Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

I can’t help but think that for years, many in this country viewed “getting saved” as something used on the path to Maslow’s Self-Actualization. Something like a box to be checked to truly experience the American dream and get what we want out of this life.

Maybe that’s why church membership is dropping and people mock Christianity. Christianity is not a group of people who say a specific set of words that cosmic forces must obey in order to secure an eternal resting place. It isn’t going to a church to see what the church can add to your life. It isn’t using God to give you material blessings and health.

“Ask Jesus into your heart and voila, you’re done.”
This ain’t it.

Christianity, rightly viewed, is loving Jesus so much that you are willing to step into the most vicious, consequential, and longest-running war in all creation. Deciding to obey the commands of Christ, which is what those who love him do; could be, and likely will be, the costliest decision any person can ever make.

Do not assume that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn ‘A man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. A man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ Anyone who loves his father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me; and anyone who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

Matthew 10:34-39

A sword is a weapon of warfare. Peace, even in your own home life, is not the goal of following Christ or even an assurance Jesus gives us. Rather, he was clear that we have to love him more than anything and lose our life for his sake if we are to truly find our own lives. You have to lose your life.

For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t sit down first and compute the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish the tower, all who see it will begin to make fun of him. They will say, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish!’ Or what king, going out to confront another king in battle, will not sit down first and determine whether he is able with 10,000 to oppose the one coming against him with 20,000? If he cannot succeed, he will send a representative while the other is still a long way off and ask for terms of peace. In the same way therefore not one of you can be my disciple if he does not renounce all his own possessions.

Luke 14:28-33

Want to make Christianity into a source of mockery? Don’t tell people what it truly costs. Get someone involved and proclaim them to be believers then watch as they return to their old ways or drop out. Tell them, “Ask Jesus into your heart and voila, you’re done.” This ain’t it.

Then, watch them “deconstruct” from a faith they never truly held because they weren’t ready, and they didn’t want to pay the true price of following Christ. He told us that even when we do well, we are to consider ourselves as worthless slaves. That’s a far cry from “God wants you to have your best life now” and other sorts of easy believism.

And what does it truly cost? A dedication to Jesus Christ that could, though it doesn’t always, cost you Every. Single. Thing. In your life. If it does, and if you are called to pay that price, you have to do it. If it does, I pray God grants you strength, comfort, and joy as you endure suffering for His glory!

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By Derek

Father of three. Married to my best friend. Follower of Jesus Christ. Love the outdoors.

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