Monday, March 31, 2014

Counting the Cost

 If you are a Christian, what is the gospel worth to you? Think of the most precious thing in the world to you. Think of the person you love most. If you are a parent--think of your babies. What if the Lord asked you, somehow, to give that person, or people, up? What would you say? It is not an easy question. No easy answers. In fact, the answers are soul-wrenching, gut-twisting, animalistic cry-inducing ones.  

Leadership, by nature, is lonely. I read an article about that this week. Then was reading today in Matthew 8, where Jesus says to a teacher of the law who shows up all excited and enthusiastic, saying basically, "Hey Jesus, I think you are awesome! I'm gonna follow you anywhere! Everywhere!" You can practically see the guy's excitement and commitment at the height of his newfound fervor for Jesus. But Jesus' response does not match the excitement. It is tempered. Honest. Realistic. He knows what this guy is in for. He doesn't say, "Come join the fun! Jump on the bandwagon! This will be the time of your life!" Instead, he quite directly makes sure this guy understands exactly what he is committing to. "Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." 

Well. That's a bit of a downer, isn't it?

Do you ever feel like you have no place to lay your head? 

If so, you are not alone. The Lord of the universe, the greatest leader of all, who is still leading and tending his flock, through the presence of his Holy Spirit--did not have a place to lay his. No real home on this earth. And here I am, claiming to want to be like him. As Christlike as possible. Do I really mean what I say?

And this is not the only place in Scripture that Jesus gives this kind of response. He is honest with all who come to him. He plainly states that if anyone wants to come after Him, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Him. 

I apologize for this not being a particularly uplifting post. I usually try to end on a note that is happy or at least somewhat positive. But today I will be more tempered. Honest. Realistic. In spite of these realities though (here comes the inevitable little bit of positivity-hey, I can't help but try)--I truly am thankful that like Jesus, I know this earth is not my home either. Because I know, based on his promises, that what he has for us is ultimately better than anything we can see or imagine for ourselves. He promised he would go and prepare a place for me. I believe Him. And I imagine that it will have a perfect place to lay my head. 

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