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The Adventurer Online

Obedience Is Costly – Lucy*

Original public domain image from Wikimedia Commons

Obedience is costly. In Matthew 16:24, Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” As 21st century Christians, the shock that Jesus’ words would have had on his followers is lost. We’ve heard the phrase so many times that it’s become cliché almost. Surely if we just try to live a “good” life that’s enough. We may even wear a cross around our neck or carry a small one in our pocket.

But Jesus’ words would have felt very different to his disciples – very heavy. The only connection their minds had to the cross was torture, pain and death. They would have understood that following Jesus meant much more than living an easy life and getting a ticket to heaven.

I met a man this week who is an MBB (Muslim-background-believer). He has lived in France for almost 30 years and is actually a pastor there. He came back to North Africa this week to see his mother. His father disinherited him and his brother several years ago for their faith and he communicates with his mother, who is still Muslim, in secret. After he arrived in town, she changed her mind and wouldn’t agree to meet with him in fear that his father would find out.

His faith, with its foundation in Christ, is strong, but it was costly for him almost 30 years ago and remains costly to him today. And yet the cost doesn’t deter him from following and being obedient to his Lord.

There is a cost to following Jesus. For the brother I met this week and our brothers and sisters here in North Africa and so many other parts of the world, the cost was great. As Americans most of us don’t face losing our families or our jobs or our lives for following Christ, but there will still be cost. Are you willing to give up a week of your vacation time and leave your family behind to go on that short-term trip? Could you give up Starbucks a couple of days a week or eating out with your family once a month to financially support a missionary on the field? Are you willing to leave your home and move to a totally different city, state, or country to plant a church and share the Gospel with people who don’t know Jesus? Are you willing to walk across the street and talk to your neighbor about Jesus?

What is the Lord asking you to change, give up, or put aside in order to follow Him more closely? Whether great or small, choosing to obey is always worth the cost.

*Name changed for security

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