Following the Master

“Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.” —Matthew 19:21

AN INDISPENSABLE REQUIREMENT in the life of one who consecrates to follow the Master is a vital relationship to the mind of God—a relationship which establishes and maintains the strongest possible communion with the great source of spiritual power. This will necessitate insulation from the world, from its false lures of ambition, wealth and fame. The man of God will say with the apostle: “This one thing I do. … I press toward the mark.” (Phil. 3:13,14) The most potent of all testimonies is that of example. The Christian’s affections should be set on things above; he should have only one mind, the mind of Christ. (Col. 3:1,2; Phil. 2:5) His attitude should be like the Apostle Paul’s, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” (I Cor. 11:1) Foremost, he must be a follower of our Lord, and a fearless ambassador of the King of kings.

He who would follow the Master must have a vision. In Ezekiel 13:3 we find a reference to prophets who “have seen nothing.” The Prophet Isaiah received a vision of the future. Beholding the glory of God in that power which he is yet to reveal to all, he could say, “Here am I; send me” (Isa. 6:8), because, in pictorial representation he had seen the fulfillment of the great eternal purpose, the consummation of God’s plan. The inauguration of Christ’s reign will bring righteousness, truth, and love—based on Biblical promises which cannot fail.


Have we caught Isaiah’s vision, or that of Abraham, Ezekiel and Paul—all picturing an era when God shall make all things new by marvelous secrets of life opened up through Biblical instruction enlightening the mind? Have we caught a vision of the means God will employ to perform his work? Have we seen that God’s plan is the great secret of the Bible, and that our risen, exalted Lord is the seed of Abraham long foretold by the prophets? Do we realize that we may be of this seed, and may thus confer the greatest conceivable blessings on suffering mankind? (Gal. 3:29) If so, God has sent us a degree of truth that has come to but few, and we have cause for joy indeed, for we know “that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed” in those that follow the Master faithfully unto the end.—Rom. 8:18

The Christian should have great compassion on mankind in their sorrows and sufferings. He should have a broad outlook and see humanity as it is, for this will most accurately show him its needs. What does he want to do for the billions of souls who have lived on this planet? Regarding the Master, we are told that he pitied the multitude, for they were as “sheep not having a shepherd.” (Mark 6:34) As Jesus felt the burden of the world’s woes, so should his servants grow in love and understanding, and each will continue praying, “Thy kingdom come” (Matt. 6:10), endeavoring to be an example of the righteousness of that kingdom in his daily life.

In the Divine economy, nothing is lost in the lives of those who are faithful. Every tear, every pang, is for a purpose. The Christian should have comfort for sorrowing hearts, even “beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”—Isa. 61:3


We see mighty, irresistible, transforming forces at work, and the coming birth of a new era preceded by the birth pangs of the approaching time of trouble.—Matt. 24:6-8

Never since man was created have such questions arisen as confront the world today. All these the Christian should answer with the viewpoint of the Word of God. While he catches the true light and lets it shine, he can be assured that others will see his good works and glorify their Father which is in heaven—in due time.—Matt. 5:16

He who follows the Master puts truth first. It is his great guiding star of life. He never subordinates it to anything else. It is his most sacred possession; for is not love itself a part of truth? He studies the Bible, not to read into it products of his own imagination nor to pervert it and bring portions of the Scriptures into line with some pleasing theory; but he studies the Bible to find out what it has to say. His attitude toward it is truly humble and reverential. Before its mighty truths he feels as a little child. Often he prays for wisdom, and offers this beautiful prayer: “Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation.”—Ps. 25:5


The disciple of Jesus realizes how important is the exhortation of the apostle: “We ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.” (Heb. 2:1) The Christian’s wily foe, Satan, actively pursues the follower of Christ and tries gradually to lure his feet into forbidden paths. He masks them in the guise of truth, pretending to be the servant of God. He appears as an angel of light. (II Cor. 11:14) ‘New light’ is one of his lures. As a ‘fisherman’, he uses ‘bait’ which he dangles before the face of his intended victim. He knows well its powerful appeal. Thus stealthily he draws the gaze to some other head than the true Head, to some other teachings than that of the Word of the living God; and lo, the ‘fish’ is caught!

Before the Christian began to follow Jesus along the course of discipleship, the Master said to him, “Whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. … So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:27-33) This scripture emphasizes that the way is narrow and difficult.

To sacrifice all that he had was no easy thing for Jesus, nor was it easy for the apostles, nor has it been easy for anyone who has undertaken to follow the Master—from Pentecost to the present time. It is still true that the darkness hateth the light and will not come to the light lest its deeds should be reproved or discovered. (John 3:20, Marginal Translation) It is apparent that the Adversary of truth is still diligently “seeking whom he may devour.” (I Pet. 5:8) It is evident that we “walk by faith” and not by sight (II Cor. 5:7), and that we may need to take unto us the “whole armour of God” that we may be able to “withstand in the evil day, and, having done [Marginal Translation, ‘overcome’] all, to stand.”—Eph. 6:13

To be able ‘to withstand’, to hold our own, to maintain our position on the solid ground of truth to which we were called, will test our every power of endurance. The prince of darkness knows that certain ones have the truth, and he wants to take it away from them. He will, therefore, stop at nothing to accomplish his purpose, and will try to instill dissatisfaction and restlessness into the mind. He will endeavor to send us abroad into the realms that seem bright with promise, but which will eventually prove to be a delusion and a snare. To be able to hold our ground against all opposition means the possession of great qualities. It means to “endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” (II Tim. 2:3) It means a crystallized determination to succeed.

Following the Master not only consists of fighting foes within and without, of overcoming temptation, of keeping our all on the altar of sacrifice, but it also means what the apostle calls, “Joy unspeakable and full of glory.” (I Pet. 1:8) Who indeed can sing like the Christian:

“I’m happy, I’m happy! Oh wondrous account!
My joys are triumphant, I stand on the Mount!”

Dawn Bible Students Association
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