Psalm of the Day: Psalm 119:121-128
Wisdom of the Day: Job 41:1-17
Scripture Reading: Luke 9:57-62
The passage contains three short sayings to three different people. We know nothing of the names of those people. We know nothing of the effect which our Lord's words produced upon them. But we need not doubt that each was addressed in the way which his character required, and we may be sure that the passage is especially intended to promote self-inquiry.
The first of these sayings was addressed to one who offered to be a disciple unconditionally, and of his own accord. "Lord," said this man, "I will follow you wherever you go!" That offer sounded good. Thousands of people heard our Lord's sermons who never thought of saying what this man said. Yet he was evidently speaking without thought. He had never considered what discipleship meant. He had never counted the cost. And hence he needed the grave reply from Jesus which his offer called forth, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has no place to lay his head."
He must know what he was asking. He must not suppose that Christ's service was all pleasure and smooth sailing. Was he prepared for this? Was he ready to "Endure hardship like a good soldier of Christ Jesus?" (2 Timothy 2:3) If not, he had better withdraw his application to be a disciple.
Let us learn from our Lord's words. Whoever wants to be a disciple must carry the cross. They must count on being despised, and afflicted, and tried like their Master. Jesus would have no man enlisted on false pretenses. He would have it distinctly understood that there is a battle to be fought, and a race to be run, and a work to be done, and many hard things to be endured if we propose to follow Him. Jesus would not have us ignorant that we shall have deadly enemies, the world, the flesh, and the devil, and that many will hate us, slander us, and persecute us, if we become His disciples. He does not wish to discourage us, but He does wish us to know the truth.
Many a man begins a religious life, full of warmth and zeal, but by and bye loses all his first love, and turns back again to the world. Let us never forget this lesson. It need not make us afraid to begin serving Christ, but it ought to make us begin carefully, humbly, and with much prayer for grace. If we are not ready to take part in the afflictions of Christ, then we must never expect to share His glory.
Prayer for the Day: Dear Lord, please help me to count the costs of being a disciple.
Action Plan: Define biblically what it means to be a disciple. What does Christ want you to give up?
This devotional was taken from The Gospel of Luke by J.C. Ryle published in 1858
and adapted by Pastor Tim Lewis of New England Shores Baptist Church.