Devotional 5/30

 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’? Luke 14: 28-30

There’s a price we must pay in order to follow Christ;
in order to be a Christian

When reading this scripture, you would assume that it has to do with business or starting a new project. If we were to read only these two scriptures, we would totally misinterpret the word of Jesus. This is what most people do, quote a scripture that is part in a body of a context.
In this this scripture believe it or not, Jesus is speaking about the cost we pay to be called children of God, or the most definite: Christians. Even if some radical believers think that our generation finds it cool to be a Christian, or that we use it as a means to get ahead in life- they could not be more wrong.

There is nothing good about being a Christian to the eyes of the world, they think we are crazy, weak and lunatics. They think we are gullible, easily smitten and that we are actually not even intelligent or logical beings. I give it up to you Christians, who have continued to walk with God after confession of faith. I commend you because you know that God has separated us to be part of His spiritual family, and because I know you are paying a painful price to be in right standing with God.

Using scripture alone, we would recognize that most if not all of those used of God, were in some type of suffering. Moses was angry and overwhelmed, Elijah was suicidal, Jeremiah was insecure and always crying, Daniel was upset and comfortless and Ezekiel was bitter, and needless to say that David was sorrowful and somewhat bipolar. I say David was bipolar in a joking way, but if we read the Psalms, we notice that in one psalm he would go through all types of emotions like hate, bitterness and envy and towards the end, raise up a praise unto God. We are like this too, we argue with God, fight, rebel, cry and even ask if if He still loves us, to only go back and say “I’m sorry God, I really love you. But help me.”.  Image result for price to be a christian quote

To carry your cross, is to give up your expectations from life, because you are dead and Christ lives in and through you.

This walk is not easy, but the truth is that nobody warns us! Of course God blesses and protects, reveals purpose and calling, imparts gifting and ministry, leads to prosperity and fullness of life but He keeps us balanced and in obedience in suffering. Nobody tells us the truth, they will say anything in order for us to come to Christ, but nothing about the cross we have to carry. The relationships that must end, the pain of change, the sacrifice of comforts and customs, the unlearning of our own history and even to become “family” with people you do not know, and are limited to knowing except for church days.

I have to tell you honestly, because I wish someone would have schooled me. Even Jesus learned obedience, through suffering (Hebrews 5:8). After going through the different levels of suffering, then God is judge of our hearts and of our faith. This is why he allows all that we go through, because he expects us to endure. He expects us to make the correct choices to live as He would, here on earth.  

Jesus said:

So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.”
Renounce: means to choose one thing over another. Jesus expects us to choose Him, over anything and everything else. 
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”
Hate: God says if you love your family more than you love me, you are NOT worthy of me. 
“Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.”
The cross:  Jesus bought our lives from hell at the cross. Carrying our cross means exactly what I am writing about today, enduring persecution, humiliation and any other type of suffering  that will develop the fruit of the spirit in us. The cross also means to give our life away to God in servant hood, for the good of others even if they betray you, never say thank you or repay the favor. 

With God it’s all or nothing. We are either with Him or against. There is no gray area for God, it’s either heaven or hell. It’s rapture ready, or get left behind.

Let’s pray:

Lord Jesus, I pray that from now on we do not sell people a dream in order to win souls to Christ. I pray that we tell of your love, but also that you are holy. That you expect us to make a choice to be saved, or to walk away. I pray for endurance for all the believers around the world, those struggling, those battling and those that have decided to walk away from Christ or the church. I pray for dreams and visions of your love and attention, and I pray for their desires to be changed from carnality to spirituality, that our eyes may walk by faith and refuse to believe and look for confirmation in things we can see. I pray that our churches would begin to preach the truth of Christ, the cross we need to carry and that we are called to suffer as Christians. And that salvation is by grace, but is maintained by faith. In Jesus name, Amen.

Image result for suffering as a christian

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