Sunday, March 25, 2012

It Costs to Follow Jesus…………..

“Once Jesus and those who were with him were walking along the road. A man said to Jesus, "I will follow you no matter where you go."

 Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes. Birds of the air have nests. But the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."

 He said to another man, "Follow me."

But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."

 Jesus said to him, "Let dead people bury their own dead. You go and tell others about God's kingdom."

 Still another man said, "I will follow you, Lord. But first let me go back and say good-by to my family."

 Jesus replied, "Suppose you start to plow and then look back. If you do, you are not fit for service in God's kingdom."  Luke 9:57-62 NIRV

We have a calling to follow Jesus.  

Following Jesus is a life call.

It is the call to each one of us!

We must not let comforts, convenience, fleshly desires, emotions or our choices distract us from our devotion to Jesus.   Most of us do not know what it means to follow Jesus.  Once we do, then our whole lives will change and those around us will want to know more about Jesus.  Without this life commitment, you stand at odds with Jesus.

Jesus has a whole new life mapped out for His disciples. You need to closely follow Him to be on that path. Comforts, convenience, emotions, fleshly desires and preserving our life choices always get in the way of following Jesus.

Do you renege on your love for God?   

The Kingdom of God is comprised of Jesus’ disciples. This is the group of people who stand ready to unquestionably live out God’s commands.

The requirement for discipleship is that we must put Christ above self.   Specifically, the stipulation is to bear one’s own cross, a requirement that pictures the crucifixion.  In fact, a crucifixion victim carried his own cross beam to the place of death.  

 Discipleship is not a picnic.  Yet if anyone does not put Jesus above any cost, Jesus said he or she cannot be His disciple.  We count the cost of following Jesus when we place… Christ above any price!

Rumors of the execution of Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani were leaked out after a source close to one of his lawyer’s contacted international media, informing them that a lower court had signed Nadarkhani’s execution papers and that his death sentence would be carried out soon, sources told Compass Direct News.

 Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani is facing execution in Iran.  His crimes?  He is an apostate who abandoned Islam.  He was convicted of practicing Christianity, trying to register home churches, and the mandatory Islamic religious education of his children.  

The pastor was given an option.  Recant his faith and he can live.  His faith is his life.  He refused.   He is condemned to be lynched.

Persecution, even martyrdom, has been the cost of discipleship for Christians down through the centuries.  In many lands believers still suffer imprisonment and death for their uncompromising devotion to their Savior.  Even in nations that supposedly have religious freedom, as Iran claims to have, a person with a bold witness for the Lord may become the target of ridicule or more.

In what areas of your life are you struggling with choosing comfort over what God is calling you to do?

What specific steps of faith and sacrifice is He calling you to take?

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