By Ron Thomas
It is a tragic thing to see that people who want to be Christian refuse to see embrace what the Lord said with regard to costs. The Lord is not interested in one’s money, or possessions; He is interested in the person. Has that individual, however, taken the same interest in the Lord? In Luke 14:25-27, the Lord is rather plain spoken about what is required of one who wants to enjoy the blessings of heaven. Each person must take up the cross of Jesus. This is NOT some vague notion of being a good person; no, it is hardly that.
Think about what it means to take up the cross of Jesus by thinking about what Jesus Himself did while He walked on this earth. Are you prepared to do that?
He was, first, committed to the Father’s will (John 17:4). This is a comprehensive plan for one’s life. That means that all other commitments are secondary and, in fact, there is no commitment like one’s commitment to the Father’s will. Second, this cost was an embracing of not only “what,” but the “why.” To become a Christian is to become a “what” (if you will); you have a new name. The “why” component gets to the depth of one’s knowledge, love and trust. When Abraham was declared righteous by God (Genesis 15:6), it was not because of a mere surface belief. It was a commitment to Him who held Abraham's very breath in the palms of His hands. Abraham well understood what he was doing, where is was being led (or going), and why he went that way. This is why he is called the “father of the faithful.” Third, it is not only a life-change for the one who has a clear understanding of the “why,” it is also a perspective on what is important in life.
If one’s desire and emotion is planted firmly in things of this world, then the Lord will not be the fruit produced in life. If one desires to plant two seeds in order to get the best of both worlds, then salvation is lost –and this applies especially to Christians!
- Ron Thomas preacher for the Sunrush Church of Christ, Chillicothe, OH. He may be contacted through the congregation's website.