Thursday, June 27, 2013

It’s Too Costly

~ It Would Cost Me Too Much ~

note:  This is one in a series of Biblical answers to objections some individuals raise when presented with the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ. 

 “I will not bother to personally conduct a serious investigation of Jesus Christ because it might not be worth it.” 

This is like saying, “Don’t confuse me with facts.” Such a response doesn’t stand up to the test of logic or what your Creator says. Consider logic and consider what God says…  

Just about everything in life involves tradeoffs. When you purchase food, gasoline, or other items in a store, you have decided the trade is worth it. Likewise when you fall in love and decide to marry the man or woman of your dreams, you have decided the change in your life is worth it. The reality is that gains are associated with losses. The question is whether or not the tradeoff is worth it. 

Your Life Is All About Tradeoffs  ~  The martyred missionary Jim Elliot wrote in his private journals, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose” (28 October 1949). Jim had saturated his mind with the Word of God—and this sentiment echoed a New Testament passage where Jesus said, What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:36-38).

Paradox: Saving Your Lifestyle Will Be Loss  ~  Just prior to that previous passage Jesus had said, “Whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it” (Mark 8:35).

[Jesus said] “Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life” (Matthew 19:29).So He [Jesus] said to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life’” (Luke 18:29-30). 

Paradox: Humility Leads to Honor  ~  And He [Jesus] sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all’” (Mark 9:35).

Paradox: Life Comes From Death  ~  Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain” (John 12:24).

Paradox: Giving Is Gain  ~  “Jesus said to him, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me” (Matthew 19:21).

The Son of God Loves You  ~  “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed” (1 Peter 2:24).

What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me?” (Psalm 116:12).

Is Trading the Temporary For the Eternal Worth It?  ~  The last verse of the hymn “Amazing Grace” states, “When we’ve been there ten thousand years bright shining as the sun—we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we first begun.”  Think about it! A 100-year life compared to eternity is similar to less than a drop of water in the vast oceans of the world.

The Testimony of the Apostle Paul  ~  Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:8).

additional thoughts:
“At the root of all the miseries of mankind is a miscalculation of the value of things” (Benjamin Franklin, 1706-1790).
“It matters not what you lose if you save your soul; it matters not what you save if you lose it.”
“Don’t sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate.”
“The greatest use of life is to spend it on something that outlasts it.” 
“Do not let the good things of life rob you of the best things” (Buster Kothman). 
“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least” (Goethe, 1749-1832). 
“Only one life twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last” (C.T. Studd, 1860-1931).
“I'd rather lose in a cause that will ultimately succeed, than succeed in one that will ultimately fail” (Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1865).
the key question:  What about you? How are your tradeoffs? How are your investments?
summary:The basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can't see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of His divine being.
So nobody has a good excuse.
What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn't treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life” (Romans 1:19-22, The Message).

~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW

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