Being a Christian is hard. Very hard. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you. Jesus never said it would be easy for us, in fact there are many quotes where he tells us how hard it will be. And not just Jesus, many of His servants and martyrs throughout history have reminded and shown us just how much being a Christian can cost us. The book I am currently reading, Blood and Fire by Roy Hattersley, mentions a Bible verse that I have been trying to find for weeks. The verse is Matthew 5:10-12;
Matthew 5:10-12 (MsgB)
"You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom.
"Not only that-count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens-give a cheer, even!-for though they don't like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.
Christians have always faced persecution, everywhere it goes, in all times. Be it ancient Rome or modern day China, Christians have never been completely without persecution in some form somewhere. There are places and times when Christianity has flourished and it has been easy to be a Christian with no worries of ever being persecuted.
William Booth, the founder of The Salvation Army, lived his life by the verses above. Whenever he came up against opposition or persecution, even out and out violent abuse he held firm to what he believed to be God's plan. To have the conviction to follow God's calling wherever it leads, whenever the call arrives is the way that we should be. To have the faith to step out of the boat when we know we have nothing but Jesus is what we should be aiming for. And it is not that we "just" have Jesus, He is more than enough, He is more than we need, more than we can handle. There is nothing that we can not do if we have Jesus on our side, there is nothing impossible with God.
If we have Jesus in our sights, if we are aiming to have eternal life though Him then we must be prepared to make the sacrifice required. If Jesus, our Lord, Saviour and King sacrificed His life for us then how can we complain when he asks us to sacrifice a portion of our wage or a period of our life? They say that everyone has a price at which they can be bought, is it the case that you have a price at which you are unwilling to pay for eternal live with Christ Jesus?
The title of this post is "All the best things in life require sacrifice" and if it is not true for all things it is at least true for the best thing in life. For what is better than the prize of eternal life with the Father and the Son in Heaven? If you too believe that this is the best thing life has to offer then ask yourself, "Am I holding anything back from God?". This means everything from money and time right up to and including your entire life. Whatever God asks is fair, whatever God requires you to do is the right price. Not only that, but if you do follow God He will not only repay you with eternal life, but He will also help you bear the burden here on Earth. Yes being a Christian does require sacrifice, yes it is going to be very hard, but I believe it will all be worth it, do you?
This blog is supposed to be, as much as I can, my daily journey through life as a Christian. I hope it to be my thoughts and feelings on life but be as grounded in the Christian message as it can. My intention is not to create a daily readings or bible study guide but to look at my life in terms of a Christian trying to find and follow God's mission using his Life User's Manuel AKA the Bible.