The Call To Discipleship

When Christ called His disciples to follow Him, He offered them no flattering prospects in this life.  He gave them no promise of gain or worldly honor, nor did they make any stipulation as to what they should receive.  To Matthew as he sat at the receipt of custom, the Saviour said, “Follow Me.  And he left all, rose up, and followed Him.”  Luke 5:27, 28 Matthew did not, before rendering service, wait to demand a certain salary equal to the amount received in his former occupation. Without question or hesitation he followed Jesus.  It was enough for him that he was to be with the Saviour, that he might hear His words and unite with Him in His work.

So it was with the disciples previously called.  When Jesus bade Peter and his companions follow Him, immediately they left their boats and nets. Some of these disciples had friends dependent on them for support; but when they received the Saviour’s invitation they did not hesitate and inquire, “How shall I live and sustain my family?” They were obedient to the call; and when afterward Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye anything?” they could answer, “Nothing.”  Luke 22:35

Today the Saviour calls us, as He called Matthew and John and Peter, to His work.  If our hearts are touched by His love, the question of compensation will not be uppermost in our minds. We shall rejoice to be co-workers with Christ, and we shall not fear to trust His care. If we make God our strength we shall have clear perceptions of duty, unselfish aspirations; our life will be actuated by a noble purpose which will raise us above sordid motives.

E. G. White, The Ministry Of Healing, pp. 479, 480

The Lord is waiting to manifest through His people His grace and power. But He requires that those who engage in His service shall keep their minds ever directed to Him.  Every day they should have time for reading the word of God and for prayer…

Individually we are to walk and talk with God; then the sacred influence of the gospel of Christ in all its preciousness will appear in our lives…

It is our own character and experience that determine our influence upon others.  In order to convince others of the power of Christ’s grace, we must know its power in our own hearts and lives.  The gospel we present for the saving of souls must be the gospel by which our own souls are saved.  Only through a living faith in Christ as a personal Saviour is it possible to make our influence felt in a skeptical world.  If we would draw sinners out of the swift-running current, our own feet must be firmly set upon the Rock, Christ Jesus.

The badge of Christianity is not an outward sign, not the wearing of a cross or a crown, but it is that which reveals the union of man with God. By the power of His grace manifested in the transformation of character the world is to be convinced that God has sent His Son as its Redeemer. No other influence that can surround the human soul has such power as the influence of an unselfish life.  The strongest argument in favor of the gospel is a loving and lovable Christian.

E. G. White, God’s Amazing Grace, p. 276

The Lord is calling upon His people to take up different lines of missionary work.  Those in the highways and hedges are to hear the saving gospel message.  Church members are to do evangelistic work in the homes of those of their friends and neighbors who have not yet received full evidence of the truth…

Let those who take up this work make the life of Christ their constant study.  Let them be intensely in earnest, using every capability in the Lord’s service.  Precious results will follow sincere, unselfish effort. From the great Teacher the workers will receive the highest of all education.

E. G. White, Reflecting Christ, p. 202

The disciples were not to wait for the people to come to them. They were to go to the people, hunting for sinners as a shepherd hunts for lost sheep.  Christ opened the world before them as their field of labor.  They were to go “into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15  It was of the Saviour that they were to preach, of His life of unselfish service, His death of shame, His unparalleled, unchanging love. His name was to be their watchword, their band of union.  In His name they were to subdue the strongholds of sin.  Faith in His name was to mark them as Christians.

E. G. White, Testimonies For The Church, vol. 8, pp. 14, 15

The commission that Christ gave to the disciples, they fulfilled. As these messengers of the cross went forth to proclaim the gospel, there was such a revelation of the glory of God as had never before been witnessed by mortal man.  By the cooperation of the divine Spirit, the apostles did a work that shook the world.  To every nation was the gospel carried in a single generation.

Glorious were the results that attended the ministry of the chosen apostles of Christ.  At the beginning of their ministry some of them were unlearned men, but their consecration to the cause of their Master was unreserved, and under His instruction they gained a preparation for the great work committed to them.  Grace and truth reigned in their hearts, inspiring their motives and controlling their actions.  Their lives were hid with Christ in God, and self was lost sight of, submerged in the depths of infinite love… Jesus Christ, the wisdom and power of God, was the theme of every discourse… As they proclaimed the completeness of Christ, the risen Saviour, their words moved hearts, and men and women were won to the gospel.  Multitudes who had reviled the Saviour’s name and despised His power, now confessed themselves disciples of the Crucified.

Not in their own power did the apostles accomplish their mission, but in the power of the living God… The consciousness of the responsibility resting on them purified and enriched their experience; and the grace of heaven was revealed in the conquests they achieved for Christ.  With the might of omnipotence God worked through them to make the gospel triumphant.

As Christ sent forth His disciples, so today He sends forth the members of His church.  The same power that the apostles had is for them.  If they will make God their strength, He will work with them, and they shall not labor in vain.  Let them realize that the work in which they are engaged is one upon which the Lord has placed His signet… He bids us go forth to speak the words He gives us, feeling His holy touch upon our lips.

E. G. White, God’s Amazing Grace, p. 275

We need a power to come upon us now and stir us up to diligence and earnest faith.  Then, baptized with the Holy Spirit, we shall have Christ formed within, the hope of glory.  Then we will exhibit Christ as the divine object of our faith and our love. We will talk of Christ, we will pray to Christ and about Christ.  We will praise His holy name.  We will present before the people His miracles, His self-denial, His self-sacrifice, His sufferings, and His crucifixion, His resurrection and triumphant ascension.  These are the inspiring themes of the gospel, to awaken love and intense fervor in every heart.  Here are the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, a fountain inexhaustible. The more you seek of this experience, the greater will be the value of your life.

E. G. White, Selected Messages,  book 3, pp. 186, 187


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