1) To believe is cheap and costs us nothing. But to follow Christ is costly, and He asks us first to consider the great cost.
2) I believe in Christ's work FOR me, but discipleship is the RESULT of His work IN us.
3)Believers consider themselves first, but disciples consider Christ first.
4) Believers (only) produce no perfect fruit, but disciples are known by their fruit.
5) Belief saves my soul, but discipleship glorifies Christ.
6) Believers (only) are not necessarily known as Christians, but disciples are known as Christians.
7) Believers go to heaven, but disciples are greatly rewarded there.—Selected.
One market day in their village, two Chwang tribesmen heard a colporteur preach the Gospel. Then he began to sell Gospels, promising blessing to those who not only read but obeyed the precepts contained therein. Both men purchased copies, and taking them home, they read along till they came to the statement, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." In their desire to obey the Word of God, they made two crosses of bamboo, and tied them on their backs. (The Chinese translation of the words, "Take up his cross," is "Bear his cross on his back.") They carried these crosses as they visited the market or went about the country, and then carefully hung them on the front of their houses when they were home. Seeing their earnestness of heart, God did not leave them long in the dark. Soon a Chinese worker discovered them, briefly explained the Gospel to them, and advised them to go to Liuchow for further instruction. They did so, and after a week of instruction returned to their village and began to witness for the Lord. Several months later they went back to Liuchow, requesting baptism and further instruction. We were glad to grant both their requests as they exhibited an earnestness seldom seen anywhere.—Alliance Weekly.
A young lady leaving for the mission field was sitting by a dear friend in the home church the Sunday evening previous. Suddenly, as if moved by a strong impulse, the friend took the young missionary's Bible and turned to John 10, and underscored part of the fourth verse: "And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them." How many times during the years that followed, in days of darkness and difficulty, that promise was a source of power and comfort. "The Lord . sent them .. . whither he himself would come."—Sunday School Times.
During the World War some Turkish soldiers tried to drive away a flock of sheep. It was on a hillside near Jerusalem. The shepherd who was sleeping was suddenly aroused to see them being driven off. But singlehanded he could not hope to recapture his flock by force. Suddenly he had a thought. Standing up on his side of the ravine he put his hands to his mouth and gave his own peculiar call which he used each day to gather his sheep to him. And his sheep heard it. For a moment they listened, and hearing it again they turned and rushed down one side of the ravine and up the other, and it was quite impossible for the men to stop them. So the shepherd was away with them to a place of safety before the soldiers could make up their minds to pursue them.—The King's Business.
Peter was told by the Lord to follow Him. Instead of responding, "Lord, by Thy grace I will," he seems to have been occupied with his fellow-disciple John. "Lord, and what shall this man do?" he inquired.
Answering him our Lord said, "What is that to thee?" And He added, making it more definitely personal, "Follow thou Me."
Let us not look upon others when we should be looking on our Lord.
Whatever the other man may be called to do, and whether he does it or not is not our business (though we should seek to help others by example and precept).
Our business is to follow our Lord for ourselves.—I. F., in Scattered Seed.
There is a sort of caterpillar called the "Processional Caterpillar," which walks in long lines, each one following closely the next in front. Now a certain man, Le Fabre by name, once saw a number of these marching round the moulding of a stone vase in his garden. He got some more of them and filled up the gap between the tail and the head of the procession, and watched to see what the caterpillars would do. They went on following each his neighbor in front; they walked round that vase for a week, and covered nearly a mile of distance. Don't be processional caterpillars, with your nose glued to your neighbor's back, and no thought as to where he is leading you, or whether he is worthy to be followed at all. Follow the Christ, the King.—Sunday at Home.
If Jesus Christ is a man,
And only a man, I say
That of all mankind I will cleave to him
And to him I will cleave alway.
But if Jesus Christ is a God,
And the only God, I swear
I will follow him through heaven and hell,
The earth, the sea, and the air.—Selected.
"The Lamb is my Shepherd! How foolish! How can a lamb be a shepherd?" The thought was flashed into mind as we read the words. But in fact the words were not there at all. A blur in our bifocals was responsible for it. The motto on the wall proved to be the opening lines of the Twenty-third Psalm. But perplexity turned to praise as we said half aloud, "The Lamb is my Shepherd." The glorious Gospel had been held up before us as another new gem. The Old Testament represents the Lord as our Shepherd and the New Testament from the Gospels to Revelation tells of the Lamb who is our Shepherd. The apostles and disciples beheld the Lamb and followed him. And John in his Patmos vision tells us that "the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them";—that is, shall be their shepherd. —A. S. Reitz, in Moody Monthly.
I Will Follow
I will follow Thee, my Saviour,
Wheresoe'er my lot may be,
Where Thou goest I will follow,
Yes, my Lord, I'll follow Thee.
Though the road be rough and thorny,
Trackless as the foaming sea,
Thou hast trod this way before me,
And I'll gladly follow Thee.
Though I meet with tribulation,
Sorely tempted though I be,
I remember Thou wast tempted,
And rejoice to follow Thee.—Selected.
A gentleman followed by a rough-looking dog got into a car in Edinburgh. The dog followed the car in the face of many obstacles. Soon after another dog came up, bent on a quarrel; afterward, another dog more determined; then a third, and a fourth. He took no notice, but continued to follow his master—only following and looking up. What a lesson he taught us! His one object was to follow his master, and this he did faithfully.—The Christian Endeavor World.