Read Matthew 16:24-28 and Philippians 3:4-11 to learn the cost and reward of following Jesus.
To get something, we often have to give something. What do you need to give to Jesus? What will you get in return?
Friends of mine are acquainted with a media leader. He invited them to appear on his television show to talk about a family tragedy, and he was so impressed by their faith in Christ that he invited them back.
When I asked my friends about their experience, they said that the news anchor seemed to be in awe of their faith. He marveled at how they had survived—and even thrived—through an ordeal that would have ruined many families. But when they suggested that he could enjoy a similar, sustaining relationship with Jesus, he replied that such faith was not for him, because he was “spiritual, but not religious.”
Or maybe he just has too much to lose. It’s difficult to give your life to Jesus if it means putting a lucrative career in jeopardy. The man knows that his conversion would make news and could cost him tens of millions of dollars in annual income and the fame and influence he has worked his entire life to achieve.
This cultural leader seems like King Agrippa, who—though impressed by the testimony of Paul—refused to convert on the spot. It seems he knew that Paul’s story was true (Acts 26:26), but a man in his position could not be seen considering a conversion to Christ. So when Paul told him that he knew he believed the gospel, Agrippa blurted out that he would need more time. He was a “spiritual” king, he knew of the prophets (Acts 26:3), but he wasn’t ready to become “religious.” He wasn’t ready to be a follower of Jesus (Acts 26:27-28).
What position, relationship, or status prevents you from wholeheartedly giving yourself to Jesus? When you count the cost of following Him, don’t merely tally up what you stand to lose from obeying Jesus, but also count what you will lose if you don’t.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Luke 18:1-14
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