Cost Of Discipleship, Part Two

Steve Arterburn

Yesterday I spoke about Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the difference between what he called ‘cheap and costly grace.’ Unlike Bonhoeffer, most of us probably won’t be called to martyrdom. But all of us are called to lay down our lives as living sacrifices in response to the grace given to us by our living God. All of us, in other words, are called to acknowledge that there’s a cost to Christian discipleship.

  • It costs very little to attend church, join a men’s group, or go to a conference for Christian men. But it costs a great deal to come home and remain committed to following Christ when it means loving your family sacrificially.

 

  • It costs very little to avoid pornographic magazines, videos and websites. But it costs much more to submit your mind and eyes to purity on a moment-by-moment basis.
  • It costs something to send your children to Christian schools to be taught from a Christian world view. But it costs a lot more to live by example before your children’to shepherd their hearts with wisdom, consistency, strength, and compassion.
  • It costs something to insist that your kids dress modestly. But it costs a lot more to help them to think and act modestly — with humility of spirit.

So, Christian man’husband’dad’where do you stand? Are you comfortable? Have you made too much peace with sin? If so, I challenge you to think about the cost of Christian discipleship, and be willing to spend what it takes to be a true disciple.     

Vegas In The Middle East

Steve Arterburn

Take gambling-obsessed Las Vegas, drug-crazed Amsterdam, and the super-sexed red-light district of Bangkok. Now roll them together. That approximates the reputation of Sodom and Gomorrah.

 

God decided to take action against these cities. Abraham pleaded with God to halt His judgment so long as fifty righteous men could be found in them. At the end of Abraham’s pleas, the number was reduced to ten.

 

But Abraham was overly optimistic in hoping that ten righteous men could be found there. When God sent two angels to inspect Sodom, Abraham’s nephew Lot asked them to stay in his house for the night. What happened? In one of the Bible’s most grisly scenes, a rowdy gang of men gathered outside Lot’s house demanding that the guests be sent out so they could have their way with them. That’s where we get the term sodomy.

 

God’s patience was exhausted. He displayed His holiness and righteous judgment by destroying Sodom and Gomorrah. But in His mercy, God allowed Lot and his family to escape judgment by leaving this horrible place. Yet, they were reluctant to leave!–

 

Men, Lot had grown accustomed to his evil surroundings. He’d learned to feel at home there. Can you relate? You’re called to live in this world, and it’s an evil world. The solution isn’t to search for paradise on earth. Only the coming of God’s kingdom will bring this. But at the same time, beware: don’t let this world make it’s home in your heart.