Skip to content

even unto death

23 May 2013

I have been thinking a lot about risk. What is the cost of following Jesus?

“’Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. 

A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.'” Matthew 10:16-25

Most of the 12 disciples were martyred. People who followed Jesus whole-heartedly are sometimes (some would even say often) called to literally give up their lives for His name’s sake.

I am going to be real with you.

That terrifies me.

I desire to be like “the disciple Jesus loved” who stayed at the foot of the cross until the end (John 19:25-27). I long to have that kind of loyalty. To be able, to desire, to stay at the foot of the cross on which the one I love so deeply is hanging despite the risk of imprisonment, torture, death. But I hate. I detest. I loathe pain. For some silly reason, I am afraid of death.

Why? I know my future. God is faithful and true to His word. He said that those who believe in Him will have life in Him forevermore (John 3:16). I believe! I love! And I’d like to think that in the face of death I would cry, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Just like Stephen did while being stoned to death (Acts 7:60). I am pretty sure I could do it, but it still terrifies me.

But… think about it: if you know God, if you believe in and love Him, you get to spend eternity with Him! How glorious and wonderful is that?! I think of all the wonderful things I experience in this life… even my amazing marriage, loving family, fun adventures, and daily joys – they don’t even stand to compare with the awe and joy I will experience in heaven. So, why do I fear?

“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 10:28-33

God, in His infinite wisdom, was prepared for me. He knew that I would be afraid so He had the nerve to call me out on it. It says it right there: “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul…” and comes to a wonderful, peaceful ending with: “Whoever denies me before men, I also will deny…” Okay. In other words, if I don’t quench this puerile fear and instead allow it to hold my heart captive, when I stand before the throne, no matter how much good I did, Jesus will tell His Father He doesn’t know me.

And if I don’t learn to have courage in the face of adversity, I will never be able to truly step out into the life as a follower of Christ. It is that adversity that may someday have me staring in the face of death.

So this is my new challenge – learning to live like dying is gain. Because it is.

Advertisements
2 Comments leave one →
  1. 23 May 2013 11:53

    Good stuff Danike!

    • 23 May 2013 15:14

      Thanks for reading and for your encouragement, Sarah!

Any thoughts? Something to say? I'd love to hear it.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: