(Part 2 of 2)
“So, likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”-Luke 14:33
Jesus does not mince words when it comes to the cost of true discipleship; following Him will cost you everything! Salvation is a gift from God, one that cost Him everything, but costs us nothing. However, following Jesus comes at a premium. This is precisely what Jesus told the disciples in Luke 18:26-30:
“And those who heard it said, “Who then can be saved?” But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” Then Peter said, “See, we have left all and followed You.” So He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.”
Nevertheless, how can we be sure that if we give up so much that we will gain eternal blessings? That’s what makes faith so risky. It forces us to answer the question: Is the benefit going to be greater than the sacrifice? That is the essence of risk.
Risk means to expose (someone or something of value) to danger, harm, or loss in anticipation of a greater return. Serving God is risky because it can cost us relationships, comfort, finances, lifestyle, and even our own lives. It costs more than a couple hours of your time, once a week, to attend church. It is more than sacrificing a couple bucks in the offering plate. Thats’ not risk.
Risk is believing without seeing. It is stepping out into the unknown. Risk is going without knowing the final destination. It is about sacrificing what I have to pursue what God has ahead for me. Jack Hyles once said:
“Faith is the willingness to risk anything for God.”
Christians around the world are being martyred for their faith in Christ while we get upset when someone is sitting in our seat at church. Compared to Christianity around the world our version is safe and comfortable. In fact, many churches have worked very hard eliminate any mention of risk from the messages that they preach; worried that preaching the cost of following Jesus will ultimately cost them members.
This is a gross injustice. Someday, when we are no longer protected by our religious freedoms; many will not have the fortitude to stand in the face of persecution because they were not taught that there is a cost to following Christ.
Following God isn’t safe! It is risky! There is a cost to following Jesus. Have you counted it? The reality is that we would have a lot less backslidden believers today, if more people would have count the cost of following Jesus before they started.
Pastor Scott Burr
Dayspring Community Church