Good morning. I pray your week has started off with a bang. We are in the last week of July already and this year like the past, is just zooming by. I also wish all of you had the Spiritual boost I am running off of today. I was able to attend two nights of revival at Crossland Ave. Baptist and then church at Bethel Sunday morning and now I am about to bust. LOL.
Today I want to talk to you about “The Cost”. I am talking about the cost of your life and your afterlife. With the prices of everything skyrocketing, do you ever stop to count the cost of your life? Has anyone ever told you that you will either suffer later from what you do now, or you will be rewarded later for the things you do now? Do you live a life with these thoughts in mind, or do you think you will think about it later, you have plenty of time to deal with that? Let me show you some scripture that comes to mind when I ponder this subject.
Hebrews 9:14, 22, say, “ 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” “22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.” 1 Corinthians 7:23 says, “ You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.” 1 Corinthian 6:19-20 says, “ 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's” Galatians 6:7-8 says, “7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” Matthew 16:24-26 says, “24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Luke 14:26-28 say, “ 26 "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it--”
In the beginning, to be forgiven, you use to have to take animals to a priest and have them killed and their blood to make an atonement for your sins. After many years of this, God saw that it was going to take something more, and grace, (Christ) entered the picture and then His blood was required to cleanse all man's sin. You see, money couldn't pay this price. It took blood, and not that of some farm animal, but it had to be much more. See in the beginning if you sinned a little, you could bring a goat. Then the bigger the sin, came in lambs and then bulls. This is my paraphrasing by-the-way. But now, we are talking the sins of the world, not one man or his family, but the world. What blood could be worth so much to cover all the sins of mankind? Only the blood of a King and not any ordinary king, but that of a King who would live a perfect sinless life. The blood of Christ. It is the only blood valuable enough to pay for you and I, and Christ willingly shed it to purchase all those who would be bought. There is no other blood so valuable. There is no other Christ
Have you ever told someone you would die for them? Has someone ever told you that, and if so, did you believe them? I want you to stop for a moment and consider this. Christ did not just “die” for you and I, He willingly SUFFERED before He could even die. Does that change your mind? Would you tell the one you told you would die for before, now that you will suffer first, and then die for them?
We see that we were bought by the suffering blood of Christ. This is the price of our souls and it has been paid for those who choose to be bought. Once we have chosen to accept God's gift of salvation, we become His. The point I'm trying to make is our salvation cost you and I nothing, but it cost Christ His suffering, blood and life.
Now we see what it cost Christ to purchase our souls. The next thing to consider is what we are to do now. The Bible tells us that once we have accepted God's gift of salvation and His invitation to be part of His family, we are to deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow Him. This is the part where most of us draw the line. We want God's “fire insurance”, to keep us out of hell, but to deny ourselves and do what He wants instead of what we want, I don't think so. Herein lies the problem.
Many of us have the false sense of security that just because we believe in God, or because we walked an isle and “accepted” Christ, or because we have been baptized, or because we try to live a good life, or because we try to treat others with respect, we are saved and on our way to heaven. This is not always true. Even the devil believes in God, but he will not be in heaven. The Bible teaches that it take more than lip service to be saved, it takes a change of heart. It take a real, everyday relationship with Christ where we “deny” ourselves and do what He wants us to do instead of what we want. You and I were not created to be happy, or to please ourselves or those around us. We were created to serve God and have fellowship with Him. If we do this, we will find a happiness like we've never known. Salvation is free, being a servant cost. ARE YOU WILL TO PAY THE PRICE?
Remember: God counted the cost of your soul and gave His Son to pay the price for you. Have you counted the cost of being a servant, and are you paying up?
Until next time, please pray for each other, and me, as I continue to pray for each of you.
Love in Christ,
Bethel Baptist Church