Some people believe that there is no such thing a getting something for free. When you think about it, do you think they are right? I guess it depends on what you consider cost - do you only consider monetary value or do you also factor in other things that you value? For example, you may receive a bit of help for free; however, the cost may be a hit a your pride. Does that mean then, that you really didn't receive the help for free? We also talk about the free gift of grace through Christ - and I do believe it is free. There is nothing we can do or say that will make us good enough and restore our relationship with God; Jesus paid a great cost on the cross in order for us to be right with God. He did this freely out of His love for us. However, Jesus also points out that following Him is active on our parts and will cost us in the way of sacrifice. If following were not an active walk - then I guess it wouldn't be called "following." Please read Matthew 8:14-22.
Yesterday, the verses I looked at showed me Jesus' extravagant heart and how He is willing to heal us - whether physical or spiritual. Obviously, His priority for us is to cleanse us spiritually so we can have a relationship with our Creator. Today, the verses I am looking at is challenging my heart at the internal costs to following Christ. The first example we see is how simply and freely Jesus heals Peter's mother-in-law. Notice what she did next. Out of His healing she was able to serve. This is something that I can speak from my own experience - the healing I have received from Him has only empowered me to serve Him all the more. This is such an interesting thing to think about because how do you explain that in following Him we are healed and we experience great freedom; yet we become the servants of the Most High God? Perhaps it can be explained like this: the very things Jesus asks us to sacrifice are the very things that, when shed, bring us even more freedom to follow Him.
Look at the next examples in these verses; Jesus actually tells people that there is a sacrifice when we follow Him. But, notice that the sacrifice was different for each person. For one, it was to be willing to go wherever and not have a home. For another, it meant that he needed to put Jesus before his family here on earth. These are not the limits of sacrifice; He wants us to sacrifice whatever is holding us back in being able to follow Him. Maybe it is to sacrifice our pride or our dependence on money. Maybe it is to sacrifice convenience or our entitlement. Maybe it is to sacrifice our comfort and do something new in serving Christ. But when you truly think on how hanging on to these things prevents us from living a full and free life in Christ, is it really a cost to sacrifice them? It may feel like it at first, but then we realize that Jesus was only making our lives fuller and richer in Him. How can we actually consider something a cost when we give it up only to have it replaced with a gift far better than we can even comprehend? What I mean is that our human nature is filled with things that cost us dearly because they only lead to death. They are worthless, yet we cling to them. However, when we trade in this worthless junk, God gives us life. How amazing is that!
Are you willing to sacrifice what is dear to you to gain so much more?
This post is linked with Faith Filled Fridays.