Day 8 – What Is A Christian? (Part 2)
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’” – Luke 14:28-30
I remember being in a Middle Eastern nation, where Christians are regularly persecuted, tortured, and martyred for their faith. The underground church had invited us to a baptism. Due to the extreme persecution in the area, I assumed that this would be done in a secluded place, where a few faithful Christians would gather in quiet reverence, as to not draw attention to what was actually taking place.
You can imagine my shock as we gathered at a public beach right at sunset, when it was most crowded. To my further amazement, the entire church had gathered, bringing with them drums, tambourines, adding in their loudest singing voices, and exuberant clapping, as they belted out worship and praise. The man being baptized, dressed in white, waded out into the water and began to loudly proclaim to the crowds that he was forsaking his old beliefs and now being baptized as a result of making Jesus Christ his Lord. One of the Christians in the crowd who had traveled over from western society began to video; they were quickly told to stop videoing and asked to delete the video immediately. The Middle Eastern believers said that many of them had been threatened by their family members and could lose their very lives if that video was shown to the wrong person.
Situations like this force the true worth of Jesus to the forefront of our minds. He is worth everything. For these Christians their first steps in becoming a follower of Jesus included counting the cost. Is Jesus worth being rejected by family, turned into the police, or even being put to death? This decision costs everything, yet, to them, the value of being a follower of Jesus was well worth the cost they may have to pay.
A Christian is a Christ follower; it can be no surprise to us that as we follow in His footsteps, His path will lead us straight to a cross. He is the one who gave His all for all of us, and He in turn commands us to “pick up our cross” and follow Him.
“For you have been called for this purpose, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you would follow in His steps.” – 1 Peter 2:21
Challenge: While you may not face the exact circumstances as depicted in our story today, Christ being worthy of our entire lives must be a reality for every Christian. Consider what it truly means to follow Jesus with nothing held back and the implications it will have on various aspects of your life. Ask yourself, “Am I willing to surrender my will to God’s will and make the necessary adjustments to align with His command to pick my cross and follow Him daily (Luke 9:23)?” This will cost us everything, and He is worth our everything.
Scriptures: Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23, Luke 14:28-30, Romans 12:1-2, Galatians 2:20, 1 Peter 2:21.
Source: Immerse Ministries, Making Him Known – 30 Day Evangelism Devotional. 2023.
Preorder for Making Him Known is available now – Release Date: November 1st, 2023