Table of Contents
Support the Good work on this Blog Donate in $ God Bless you
GET FREE UPDDATE VIA EMAIL
Join 5,763 other subscribers
UNIT 4: Christian Discipleship
LESSON 15: OCTOBER 15, 2023.
TOPIC: THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP
Memory Verse: Matthew 10:39 – He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it (KJV).
Lesson Bible Text:
Luke 9:57-62; Matthew 10:34-39; 16:21-27.
INTRODUCING THE LESSON
The “cost of discipleship” means what it will take one to become Jesus’ disciple. Jesus taught that being His disciple comes at a cost.
To be His disciple requires a clear and total commitment and will involve sacrifice, suffering and service. When Jesus started recruiting His disciples, many initially are willing to follow the Lord, but fail to count the cost. Upon realizing the great sacrifice necessary to follow Him, many are unwilling to pay the price.
For anyone to embark on a project he or she must sit down to consider the cost of it. Likewise, we must consider the cost of following Jesus before we can follow Him. We must count the cost and be willing to pay the price in service to the Lord.
When we commit our entire lives to Jesus as His disciples, we emulate the One who laid down His life on our behalf for our salvation.
1. BE WHOLLY DEVOTED TO CHRIST
A. Noble Ambition – Luke 9:57-58
B. Divine Invitation – Luke 9:59-62.
2. LOVE GOD ABOVE ALL OTHERS
A. Sword Of Peace – Matthew 10:34-36
B. Ultimate Love – Matthew 10:37-39.
3. DENY YOURSELF AND FOLLOW CHRIST
A. Opposing Views – Matthew 16:21-23
B. Word Or Soul – Matthew 16:24-27.
1. BE WHOLLY DEVOTED TO CHRIST
From here we can see three people approach Jesus to be His disciples. The first person says, “I will follow you wherever you go.” But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but I, the Son of Man, have no home of my own, not even a place to lay my head.” Jesus made this man to know what is involved in following Him.
As believers, following Jesus is not just simply saying that you want to follow. It requires commitment and sacrifice. We must stop deceiving people with the idea that there is no commitment or sacrifice required to follow Jesus. Jesus warned this man that following Him is not easy. Following Jesus to wherever He goes is the best path for our life but it is not comfortable or convenient. Our comfort does not come before following Jesus.
Jesus said to the second person, “Follow me.” The man answered Jesus, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” The third person said to Jesus, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” Jesus replied him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Jesus’ response to His would-be followers shows that even the most basic “needs” must be sacrificed in order to follow Him. Being a Jesus-follower demands whole-heartedness and the willingness to sacrifice.
This aspect of the lesson call each of us to examine our hearts and discern whether we have Jesus’ values in view when we promise our devotion and service to Him.
Jesus shows us that God wants all people to respond to His invitation ie to follow Him without looking back.
2. LOVE GOD ABOVE ALL OTHERS
The concept of conflict is evident throughout the Scripture, from prophecy in Genesis that the woman’s seed would bruise the head of the Serpent (Genesis 3:15) until Revelation’s description of the final defeat of evil (Revelation 20:7-15). Enduring peace will not be a reality until the new heavens and the new earth (Revelation 21:1 through 22:6).
When Jesus says that He did not come to bring peace, but a sword, what He is saying is that a complete surrender of our lives to Him will oftentimes put us squarely in conflict with others–even those closest to us. We can see this clearly in the life of someone who might have repented in a family that has rejected Christ.
In this instance, the believer’s life must be in conflict with his or her family members. Many today have accepted their family decision over God’s call. For one to be called a follower of Christ, he or she must be rooted in Him above all else. As believers, our love for Him must be above any kind of love we can have for any of our family members.
There are countless stories of how faith in Christ often puts a person in a tense and precarious situation with family and friends. The humble turning to Christ of an individual often stirs the ire and anger of those closest to us that are not believers in Christ themselves. Though most of us may not experience rejection from family or friends, there is a definitive shift that often happens in relationships when a person makes a decision to make Jesus the most important person in their life.
There is no middle road to following Jesus. Following Jesus and doing things His way not only makes a Christian a peculiar sort of person, but also makes them an object of ridicule and rejection. A true believer in Christ must be willing to lose everything if it hinders their relationship with Christ. Truly, what does it profit you if you gain the whole world and lose your soul? Each moment, and each decision you make, has an eternal ripple effect. Are the decisions you are making in life honouring Christ or honouring yourself? The decision is yours, and the hardest and most important decision you will ever make, but it requires complete surrender to GOD.
3. DENY YOURSELF AND FOLLOW CHRIST
On Jesus’ final journey to Jerusalem with His disciples, He outlined what His enemies planned to do to Him. He said they would succeed in killing Him, then followed this announcement with the promise of His resurrection. But this good news appeared to make no impression on those closest to Him. This prompted Peter to rebuke Jesus privately. But Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me.
You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, and not from God’s.” Peter and other disciples had opposing views with Jesus. This is to tell us that human thought is always limited to God’s all-knowing ability. In following Jesus, human reasonings or thoughts may encourage us to give up or it is not possible to move with Him to the end. As believers, we must not allow human words to overshadow God’s words. Moving with Christ to the end may look difficult, but having His mind and by His grace, we will make it to the end.
Jesus went on to tell His disciples that if anyone should come to Him, that person must deny himself, take up his cross and follow Him. This is a powerful statement that we must understand and apply it in our lives as His disciples. What does it mean to deny self and taking up the cross? This means total surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Denying self does mean we can have the desires of our heart, we are to deny our own way of achieving them and trust the Lord to do it His way (Proverbs 16:7, Isaiah 55:8). Denying ourselves also means turning away from the ways of the “old self” and continually putting on our new self in Christ.
The cross represents pain, shame, agony, loneliness, and suffering. Choosing the cross is choosing a life that is not generally accepted by people. So, taking up our cross means sacrifice, laying everything on the altar. It’s not half-hearted commitment; it is full surrender to God’s terms of discipleship. It’s a choice to live out the truth that we are “crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20) even if it means shame, rejection, or persecution. As believers, our commitment must be stronger than any other inclination of individual life preservation.
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” The comparison here is between your life on this earth and your life in eternity. If you seek to keep your life here on earth by living for yourself rather than dying to yourself, then, you will lose it in eternity and vice versa.
We can see a biblical example of this from the story of the rich man and Lazarus. We “lose our lives” here on earth by living a Christ-like life. Note that your life here on earth is but a vapor. It will soon be past.
The life to come will last forever. If you want to save your life forever, lose it for the sake of Christ today. Be like Paul, who said, “I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself” (Acts 20:24). More importantly, there is nothing we can give in exchange for our soul. Our soul is non-negotiable for Christ–we live and die for Him alone. We must be faithful to our Master to the end because He will soon come in glory to reward every man according to his or her works.
Lesson Action Word
The cost of discipleship is the prerequisite to determine whether or not to follow Him. “And you cannot be my disciple if you do not carry your own cross and follow me” (Luke 14:27).
Lesson Prayer Point
Father, empower us to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow You, habitually, on a daily basis, in Jesus Matchless Name. Amen!
Remain blessed as you join us in our Sunday school both online and at any Assemblies Of God Church close to you as we study together under the Feet of the Master.
Share your contribution and as well ask your question from the lesson.