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Following Jesus is not easy. Being faithful is not easy. Giving and sacrificing. Generosity. Showing kindness and love. Being faithful and consistent. Offering praises and worship even when you don’t feel like it can be a huge sacrifice. You will most likely be rejected at some point. You might even be ridiculed. You might even be passed over for a promotion. Maybe even targeted with cruel pranks. Then again, if you take seriously the call to live a life of sacrifice you might actually have to give up much more.

You might have to leave the comforts of home. You might have to leave the security of a good paying job. You might be called to leave this country to serve others in a Third World country. You might be called to help the homeless where the stink of people who urinate themselves and haven’t ever washed themselves with soap gets into your nostrils and stays with you for hours. You can’t get the stench out of nose and you smell your clothes to make sure that something didn’t get on you. But it is not there because it is in your nose.

You might be rejected because you follow Jesus by helping those people who are rejected. Then again, you might have to leave home to serve in a place that makes examples of those who follow Jesus. Believers all around the world follow Jesus to the detriment of their lives. I have seen estimates that have put the numbers of those who truly modeled a life of sacrifice by giving their lives as martyrs in the last century (especially in the second half of the 20th Century) to be greater than all the other people who have died for Jesus in other times put together. This includes the first century church.

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