No Turning BackLuke 9:57-62Theme: Determinations and distractions.This week’s lessons warn us against the great enemies of discipleship.
LessonJesus told the educated Nicodemus that he must be “born again” (John 3:3, 7). If he was not, he could not even see the kingdom of God, much less enter it. Regeneration is from above. However, once the work of regeneration has taken place, the individual is no longer as he or she was. The person is now Christ’s man or woman. He or she is one who sees the kingdom and strives with every effort to enter it.
What is the character of those who put their hands to the plow and do not look back? It is the character of those who have an unquenchable thirst for righteousness and who will not turn back until their thirst is satisfied.
They are those who have a hunger for spiritual things. They can never seem to get enough of God’s word. It is their chief delight all the day.
They are sheep who were lost but who have now heard their shepherd’s voice and are comforted by no other.
They were blind, but they have been made to see. Their eyes are filled with visions of glory yet to come.
They are pilgrims whose eyes are on the heavenly city.
They are virgins whose lamps are carefully tended and filled to overflowing.
They are servants who are using the talents given by their master to the greatest effect. They do not bury them. They invest their assets in God’s service.
They are people who feed the hungry. They give drink to the thirsty, shelter to the stranger, clothes to the naked, care to the sick, and comfort to the one who is imprisoned.
They are branches who bear fruit,
Wells which do not run dry,
Runners who do not weary in the race.
They are servants whom the Lord finds watching when he returns. Study Questions

What place does God’s Word hold in the lives of true disciples?
By what behaviors is discipleship made evident?

ApplicationMake a list of all the characteristics of people who truly follow Jesus. Are they true of you? Review the list each day and pray that God would cultivate each of these traits in you.
PrayerOur Father, we thank you for the promises of Scripture, which encourage us in this great calling to follow Christ. We look to our own hearts, and we’re well aware of the weaknesses that are there. We see the excuses of those who failed to follow Jesus in his day, and we find an echo of those excuses in our hearts. But our Father, if we’ve heard the voice of the Good Shepherd calling those who are his sheep, what are these things – these empty, hollow echoings of the world? Our Father, our ears turn to that call. And we turn from all else to follow him. Father, grant that many might hear that call and follow after Jesus for all eternity in the power of him who gave himself for us. Amen and amen.

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