Summary: Though salvation is free, when you accept Jesus as Lord, God does not promise the road will be easy. What He does promise is that He will not give us more than we can bear, and that He will be with us always!
What does it cost?
That is a question we often ask when purchasing something.
We way what the perceived value is, and what the asking price is, and if we think it’s a good enough deal, we take our hard-earned money, and we purchase it.
Sometimes we buy cheap and we get cheap . . .
Ever said, “Well, you get what you pay for!”?
Sometimes the COST is sweat equity!
Sometimes it is much more than that!
THE 40 MARTYRS
"History knows them as the forty martyrs of Sebaste. They were soldiers in the famed Twelfth Legion of Rome’s imperial army, around A.D. 320. One day the captain informed his troops that Emperor Licinius had sent down an edict commanding all soldiers to offer a sacrifice to his pagan god. Forty of the soldiers were followers of Christ, and they refused. 'You can have our armor and even our bodies, but our hearts' allegiance belongs to Jesus Christ,' they said.
"The emperor decided to make an example of the soldiers, so in the middle of winter he marched them onto a frozen lake and stripped them of their clothes. 'Renounce your God and you will be spared from death,' he told them. Not one man came forward. So he left them there, huddled together to contemplate his offer. Throughout the night the men stayed together, singing their song of victory: Forty Martyrs for Christ. When morning came, thirty-nine of the men had frozen to death. The one survivor finally relented and crawled to safety, recanting his confession of faith in order to live. The officer in charge that night had been so moved by the scene that during his watch he’d come to Jesus, so he broke rank and walked out onto the ice. Stripping his clothes he openly confessed his faith in Christ. The furious emperor demanded that he renounce Jesus, but he refused. When the ordeal was over, the Roman soldiers carried forty frozen men off of the ice."
We’re looking at a passage of Scripture this morning that is generally reserved for the Advent Season . . . Christmas time.
The overwhelming theme we hear from this passage most times is that a Child is Born, and His name is Jesus!
I could have justifiably skipped over this section, but there is another thread to pull here, and it is one we need to hear as well.
We all know that Mary would become the mother of the Son of God . . . but, what we may be too quick to move past is . . .
With such a great blessing came a great cost! Mary would find out she was to carry and raise the Son of God, but would also find out that it would not be without enduring humiliation, and ridicule, and a broken heart.
So, let dig in and start pulling this thread . . .
1. Mary was BETROTHED, which meant:
a. She was COMMITTED to Joseph
b. BETROTHAL lasted about ONE YEAR
c. It was BINDING as marriage, without the privileges
d. Could only be DISSOLVED by DIVORCE
e. Should the man DIE, she would be considered a WIDOW
2. Mary was CHOSEN by GOD, which meant:
a. Her BABY would be born WITHOUT the intimacy of an EARTHLY FATHER
b. Knowing the consequences, she would have to ACCEPT
c. This would not be EASY
i. Not everybody would UNDERSTAND
ii. She would be RIDICULED
iii. Her LIFE would be CHANGED forever!
3. Mary would find out early the BURDEN, which meant:
a. Being the MOTHER of the SON of GOD would be no SMALL FEAT!
i. Simeon, the MAN of GOD, would give her a GLIMPSE of what was to come.
ii. She would watch her son POLARIZE a PEOPLE
1. Many would FIND GOD
2. Many would REJECT HIM
b. Mary would eventually watch her son WILLINGLY WALK to CALVARY, and GIVE UP His LIFE, that MANKIND could be SAVED
The COST of DISCIPLESHIP.
Though salvation is free, when you accept Jesus as Lord, God does not promise the road will be easy.
What He does promise is that He will not give us more than we can bear, and that He will be with us always!
Salvation is free, ... but discipleship will cost you your life.
— Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Few men of this century have understood better the inevitability of suffering than Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He seems never to have wavered in his Christian antagonism to the Nazi regime, although it meant for him imprisonment, the threat of torture, danger to his own family and finally death.
He was executed by the direct order of Heinrich Himmler in April 1945 in the Flossenburg concentration camp, only a few days before it was liberated.