HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE WILLING TO LOSE IN ORDER TO GAIN CHRIST?
THE COST OF MARY’S DECISION
When Gabriel appeared to the young virgin Mary so many years ago he said to her:
And the angel said to her, “Fear not, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in womb, and will bring forth a son, and you shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and He will be called Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob to the ages. And of His kingdom there will be no end!” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I do not know a man?” And the angel answering, said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore also the Holy Onebeing born will be called the Son of God. Luke 1:30-35
Mary was faced with a decision.
Her decision required faith and it came with great risks. Faith because of who Jesus was. His Name would be Son of the Most High AND His name would be Jesus. This was no ordinary man. The risk was because as a betrothed young girl who had not known a man, to become pregnant would mean that her espoused husband Joseph could have her brought before the Jewish council and she could have been stoned. If he put her away privately, she faced humiliation before her family and village. Her decision couldn’t have been an easy one.
Luke 2:11 “Today… a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord!”
THE COST TO THE APOSTLES
Due to the lack of recorded history on these men other than the Bible, their fact is not certain. There are reports handed down over time. Andrew was said to have been crucified in Asia Minor. Tradition says Thomas preached in east India, where the ancient Marthoma Christians revere him as their founder. Legend says that he died there when pierced through with the spears of four soldiers. Philip appears to have gone to North Africa. There the proconsul had Philip arrested and put to death. It is said that Matthew was stabbed to death in Ethiopia. The Jewish historian Josephus reported that James was stoned and then clubbed to death in Syria. Simon the Zealot was killed in Persia. Matthias and Andrew were burned at stake. As for John, an early Latin tradition has him escaping unhurt after being cast into boiling oil at Rome. SEE – WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE TWELVE APOSTLES
COST OF FOLLOWING CHRIST
Today many who are called to follow Christ face equally difficult decisions. Muslims who trust Christ risk their lives. A Jew who chooses to place faith in Christ as their Savior risks being disfellowshipped and shunned. Atheists who become believers are often ridiculed by their peers. Jehovah Witnesses face being disfellowshipped and shunned if they accept the true gospel of Christ Jesus and trust Christ for personal salvation rather than trusting Watchtower doctrine. Depending on circumstances, following Christ ALWAYS comes with a cost. See “If I Convert to Christianity”
BLESSINGS OF OBEDIENCE
Mary was blessed because of her acceptance of God’s will:
Then Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! For He has looked with favor on the humble state of His servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed. For the Mighty One has done great things for me. Holy is His name. Luke 1:46-49
WE MUST HAVE FAITH TO RECEIVE CHRIST
When we are called to become Christians, we are called to trust God and believe in Christ as our personal Savior. Jesus said:
And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Mark 8:34-37
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart,”that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9 that if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with your heart you believe and are justified, and with your mouth you confess and are saved. Romans 10:8
All who choose Christ are blessed:
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure… And He has made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to bring all things in heaven and on earth together in Christ. Him we were also chosen as God’s own, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything by the counsel of His will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, would be for the praise of His glory. And in Him, having heard and believed the word of truth—the gospel of your salvation—you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the pledge of our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:3-5, 9-14