Sacrifice Hurts. There is a cost.

Many of us have heard that “Salvation is free”-

But I think it’s time for the people of God to clarify. Yes, Salvation will not cost you any money [initially – more on that later look for the **]. You do not have to send in $200 now for your miracle working prayer cloth because 1.) it doesn’t work that way and 2.) a “magical” cloth isn’t going to get you into heaven.

But salvation will cost you:

It may cost you friends.

It will definitely cost you your opinions. There’s no room for opinions where there is truth.

It will cost you your life – your plans, your desires…

Christ died for you so the least we can do is live for Him.

That’s what Paul says in Romans 12:1I admonish you dear friends, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” If you have a new life in Christ then yes, living for Him is the least you can do! We can never repay God for His act of love – Christ took the debt we owed to sin upon Himself, when He himself was sinless. Shouldn’t that motivate us to live for Him? It should and for true born again believers – it does…but to me it seems that this only happens to an extent.

For too many people living for Christ means going to church on Sundays and maybe for the more advanced it means trying to do the right thing Monday-Sunday but then clinging to the cliche “Nobody’s perfect” when they do trip up. And then they have the audacity to sing songs like “I surrender all” or “I give myself away so you can use me”. Do we have any idea of what these songs are asking of us? The sad part is we don’t. In this society too many people only want to know what Jesus can do for them. They want His hand and not His face. Too many “Christians” are interested in self and not in service.

“All my dreams/All my plans/Lord I place them in Your hands/…/My life is not my own/To You I belong/I give myself/I give myself/To You”

Slothfulness has come upon too many of us as Christians. We’ve become too busy and too distracted to really give ourselves to God. And yet that is what we are called to do.

The very word sacrifice means forfeiting something highly valued for the sake of something considered to have a greater value or claim. For some of us there are relationships that we just hold so dear to us and God is like “I need you to give them up to get where I want you to be.” For others of us it’s our sleep. God has been nudging you to wake up in the middle of the night so you can pray and intercede for others but because you need your sleep so much you fail to get up. For others still it will be missed opportunities great opportunities will arise and God will ask you to pass up on them for Him. There’s a cost.

When I took Microeconomics I swore I would never remember anything I learned in that class much less be able to relate it to my day to day life. How wrong I was. There’s a principle in Microeconomics that very much relates to my life and to the life of every believer in the Kingdom of God.  And that principle is opportunity cost.

Opportunity cost: 1.) The cost of an alternative that must be forgone in order to pursue a certain action 2.) The benefits you could have received by taking an alternative action 3.) The value of the next best choice that one gives up when making a decision

Hopefully one of the three definitions gives you an idea of how that principle works. I submit to you that Salvation isn’t free and that there is a cost and that the majority of that cost is wrapped up in “missed” opportunities. Jesus himself talks about the cost of being his disciple in Luke 14:25-33 in verses 27- 29 He says:

And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’

Then verse 33 says, “In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

You’re a Christian, so what? A lot of people throw that word around today! The question is are you a true disciple of Christ? So are you or are you only fronting like you are?

The cost in being a disciple of Christ is giving up everything. Paul says it like this in the book of Philippians count everything as dung, count it as nothing. People may be thinking: ‘Define everything? What exactly do I have to give up?’ And the answer to that is: any and everything that would cause you to compromise your obedience to Christ. When Jesus comes first, it doesn’t matter what He tells you to do you’ll do it. If he tells you to let go of certain relationships or to give up some sleep or to give the last bit of money** in your account to the missionary visiting your church then you do it. None of that “try” stuff either. If God says to do it, then do it, no trying involved.  Now this certainly doesn’t mean we should all just quit our day jobs but if God speaks to you clearly and tells you that, that is what you need to do then do it.

It sounds simple enough but we’ll get tripped up when we start looking at the opportunity cost. If God tells you to quit your job naturally you’re going to start thinking about the benefits you receive from that job mainly money and security. You will have to give that up for however long. Now which seems more logically, which is the safer alternative, the more logical one: Keep working at my job and have a steady income and financial stability and security or Quit my job and wait on the God I cannot see to give me further instructions. Yea unless you’re sure you’re hearing from God keeping your job seems like safer route. That’s just it. Faith doesn’t play it safe, it simply obeys what God says. How find that we could do what Abraham did. Up and leave everything and everyone familiar to us to follow the voice of God even though it means walking blindly?

“Cara where are you now?”

“I don’t know. I’m just following God.”

“Where to?”

“I don’t know somewhere He has for me.”

“You don’t know what direction!?!”

“Ugh you know I’m bad with directions! For all I know we could be going in circles but I’m following Him.”

“Well can you ask God where He’s taking you?”

“He said He’ll let me tell you when I get there.”

“Ugh.” :dial tone:

That would be frustrating right? But God is trying to do something with each and everyone of us that is going to require that kind of faith. It’s going to cost us our comfort zone and it might even cost us our reputation with those people we deem the coolest but God wants us to count the cost.

I can talk about it because I’m in it. I had to pass up on hanging out with Christian people for private time with the Lord and it hurt, especially because I don’t want them to look at me sideways like “Homie you doing the most right now”. Eh. God was also waking me up to pray and please believe that those first couple nights I was not having it and went right back to sleep until I realized that when I accepted Christ this is what I signed up for.  Doing whatever whenever as long as He says “Do it!”

He expects us to be finishers. Jesus did it. We can do it. Best of all His plan is greater than all we can fathom and though sometimes we are missing out on instant gratification nothing can compare to the reward in store for our obedience.

So although sacrifice hurts the hurt is only temporary and Christ is worth so much more than anything this world can offer us. Yes, although there is a cost now, it’s nothing to be compared with what God has in store for your let.

So quit being a mere mortal. Be like Jesus. Live obedient. Be totally submitted. Aaaaoooowww!

Grace & Peace

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