Summary: What I see from reading the Bible of those who were serving the Lord they had difficulty because they were Christians doing the will of God. Being a disciple does and will cost you something.
Cost of Being a Disciple
Last week Maria and I went back to Parkview Christian Church in Sedalia, MO. It is always good to go back there because we have so many friends there. Parkview is the church were we were before I went into the ministry. I served in many different areas in that church as did Maria.
The elders of Parkview ordained me into the ministry of Jesus Christ. I am their Timothy and they are my Paul. Every time we return there it is a joyful experience because of our many friends. Even though we enjoy going back there, every time we go back to visit we are reminded of how blessed we are here at MVC.
Matter of fact during the service I texted Michael just to tell him how thankful I am to have him here at MVC and to thank him for using his talents for the Lord here. I didn’t text Mike because I knew we was preaching, but I thank the Lord for him being here as well. And I’m thankful for you all too.
The people of Parkview Christian are dear to us, and the people here are so very dear to us too. I don’t think I could ever fully express how much we dearly love everyone of MVC. Maria and I are truly blessed to be able to minister here and we hope that we can continue to grow together as we seek to do the will of God here in Mt. Vernon and elsewhere.
There was one thing that I took note of last week in the Sunday school class we went to. The teacher in the class is an elder and has been a friend for many years. In the class he said many times how easy we have it today as Christians. He was saying this in comparison to the way the Christians had it back in the first century, but he is right isn’t he.
Let me ask you, when was the last time your life was made difficult because you are a Christian? I thought about that this week as it relates to my life. In my life I have had hard times and as you know last year was a difficult year for me because of having ITP. But really having a hard or difficult time in my life because I am a Christian. I would have to say no. It is really easy to be a Christian today in America.
I wonder about everyone here? Really from the outside looking in, because I don’t know what is going on behind the scenes in most of your lives, it looks like we all have it made. As far as having a difficult time in this world because we are Christian.
However when I read the Bible and look at Jesus’ life, the apostles live’s and the lives of those who became Christian I see a lot of difficulty and hardship. There was persecution and people scattered from their homes. Jesus didn’t have a place to lay His head and was run out of towns. The apostles were all persecuted, and all but John were killed because they were Christian. However John suffered too as an outcast.
And there is more than that you read in the Bible about the difficult times the Christians went through. Not only do we see what the Christians went through in the Bible, but we know there early Christians as well were thrown into the lions dens, others were tarred and feathered. Some were tarred and put on stakes and lit on fire.
When I read of how bad it was for Jesus, the apostles and the Christians back then and know who easy it is for us today it just does not correlate to me. Now I’m not asking for difficult times, but Jesus said if they persecute Me, and they did, they will persecute you. If they hate Me, and they did, they will hate you too. The student is not above his master.
So if we are living out our lives in the way Jesus did by doing God’s will, as we should be, shouldn’t we have difficulty in the world because we are Christian? I don’t know, maybe my thinking is way off here, because I will admit to you that I don’t understand everything in the Bible. And this is one of those things I think about.
One of my biggest fears in this world is that I’m not doing everything I could be doing for the Lord. Another big fear is getting comfortable in this world as a Christian and then when judgement comes I hear away from me you evil doer. In recent times I have come to understand more clearly what it is to live in the fear of the Lord.