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Counting the Cost

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countingcostIt happened again late last night.

I spent hours taking someone through the Word, trying to demonstrate to this person how to be saved.

The person made significant progress in our study. She came to the realization that she wasn’t saved, and that she needed to repent and be baptized for the remission of her sins. We went into great detail about what the Bible says about faith – then repentance – then confession – then baptism – then living faithfully to Him.

But after a few hours, things started clicking in her mind. She started realizing the significance of saying “Jesus is Lord over my life.” She would have to make modifications to her lifestyle. Hard ones. She would have refrain from things she previously took pleasure in. She would have to give up people she loved.

At that point it was all over. She couldn’t do it.

I tried has hard as I could. I pleaded with her. “Think about eternity. What’s bigger than eternity? You’re on its doorstep. You’ve got to decide. Jesus is everything.”

For a moment I felt, at least in a very small way, what Jesus must have felt as He watched the rich young man walk away from Him (Mk. 10:22). The man wasn’t willing to make Jesus Lord over his life.

What is it that stops people from loving Jesus more than anything else?
…having to make changes to their entertainment choices?
…having to overcome sexual addictions?
…having to become active at church?
…having to change careers?
…having to remain “eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom” (Matt. 19:12)?
…having to give up a spouse to whom they have no right to remain married?

This time of year (Christmas), we hear the lyrics “peace on earth” a lot. Most people believe that’s what Jesus came to do – to bring peace to earth. They think He just came to heal a bunch of people, to set some religious hypocrites straight, and to bring peace and joy to the world.

…but He didn’t come for peace (Matt. 10:34). He came to seek and save the lost (Lk. 19:10). He came to release Satan’s captives (Lk. 4:18).

Making Jesus Lord of your life won’t always bring peace. Sometimes it will bring a sword (Matt. 10:34). Sometimes it will come at the cost of losing a loved one. Sometimes it will divide a family. Sometimes it will lose friends. Sometimes it will break your heart. Sometimes it will hurt unlike anything else.

Sometimes becoming a Christian will really mean “taking up your cross and following Him.”

But it’s worth it (Rom. 8:18; 2 Cor. 4:17).

What even comes close to comparing to the importance of being ready for eternity? If Jesus is Lord of your life, what else matters?


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