Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 6, 2019

“No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 9:57-62.

“As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.”  And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”  And He said to another, “Follow Me.”  But he said, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.”  But He said to him, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.”  Another also said, “I will follow You, Lord;  but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.”  But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”  Luke 9:57-62.

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There is a cost of discipleship.  One must be devoted in order to follow Jesus.  One cannot “come and go” like so many people treat church.

“Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.  For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?”  Luke 14:27-28.

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may win.  Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things.  They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.”  1 Corinthians 9:24-25.

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 12:1-2.

“You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.  No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.”  2 Timothy 2:1-3.

“Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;  but one thing I do:  forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:13-14.

But, there is hope!

Whereas, other doctrine teaches that one can fall from grace, Reformed Doctrine teaches “Preservation of the Saints”, the “P” of “TULIP”, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

Consider the following from the Canons of Dordt in the section titled FIFTH HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of the Perseverance of the Saints.

Article 3.  By reason of these remains of indwelling sin, and the temptations of sin and of the world, those who are converted could not persevere in a state of grace, if left to their own strength.  But God is faithful, who having conferred grace, mercifully confirms, and powerfully preserves them herein, even to the end.

Article 9.  Of this preservation of the elect to salvation, and of their perseverance in the faith, true believers for themselves may and ought to obtain assurance according to the measure of their faith, whereby they arrive at the certain persuasion, that they ever will continue true and living members of the church;  and that they experience forgiveness of sins, and will at last inherit eternal life.

“Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude;  and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you;  however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.”  Philippians 3:15-16.

“Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching;  persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.”  1 Timothy 4:16.

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely;  and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.”  1 Thessalonians 5:23-24.

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever.  Amen.”  Jude 1:24-25.


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