I am that person who loves a bargain. I enjoy bartering and bargaining for the lowest price and best deal in town. Randy sends me in as the “closer” on any car purchase we make. He says I have the gift to make it happen. The first time I went to Tijuana, Mexico, I was introduced to street bargaining. Every vendor asked a high price knowing and hoping to get half of what they were asking. Back and forth bidding was fun for me. I came away with eight Mexican blankets for family members. Who won here? I don’t think it was me! (Smiling)
Jesus is very clear and precise about following Him. There is a cost, but what isn’t in this world? There is always a high cost to be led by sin into a destructive lifestyle that maims or destroys you and your family in many ways. Following Jesus is taking a path less traveled which leads to eternal life. To follow is hard but the reward is so great we cannot even imagine all of it. (See Revelation, the book at the end of the Bible!) Leaving our friends and family members behind to follow Jesus can be emotionally painful but Jesus takes care of those who are precious to us. (Read the blog about the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law.)
We will pay a cost, one way or another, for the way we live this life on earth. We will pay a high cost for the one we have chosen to follow. There are only two choices. Do we want to follow Satan into confusion, lies, cheating, and all other forms of evil here on earth that lead to eternal fires of death? OR do want to follow Jesus that leads to all that is the best for us? With Jesus we learn and grow in his right living (righteousness) that leads to more life, abundant life. The term “abundant life” comes from the Bible verse John 10:10b, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” “More abundantly” means to have a superabundance of a thing. “Abundant life” refers to life in its abounding fullness of joy and strength for spirit, soul and body.
Yes, there is a great cost to saying yes to God by believing in His Son, Jesus. There is a great cost to turning from your unbelieving friends with lifestyles that lead to complacently at the very least to destructive patterns and addictions at the most that lead to joyless living. So, you see, the cost is greater still of NOT following him. That cost is death eternal with no hope here and no hope of eternal life with Him there. You lose all hope of seeing your precious loved ones who believed and have gone on before you. You lose out on the joy of being with Jesus in “the room he has prepared for us in heaven” where there are no tears or sorrows ever again. Mm, yeah, I choose Life. I choose Jesus. What about you?
Matthew—The Law Fulfilled
Matthew 8:18-22, NLT
The Cost of Following Jesus
18 When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he instructed his disciples to cross to the other side of the lake.
19 Then one of the teachers of religious law said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
20 But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”
21 Another of his disciples said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.”
22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me now. Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead.”
WE NEED TO KNOW…
I am almost embarrassed for the teacher who tried to bargain with the Son of God! Can you live day to day with being in charge of your life, asks Jesus? Friends, we need to know and understand this simple truth. There is no bargaining, haggling or negotiating with God to be done. The deal has been made. The price for our sin, all sin, has been decided and paid in full by Jesus who died to save us and rose again to prove He is King of kings, Lord of lords and the Final Victor over evil and death. It is finished.
“My sin, not in part, but the whole has been was nailed to the cross and I bear it no more, it is well, it is well with my soul.” It is finished. I am His and He is mine. So, I will follow you.
“Follow me now…” says Jesus.
I will follow You, is my only response. That is all that is needed.
Abba, Father in Heaven,
You are who you say you are. You love in ways beyond my wildest imagination. You give life. You lead us down paths that are narrow and sometimes scary but you provide extreme hope while getting to where we need to be, doing what you want us to do. You are with us. Your Presence never leaves a soul who follows you. I am so grateful you want us to follow you wherever you lead for I know whom I have believed! Thank you for allowing us to follow you to life forevermore. Thank you for all the lessons along the way.
In Jesus Name, Amen