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?
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 under Christ’s command. What we don’t surrender to Him can, and inevitably will, become an idol, with the potential to lead us astray.
Christ indeed offers us the power to overcome our character defects. Every appetite, emotion, and intellectual inclination can be under the guidance of His Spirit.
Notice the athletic example that Paul used in some of the texts for today. No athlete conspires to run slower, jump lower, or throw shorter. No believer should look backwards either, especially when that which is at stake in the
race is something that’s eternal, as opposed to whatever prize an earthly runner might win as a result of all his or her diligent effort and training.
The runners put aside every indulgence that would tend to weaken the physical powers, and by severe and continuous discipline trained their muscles to strength and endurance, that when the day of the contest should arrive, they might put the heaviest tax upon their powers. How much more important that the Christian, whose eternal interests are at stake, bring appetite and passion under subjection to reason and the will of God! Never must he allow his attention to be diverted by amusements, luxuries, or ease. All his habits and passions must be brought under the strictest discipline. Reason, enlightened by the teachings of God’s word and guided by His Spirit, must hold the reins of control.-Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 311.