I would encourage you to read all of Luke chapter 14 before reading this entry, that is the context of what I will write about. Luke 14: 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Are there really costs? What is bearing a cross? What does being a christian look like today? All good questions that need good answers. Did you ever think that when you were contemplating becoming a christian, that there would be prices to pay. The REAL question is that, since becoming a christian, have you had any costs??? When I ponder the gospels and the life of Christ and then the lives of men such as Paul, Peter, and Stephen, I am amazed at how costly being a christian was for them. In Christ's ministry, it seems he was always at odds with just about everyone he came in contact with. I never remember him saying things like "let's just agree to disagree" or "let's just try to get along". Being in uncomfortable situations was very common for him. He disagreed mostly with people in higher positions and levels of society. Can you imagine for one minute telling someone like Pontius Pilate that he had "No power except what my father gives you!" Contrast for a minute Peter when on the night of the crucifixion, when he denied Christ. Oh how he regretted that! It certainly may have cost him something to admit his friendship with our Lord at that moment...and he knew it! Stephen's powerful sermon was what I once read to my children. They were so excited and amazed that someone could be Soooo bold! "Which of the prophets did you fathers' not persecute!"...and you know he was YELLING!!! "I can't wait until we read some more of his sermons," my children exclaimed. Sadly, I had to explain to them the high price tag of that sermon that day...his ONLY ONE! What if today, the only way to tell if you had a good preacher at your church was how many times you and everyone else had thrown rocks at him during his sermons. You could brag to your friends..."Our pastor was hospitalized again sunday afternoon but it seems that many lives were changed!" I don't mean to sound sarcastic, but in this day, forgiveness and grace are soothingly applied as the crowd is lulled into a life of endless comfort. I wonder how much "good" this really does the average church-goer. In this passage, Christ encourages you, as a christian, to "hate your father, mother, wife, children and friends" otherwise, you cannot be his disciple (Luke 14:26). Have you done that as a christian. By saying that, I mean, have you had the nerve to say when something is not right scripturally in your family. Or confront a friend with whether or not his/her decisions are Christ edifying? Or discuss openly with someone what living worldly may look like and what cost(s) may actually be associated with that/those choice(s)? I did that a few times in recent years. It was very expensive and gut-wrenching but alas...No rocks! I would encourage you to read verse 33 and realize that by "forsaking ALL that you have" you should be putting something "AT RISK" in your daily life, where the Gospel is concerned. Any memorable person in history put something at risk...mostly for selfish motives or ambition...but you remember them nonetheless! Will people remember you? Better yet, will HE remember you? I encourage and challenge you: Be BOLD and live a SALTY LIFE!! --Greg D.
Most Welcome Brother Greg. Thanks for sharing your first blog. Do enjoy your time here. Continue to share and I look forward to your future blogs.
From Hwa Silverpen