DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY – THE COST OF COMMITMENT. # 1.
You must get involved to have an impact. No one is impressed with the won-lost record of the referee. - John H. Holcomb.
Large crowds were travelling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, even life itself, such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. - Luke 14:25-27. TNIV
The Bohemian reformer John Hus was a man who believed the Scriptures to be the infallible and supreme authority in all matters. He died at the stake for that belief in Constance, Germany, on his forty-second birthday. As he refused a final plea to renounce his faith, Hus's last words were, "What I taught with my lips, I seal with my blood." - Source Unknown.
Jesus Calls On Us To Make Him First.
When Jesus looked at His disciples, He always saw the potential rather than their current condition. And when He looks at us, He sees in the same manner, otherwise none of us would have a chance. At the time we come to Him, there is little in us to recommend us to the world, much less to God.
We have to be taught to look at what could be, rather than what is, and so our commitment to Him becomes very important for our future.
Our passage of scripture is sometimes difficult to understand, so I will try and explain it simply. Jesus must be supreme in everything; He must come before anything in our lives. Any thing that comes between us and Jesus, must be despised, if this means our families that are not in Christ, then so be it. Jesus must be supremely loved or He is not loved at all.
Many years ago, when Jean and I were just saved, we used to visit my sister Margaret and her husband Charlie every Sunday after Church, and my sister would always ask the question, “How was Church today?” and of course we would tell of what happened in our service, especially where our children were involved.
This became a sort of ritual, and after a few months, my brother-in-law got very upset, and told us if we were going to speak about Jesus again, we were not welcome in their house. We couldn’t accept this and so we left. This caused a considerable amount of pain to us, our children and my sister, but we committed them to prayer every day, and got on with our lives in Christ..
After some years had passed, my sister started coming to our Church, to hear me preach, and not long after accepted Jesus as her Lord and Saviour, at one of our evening services. It was still a difficult time for us, as we were not allowed in their house, but we rejoiced in her decision, and kept praying for Charlie.
A few months after this, he came to Church one evening with my sister and sat at the back. After the sermon I gave an invitation for Salvation, a few people came forward, and as I closed my eyes and started praying for others to come, I heard a commotion, I looked up and there was Charlie standing there weeping, as he gave his life to Christ.
What a night that was, as all was forgiven, and forgotten. They are both with the Lord now, but even writing this, there is a joy deep down in my heart. We took a stand for Him against our unbelieving family members, and He blessed us with great joy after our pain and suffering. Hallelujah! What a mighty God we serve!
We are called on to take up our own cross… And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. - Luke 9:27.
Matthew Henry says…We often meet with crosses in the way of duty; and though we must not pull them upon our own heads, yet, when they are laid for us, we must take them up, and carry them after Christ. It is well or ill with us, according as it is well or ill with our souls. The body cannot be happy, if the soul be miserable in the other world; but the soul may be happy, though the body is greatly afflicted and oppressed in this world. We must never be ashamed of Christ and his gospel.
We must follow Christ… My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one." - John 10:27-30.
A missionary society wrote to David Livingstone and asked, "Have you found a good road to where you are? If so, we want to know how to send other men to join you." Livingstone wrote back, "If you have men who will come only if they know there is a good road, I don't want them. I want men who will come if there is no road at all." - Good News Broadcaster.
TO BE COMMITTED MEANS TO DESPISE ANYTHING THAT WOULD COME BETWEEN US AND JESUS, AND TO TAKE UP OUR CROSS AND FOLLOW HIM.
Loving Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to despise every thing that would come between me and my Lord Jesus. Grant me your power to take up my cross, and follow Him. I ask this in the wonderful and majestic Name of Jesus. Amen.