Monday, March 12, 2012

Count the Cost and then Forget It

There is a cost involved in being a disciple of Jesus Christ. Jesus told us that we must count the cost of following Him. He knew that once we took His namesake many things would change. Many people have dealt with tremendous stress and persecution following Christ. I have known children who have been considered as dead by parents because their child wanted to live as a Christian. Young people face persecution from peers because they are, "Jesus Freaks". Some words from Jesus seem stern in regards to following Him. He told His followers that if they began to plow a field and stopped in the middle they weren't fit for discipleship. He told them that they should let the dead bury their dead and they should turn and follow Him. Pretty tough words coming from a gentle man. He knew what it would take to follow Him, in actions, not just words.

Once you and I count the cost, and make the commitment, to follow after, and model the life of Jesus Christ, we must forget about the cost. In the life of God-centered living this is not a contradiction. In fact it is the perfectly normal response. When the life of God through Jesus Christ is being lived out through me the cost doesn't really come into question. How much am I willing spend in energy, tears, prayer, caring, time, money to impact the world around me for the Kingdom of God. If it is really God's life in me, there is no maximum cost. One of my favorite hymns, by General Albert Orsborn, states, "My life must be Christ's broken bread, my love His outpoured wine. A cup ore filled, a table spread, beneath His name and sign. That other souls, refreshed and fed may share His life through mine."

History records a few followers of Christ who were shining examples of Transformational Loving, not counting the cost. Two deserve mention simply because we recognize their names so easily, Saint Francis and Mother Theresa. It is easy to recognize that they did not count the cost of displaying Transformational Love. Their entire lives are remembered as, Out Poured Wine and Broken Bread.

Today, when followers of Christ love in a way that is transformational, they do not consider the color of skin, the length of time a person in need has been without a bath, how the single pregnant girl found herself in need. Social status and pride nauseate God, especially from people who claim to be followers of His Son. Those who follow the Master recognize themselves in every person in need. In the quietness of their heart they confess their own need and unworthiness. Charles Sheldon's book, In His Steps, is a classic in respect to those who begin to take following Christ in transformational ways. Men and women begin asking hard questions in regards to their business dealings, social standing and prejudices. The very popular, WWJD, is taken directly from Sheldon's work.

Transformational Love can change the world. But it must begin with me.

1 comment:

  1. We must be willing to gave all to follow Christ . He does not want part of us but all of us . He does not want cold or luckwarm . He wants us hot and ready to do what ever He will tell us or send us .