All who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. - 2 Timothy 3:12
Sometimes we find ourselves between a rock and a hard place, forced to ask a crucial question: Will I do what I know to be right or will I do what is comfortable and expedient? In this type of situation something’s got to give. On the one hand, if we choose to do what is right it may require us to sacrifice being comfortable and it may entail our being thoroughly inconvenienced. On the other hand, if we choose to only do what seems to make us comfortable and costs us nothing, we may find ourselves giving in to moral compromise, yielding to guilt and eschewing personal integrity. Daily, weekly, and monthly we find ourselves in similar predicaments and it is no different whenever we decide that we’re going to follow Jesus.
Following Jesus is perhaps one of the most costly and inconvenient decisions one can make. It is, however, the only decision which can culminate in abundant and everlasting life. The apostle Paul was someone who decided to follow Jesus and experienced much persecution as a result. The early church understood that deciding to follow Jesus would probably mean giving up their lives here on planet earth to do so. It seems today that the Gospel presented to many folks is somewhat truncated, often only emphasizing the benefits that come with a decision to receive Christ as Savior of their souls. Jesus is the Savior, indeed, but he is also the risen Lord of Glory.
Every privilege has a price. The privilege of becoming a son and daughter of the Most High carries with it the price tag of being associated with and living for/with a new family, a spiritual family. Joining this new family carries with it new rights, responsibilities, and priorities. It entails taking on new habits, rhythms, practices and character. Putting on the character of Christ will inevitably be countercultural, opening the door for external resistance and persecution. This is simply part of the price that comes with the privilege of being a child of God. We have to understand that the principles and values of this world are not the principles and values of God or of His Kingdom. Answering the “call” to follow after Jesus means surrendering all to that call.
Question of the Day
Do I want to follow Jesus more than I want to be comfortable?