I sit here reading the several articles about our twenty one brothers who were brutally murdered for their faith. Since being called to pastor a small church here, at the beginning of the year I set a theme I would preach through which is focused on evangelism and discipleship. This month of February I have been preaching on the “The Cost of Knowing Christ and Making Him Known”, primarily from the texts of Matthew 10 and Luke 14. With the events that have transpired in Libya, I sit here with the words of our Lord echoing in my head.Everything I have been studying has been on this very issue, counting the cost of following Christ, a willingness of laying down one’s life to follow the Lord and to make His glory known through the preaching of His Gospel, taking up our cross to follow Him.
I believe that as we pray for the families of those who lost a loved one at the hands of ISIS, we should take a moment to stop and reflect upon our personal faith ask the the question, Is it real?
Is my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ the real thing? Have I counted the cost of what it really means to follow Him? Do I truly trust the promises of God in Christ? Are we willing to lay down our lives if we must for the name of Christ?
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
In our culture there is so much under the banner of “Christendom” that is anything but biblical Christianity. Too much of it is superficial at best, traditions without commitment, a mile wide but less than an inch deep. Empty professions. And the day will come for us too, that professing Christ will come with a high cost, as it does for many of our brothers and sisters in other contexts today. This is their reality.
Can you say with Paul, for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Phil. 1:21), and mean it? Are you really following Him ? Are you still willing to if it could cost you your life? You should be, Christ laid down His for us. Ask yourself. Pray.
“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” -Matthew 10:37-39 ESV