Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Cost of Discipleship

Dr. Ron Jacob
Long Island MTC, NY
26 He considered abuse suffered for the Christ to be greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to the reward.

School has ended for the students in the U.S. and many parents a trying to figure out creative ways to make sure the children’s’ time is spent productively this summer. My wife and I have chosen to send our daughter to swimming classes. During the first lesson, she was asked to stand on the edge of the pool and jump into the water. This week, while at the Diocesan Family Conference, I decided to take my daughter to the pool and do the same exercise. As she stood at the edge of the pool, she’d continuously asked whether I’d catch her so she wouldn’t be completely submerged in the water. I kept reassuring her and she kept acknowledging her faith in me, but her obedience to do what I asked was slightly delayed. She finally jumped in and just as promised; I made sure she was safe. 

We are in an era that promotes the “prosperity gospel” which tells us that our faith and obedience will lead to increased material wealth. However, acting on our Christian faith does not always ensure “safe” results as we see in the passage. In Hebrews, it tells us that there might be a cost to faith, obedience and discipleship and after “jumping in”, suffering might become a reality.

Whenever I read the passage of Moses being placed in the river by his faithful mother, I think of his sister who faithfully and obediently stood and watched as the basket with her brother was placed among the reeds. Their faith required them to potentially lose a son and brother. 

“By faith”, Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter which led to his loss of wealth and immense pleasures. Verses 35-38 describes faithful servants who were “tortured, mocked, flogged, chained, imprisoned, stoned, sawed in two, killed by sword, destitute, persecuted, tormented, wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.”

These heroes’ actions and faith is inspiring because it was before the revelation of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. They were all willing to suffer the costs of discipleship without experiencing the promise which WE now have. This reminds us that our eyes must be kept on the eternal, not the temporal. If the “heroes of faith” were able to live lives of faith and obedience to God without having ever experienced Christ, how much more should those of us who have experienced Christ live the faithful life?


Father, allow us to have full trust and faith in you to become disciples willing to accept any suffering we may have to endure. AMEN.

“He was “holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners,” yet He, “endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself,” and if we keep close to Christ we must expect to share His lot. Ours should be the prolonged echoes of the music of Christ’s life, “linked sweetness long drawn out.” – C.H.Spurgeon 

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