And He said to all, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” / Luke 9:23 (ESV)
There. Let me just throw it at you all right there. Deny yourself and take up your cross daily. Becoming a Christian is not as simple as it sounds, becoming a Christian means becoming a follower of Jesus. And by that, He means to deny ourselves and take up our crosses. Daily. And what does that mean? It is to pay the price.
If I can take it to the extreme level, paying the price means to follow Jesus even when it means to lose your life. At this moment, there are people who are willing to pay the price and be persecuted because they are a follower of Christ. Whoa Kim, what are you talking about? Yeah, for Paul, paying the price involved imprisonment and death. But for most of us, it is less than that. At least for now. What I am trying to say is that following Jesus is not simply proclaiming that you receive Him as your personal Savior. It is more than that. It takes obedience to God – our full submission to Him. Though we are saved by grace through faith, our actions should be the fruit of something that’s growing in us, which is our desire for more of God. When you said He is your personal Savior, do you also accept Him as your LORD? As your Master? There is a price you have to pay, for the path to life is not an easy one. It is tough. We like the thought of sharing Christ’s glory, but what about His suffering? Are we up for that too?
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” / Matthew 7:13-14 (ESV)
To pay the price. That’s deep. But really, what does it mean to pay the price?
Waking up every Sunday morning to go to church when you can actually just sleep in? Maybe.
Spending your Saturday to practice music for Sunday service when you can actually hang out with your friends? Maybe.
Spending 3 hours of your time to be in a caregroup every Friday nights and talk about God when you can actually be out with friends watching movies? Maybe.
Coming to weekly prayer meeting after your long and tiring day at school when you can actually just relax at home? Maybe.
There are many other things you do that is a part of paying the price. But I don’t know, sometimes giving our time is easier than giving our own selves. Jesus paid our debts, He died for our sins, He bought us for a price. A very high price actually. And you know what, there is nothing else we can do other than giving our lives to Him.
To pay the price. Is it to defeat our own flesh and follow our spirit instead? Is it to ignore about what others think of us and care about what God thinks of us instead? Is it to not hate people who have hurt us and forgive them instead? Is it to not care too much about our own personal image and do the right thing instead? Is it to not please people and please God instead? Is it to let go of the things we want and trust in what God has in store for us instead? If you don’t stop me right now, I will keep on asking you more and more rhetorical questions. Like seriously. But yeah anyway, yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. And another Yes. I think to pay the price is more than just spending our time to do something we don’t usually do before we follow Christ. I mean, it is still significant. But beyond that, there is more of it. It is the change of heart.
Of course, it is not a one-night process. In fact, it is a lifetime commitment you have to make. And throughout the process, you may pay the price differently. This may includes losing your job because you refuse to work extra time on Sundays because you need to go to church. This may includes losing your friends because you refuse to share your answers in a test because it is not the right thing to do. You may lose all those earthly things. But then, is it all worth it? Well, I know it is hard to take it in when you are in your sufferings. But one thing for sure though, God said, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him” / 1 Corinthians 2:9 (ESV)
I am not saying this because I am already paying the price and everything. No. In fact, I still have a lot to learn. So, let us together be committed and pay the price. Believe in Him, take heart, and keep walking in faith. Jesus knows best.
So, are you ready?
Live for Christ. Die for Christ.
twitter & instagram: @kimberlysubi
twitter & instagram: @kimberlysubi