What cost are you willing to pay?
(a note from Abi Jaggers McCollough)
I’ve been journeying through the book of Acts lately. Paul truly was an incredible warrior for the Kingdom of God. To be honest with you, I have felt some conviction reading through this book.
I think it would be easy to brush off my conviction, as, really, is there a need to compare myself to Paul? I mean, he was sold out for the Gospel of Christ. He died for the cause of Christ. He suffered for the name of Jesus he proclaimed.
As much as I would like to ignore my conviction, I shouldn’t. And honestly, it makes me really nervous thinking about what follows below.
As I have read through Acts, Paul’s words struck me—
“But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. “(Acts 20:24)
Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” And since he would not be persuaded, we ceased and said, “Let the will of the Lord be done.” (Acts 21:13-14)
Paul was willing to risk everything for the Name of Christ. He was willing to die for the Kingdom of God. Pretty radical, right?
Well, not really all that radical. Or, at least, it should not seem radical to those who profess Jesus as Savior.
You know if I truly believe all that I say about Jesus then I should be willing to die for the Name of Christ if it comes down to it.
Why? Because Jesus is life. Because Jesus is forgiveness of sins. Because Jesus is true love. Because Jesus is everything. Because everything that I have or could gain, pales in comparison to having Jesus.
Yet, so often my heart is the opposite. And I have to believe so many other hearts are the same.
Let’s be real honest for a second, we aren’t even willing to share the best news of history with the people we know from work, school, our neighborhoods, etc. because fear of embarrassment, loss of social status, friendships, or being mocked.
I believe many others struggle with this too Because, look at our country, it is awful. There is no sugar-coating it. Our country is overcome with evil. People are celebrating life apart from Jesus. People are walking in death (sin) and proudly raising it as a banner.
And I think a lot of that falls on believers.
Christians have lost their saltiness. We have lost our courage. We have lost our awe and wonder of the King who redeemed us. We have lost our effectiveness in advancing the Kingdom of God.
We have lost our knowledge of what God calls right and wrong because we won’t pick up our Bibles—or we have decided to define our own god and what he calls right and wrong (and to be honest, I would say you do not know Jesus truly if you are celebrating sin for yourself or others).
That sounds harsh, doesn’t it? Well, it is. It should not make you feel good.
Christians have become passive and apathetic. We have become lukewarm. It’s terrible.
And remember, I am saying this to myself as well.
How often, have I felt led to share my faith, but instead stayed quite while giving God a 100 reasons that I just don’t feel comfortable, so I can’t do it?
How often have I stayed quite in conversations with other believers who are excusing sin that is breaking the heart of their Savior and leading them down a road that is destructive?
How many times have I heard of people dying way too young and thinking, man I should have shared the Gospel with them when I had the chance?
How often, have I been afraid of being ridiculed, not popular, or embarrassed to talk about my faith?
Way too often.
And I want that to change.
I have been praying for revival in our country. And I believe God absolutely can bring it. But for me to pray for revival and not be willing to do anything about it, is just plain ridiculous.
So, let’s wake up my fellow believers. Let’s be willing to share Jesus Christ, whatever the cost. Let’s be warriors for the Kingdom of God, like Paul. Let’s listen to the Holy Spirit and be obedient. Let’s pray and beg for revival—but let us not stop there—let us act like we believe that Jesus is the best gift ever and share Him.
Let’s cling to the TRUTH of God’s Word. Let’s stand firm on what Christ calls us to. Let us remember that the most loving thing we can do is share Christ with others and the life change that comes after salvation, not condoning their lostness and lifestyle of sin that is leading them to Hell.
Let us start a revival that changes countless lives. Let us be bold. Whatever the cost.
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)
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19)
Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. (1 Cor. 16:13-14)