Have you ever found yourself thinking that this whole following Jesus thing may just not be worth it?
That the cost is too much?
That you have to sacrifice a lot?
Things you want to do that the Bible calls sin, or things you don’t want to do that the Bible explicitly commands us to?
That it’s too hard and its just not worth it?
Ever began to wonder that you may be sacrificing too much, and giving up too many things just to know this God?
It is tempting to think that way isn’t it.
When you see everyone else around you living the way they want to. When you see the world living in what seems like freedom – with absolutely no restrictions. No ‘thou shalts’ or ‘thou shalt nots’; nothing to give up.
Be your own man or woman, or anything you want to call yourself.
Work for money or for pleasure, or maybe for both. Sleep as late as you want on Sundays. Agree with whatever the world agrees with. And most of all, never having to have any awkward conversations with anyone about Jesus or the Bible, and never having to lose friends over your beliefs.
Ah, sounds great doesn’t it?
But alas, we must give up so much if we want to be Christians.
Jesus said so Himself. He told us to count the cost before following Him.
Suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.Luke 14:31-33
We must sacrifice a lot…or so we think.
You see, many times we think we’re the ones losing out on so much because we follow Jesus. We talk so much about making sacrifices for God – about losing things and giving them up, no matter how precious they are. We think we’re the ones giving up so much for Jesus, and that we ought to be rewarded for that.
But that’s simply not true.
Because whatever we’re giving up – even if it’s the whole world – it cannot compare with what Jesus has to offer.
It cannot compare to His friendship – His love – and the riches of His glory that He has in store for us – not just in this life, but forever!
That’s infinite times more than the number of years you are going to spend on this earth.
You see, whatever we have to lose, we are gaining so much more. When we come to Jesus, we only trade up.
The only person who ever lived who traded down, and who actually made a sacrifice was Jesus.
Jesus is the only one who sacrificed something that mattered – being a friend of God.
Jesus is the only one who chose to lose; and He did lose it all.
So that you might win.
When we give up something for God, we’re actually not giving up anything. We’re only gaining.
As CS Lewis put it –
We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
Jesus came that we may have life, and life in it’s full.
In it’s full.
And that’s something the world just cannot offer you.