are strict, but they are glorious. Are you ready to count the cost and pay the price to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? All that we build is going to be inspected by God.  When God inspects us with His searching and refining power, will He detect that we have built enterprises of our own on the foundations of Jesus?            (I Corinthians 3:10-15) We are living in a time of tremendous enterprises, a time when we are trying to work for God, and that is where the trap is.  Profoundly speaking, we can never work for God.  Jesus is the Master Builder, and takes us over so that He may direct and control us completely for His enterprises and His building plans: no one has any right to demand where he will be put to work.
            Consider the cost of being a disciple today and follow Him.
  Many nations of the world seem to feel that the Great Commission is only for nations like the U.S., Britain, and a few others.  There has been a lot of interest, however, in Indonesia for foreign missions. The work of the Christian church in Indonesia in sending out missionaries has been noteworthy, but not without great difficulty. As you pray for the developing countries of the world, particularly Indonesia, pray for the difficult task of sending out their own missionaries.            Pray for the wonderful missionary organizations that are at work, that God will give them the resources and wisdom as they send out missionaries.
''If God sends us on stony paths, He will provide us with strong shoes."
Alexander Maclaren