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[thoughts] Insignificant Cost (April 1-7, 2001)

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  • Mark Roth
    I sell long distance phone service: 4.9 cents per minute on continental USA interstate calls. For more information:
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 1, 2002
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      I sell long distance phone service:
      4.9 cents per minute on continental USA interstate calls.
      For more information:
      phone@... -- autoresponder

      This edition goes out today to 2200 subscribers. Thank you!

      (Romans 8:18-31,34,38,39)


      Jesus said anyone who considers following Him should count the
      cost . . . first . . . carefully. Jesus said we should honestly
      and openly evaluate the costliness of the commitment He requires
      of those who would follow Him. From that we can accurately deduce
      that walking in His way costs much; being His disciple involves
      significant cost.

      However, I find no indication that Jesus wants us to continue
      focusing on the cost once we have committed ourselves to paying
      it. I am unaware of any Scripture that would tell us Jesus
      intends that we continue going back to the cost-counting stage of
      our relationship with Him. I believe He wants us to progress
      beyond that. Why might that be?

      The benefits far exceed the cost.
      Imagine that the total value of all your material assets is
      $10,987. That looks like a nice bunch of money to me. Would you
      part with all that money and all that stuff if in exchange you
      would get all of Boeing's profits for one day? I would say the
      answer is one of those no-brainer decisions we talk about
      sometimes. Of course you would go for such a trade. Oh, you might
      miss your special whatever for a while, but considering what you
      got in return, the cost would be insignificant. Well, in a
      faintly similar way, the cost we pay to follow Jesus pales when
      compared with the benefits of being His disciple. Maybe Paul
      thought of that when he wrote that "the sufferings of this
      present time are not worthy to be compared" (Romans 8:18) with
      the coming glory. Remember that Paul suffered an awful lot for
      the sake of Christ and His kingdom. But he wasn't going to bother
      dwelling on that because he knew he was getting something
      immeasurably better. For Paul, no cost was too high to be a
      disciple of Jesus. Any cost and all cost he considered
      insignificant. How about you?

      He wants to be our point of focus.
      When our focus continues on the cost of following Jesus, we
      can't very well focus on Him! He is a jealous Master; He wants
      our full love, attention, and dedication. Each time we direct our
      attention toward the cost of that relationship, we surely must
      provoke Him because we take from Him what is rightfully His. So
      let's not cheat Jesus by continuing to count the cost of
      following Him. Rather, let's choose to relegate the cost to that
      collection of insignificant stuff that we will not allow to
      interfere with and distract us from our focus on the Lord Jesus.


      Romans 8:28 has securely anchored many a suffering, troubled
      Christian: "All things work together for good to them that love
      God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Notice
      that this verse has nothing to do with feelings. Come to think of
      it, it doesn't have a thing to do with understanding either! Even
      when I feel like everything has collapsed, I *know* God *will*
      put it all together in such a way that it will cause good in my
      life. And though I surely do not understand how that could come
      about, I can still rest assured in that knowledge and faith.

      Naturally, in times of great stress and distress, the tempter
      will relentlessly harass us and try to unsettle us. He will do
      what he can to persuade us that "all things" surely doesn't mean
      exactly everything and every circumstance. His "Hath God said?"
      must be met with Romans 8:28 and faith.

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      Mark Roth

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