Inside Story: The carpenter’s Tools: An Allegory
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Some tools lived together in a carpenter’s shop. They were having some problems getting along, and some complained that others were not doing their share of work. They met to discuss their issues.

The Hammer spoke first, for he served as the chairman. “Brother Drill,” he began, “you and your family are so noisy. And you seem to spin in circles, but go nowhere.”

The Drill quickly spoke up. “It’s true that I go around in circles, and my work makes noise. [...]

Friday: Further Study: The Cost of Discipleship
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studymore

Further Study: Ellen G. White, In the Regions Beyond, pp. 219, 220; Berea and Athens, pp. 241, 242; in The Acts of the Apostles.

Fire comes down from God out of heaven. The earth is broken up. The weapons concealed in its depths are drawn forth. Devouring flames burst from every yawning chasm. The very rocks are on fire. The day has come that shall burn as an oven. The elements melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works [...]

Thursday: A Better Resurrection
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Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Read Hebrews 11:32-12:4. What do these verses say to you, personally, about the cost and the reward of discipleship?

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What a powerful concept this passage reveals, especially in the verse that says: Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection (Heb. 11:35, NKJV).

In a sense, being both a disciple and disciple-maker can be boiled down to one thing: a better resurrection. We [...]

Wednesday: Comparing Costs
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Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

Corporations explore the viability of proposed projects through cost-benefit analysis. Do specific proposals contain the ingredients necessary for bringing successful returns on investments? Does benefit outweigh outlay? Another frequently used measurement is durability. Does the proposal offer sustainable returns?

Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

The rewards of discipleship may likewise be measured through comparison with costs. Those costs may include emotional suffering, social rejection, physical torture, financial deprivation, imprisonment, and death itself. Everyone who undertakes discipleship should first consider carefully [...]

Tuesday: Disciplined Response
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Analyze the following passages: Luke 14:31-33, 1 Cor. 9:24-27, Heb. 12:1-4, 2 Pet. 1:5-11. What are these texts telling us about the life of a disciple? How have you, yourself, experienced the reality of what the Bible tells us here?

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The cost of discipleship involves discipline. Every impulse, every imagination, every ambition, and every desire must be submitted to Christ. Every possession, physical or invisible, every talent and ability, and everything of value must be [...]

Monday: Bearing Our Cross
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple (Luke 14:27).

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Discipleship means accepting Christ as Savior and Lord. Following Jesus means that you are ready to undergo the same suffering that Christ did. Thus, we must be honest in the way in which we present our message. Certainly the glorious truths of righteousness by faith, Christ’s forgiveness, Jesus’ imminent return, heaven’s incomparable wonders, and God’s unmerited grace should [...]

Sunday: Calculating Cost: First Priority
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Study Luke 12:49-53; 14:25-26; Matthew 10:37. In what way are we to understand these strong words? What is Jesus telling us here?

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

Modern television newscasters would have concocted a prominent scandal from these words. Today, celebrated religious leader Jesus of Nazareth advocated familial hatred during His afternoon address. Analysts are comparing these current pronouncements with previously released statements that promoted loving relationships with neighbors and enemies. Informed commentators wonder if this indicates recent policy shifts. [...]

Sabbath: The cost of Discipleship
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gless13

Read for This Week’s Study: Luke 12:49-53; Deut. 21:15; 1 Cor. 9:24-27; Matt. 18:8-9; John 14:1-3; Heb. 11:32-12:4.

Memory Text: Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:7, ESV)

Throughout history, nameless millions willingly sacrificed their lives for Christ. They were imprisoned, tortured, even executed. Millions have foregone employment, suffered ridicule, endured expulsion from family, and persevered through religious persecution rather than forsake Christ. [...]

Inside Story: Don’t Be Ashamed
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“If you insist on joining another church, you will no longer live with me,” my auntie told me firmly.

After my parents died, my brother and I lived with our aunt. She had sent us to an Adventist school so we’d have a Christian education. But she didn’t expect me to become an Adventist. I tried to explain that I was following God’s command. But she said, “Not as long as you live in my house!”

When I told the Bible teacher [...]

Friday: Further Study: The Harvest and the Harvesters
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studymore

Further Study: Read Ellen G. White, The Last Journey From Galilee, pp. 488-496; Who is the Greatest? pp. 436-440; in The Desire of Ages. The Training of the Twelve, pp. 17-24; The Great Commission, pp. 25-34; Pentecost, pp. 35-46; The Gift of the Spirit, pp. 47-56; in The Acts of the Apostles.

The disciples felt their spiritual need and cried to the Lord for the holy unction that was to fit them for the work of soul saving. They did not [...]