Earl Marlatt, 1892-1976

But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.
Matthew 20:22

The mission for each Christian is to proclaim and live the good news of the Gospel and to urge individuals everywhere to be converted--to experience a personal reconciliation and relationship with God. This persuasion must always be done with openness and honesty. In our desire to have people make a decision for Christ, we must always be forthright with them. We cannot conceal the cost of discipleship involved in receiving God's provision of salvation. And we must tell them of the importance of giving Jesus Christ His rightful place in every area of life and of becoming an active member of the believing community.

Earl Marlatt, a professor of religion at Boston University and later at Southern Methodist University, wrote this text in 1925 for a consecration service at the Boston University School of Religious Education. It was based on Christ's pointed question to His disciples in Matthew 20:22, "...Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of...?"

"We are able," they answered The hymn was originally titled "Challenge". And still today, as in generations past, "heroic spirits answer, 'Lord, we are able!'"

"Are ye able," said the Master,
"To be crucified with Me?"
"Yea," the sturdy dreamers answered,
"To the death we follow Thee."

Are you able to relinquish
Purple dreams of power and fame,
To go down into the Garden,
Or to die a death of shame?

Are ye able, when the anguish
Racks your mind and heart with pain,
To forgive the souls who wrong you,
Who would make your striving vain?

Are ye able to remember,
When a thief lifts up his eyes,
That his pardoned soul is worthy
Of a place in paradise?

Are ye able when the shadows
Close around you with the sod,
To believe that spirit triumphs,
To commend your soul to God?

Are ye able? Still the Master
Whispers down eternity,
And heroic spirits answer,
Now as then in Galilee:

Lord, we are able. Our spirits are Thine.
Remold them, make us, like Thee, divine.
A beacon to God, to love and loyalty.

*For Today*: Matthew 20:20-28; Mark 10:35-40; Luke 14:27, 23:39-43

Are we sometimes at fault for giving the illusion to non-Christians that becoming a follower of Christ is the end of all of life's difficulties? Should we not tell them about the cost of life-long discipleship? Seek to engage someone in conversation about the characteristics of true Christianity.

Music url: The Cyber Hymnal

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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