Thoughts - Consider the Cost
Luke 14:27-28 NASB
Those who live in today’s world do not spend much time counting the cost before they make decisions to follow a certain course. Think of the modern wars in which we have engaged since World War II---they were initiated with hearty slogans and resolve and when the people’s determination faded and waned, our leaders’ tenacity disappeared like a balloon whose air has been let out. Those who counted on us were left to fend for themselves---the idea of a unified Korea faded with the hordes of Chinese soldiers from the north; the South Vietnamese saw their allies leave after a successful offensive from the north; the Kurds learned it the hard way when we withdrew after the first encounter with Iraq, and it appears we will soon withdraw from Afghanistan. Was our purpose and intent wrong? Attempts to help people realize freedom are not wrong, but we failed to consider the complete cost---American lives, munitions, dollars and the most important of all to our leaders---the political cost.
Justice, righteousness and holiness are indivisible
Justice, righteousness and holiness are indivisible; God has His standards, and they don’t change for anyone or anything. They have remained the same in the centuries since He revealed His character to His people. Christ lived out those standards in a human body; He showed us what it looks like to be holy and blameless before God. His body hung on a cross to demonstrate to us what perfect love and sacrifice looks like. He could have summoned legions of angels to help Him at any time but He didn’t; He had already considered the cost to be One with the Father and had accepted it. He was obedient to the Father’s plan. He died, taking our sin upon Himself in order that He would be the Bridge/Redeemer between us and God. God rewarded Him as He will reward us if we are faithful as He was.
If we are His disciples we have to follow Him not our own desires
He called His disciples to be holy and blameless, but not without promising that God’s strength and power would indwell us enabling us to follow Him, even into persecution and suffering. He didn’t allow us the luxury of determining for ourselves what that holiness and righteousness looked like or to devise a plan that suited our ‘tickling ears.’
Accommodation is not holiness
What a travesty many of those who call themselves His disciples have made of His laws! Modern man thinks he can tweak God’s statutes because he is so much more enlightened than those pagans of the past. Modern theology has thrown out holiness, traded it for licentiousness and called it “compassion” and “love.” A sin-free Christ has been made a mockery to accommodate sinful lifestyles and practices in the name of “new ways” to understand Scripture. Our president has said we cannot base our morality on some ‘obscure’ passage in Romans and deny rights to those who practice a lifestyle that God calls abominable. Paul's letter to the Romans is the bedrock of doctrinal truth; no part of it has ever been considered ‘obscure.’
Claiming to be a disciple is not enough
I for one am tired of those who call themselves disciples of Christ but refuse to obey Him or honor Him. I am sick of those who claim that they love God, but twist and dilute His words into a futile balm for those who are perishing. Politicians and political parties love to debate the so-called ‘social issues’; anesthetize us with platitudes that are self-serving and feed us a broth laced with the arsenic of the middle ground and then wonder why no one trusts them anymore.
We face difficult decisions; make the right ones!
Paul, in his last letter to Timothy, warned him that difficult times were coming; that people would no longer listen to the truth, but seek their own arsenic-laced form of godliness, always seeking but never able to come to the full knowledge of the truth. We live in times when a person who holds to the truth is called names and derided for being intolerant and ’mean-spirited.’ Christ endured persecution in both His ministry and on the Cross; yet He did not falter in His purpose. We are the happy recipients of His resolve; can we not suffer a little to stand firm in what is right? If we do, we will receive the crown of righteousness. If not, we will have shame at His appearing or perhaps some are not His at all.
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