The Price You Pay for Free Grace

How many of us have made grand resolutions for ourselves at the beginning of a new year, but were proven to have weak commitments to complete them? It can certainly be disheartening for us to learn just how shallow our resolve can be. We learn over time that the strength of our commitment is proportional to the value we place on the end result. 

This principle is also true in respect to our spiritual lives. If we compartmentalize our life in such a way that faith doesn’t dominate the core of our life, then we end up mattering more to ourselves than the Lord matters to us. And this condition is deadly to our spiritual lives. Jesus made this point abundantly clear when He spoke about the importance of our priorities. 

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26-27)

The point is clear. Jesus must take first place in your life over everything else, including yourself. For example, if avoiding alienation from your closest family members means more to you than submitting your life in obedience to Christ, you can’t truly be a disciple of Christ. And if you’re not willing to sacrifice everything—even your own life, if needed—on account of Christ, you don’t belong to Him. 

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15)

Grace may be free, but it’s not cheap. To believe requires real repentance. We must reverse direction in life by leaving the old way of thinking and living -- and by replacing it with God’s new way for us. This life change is something we can’t do for ourselves. It requires the Holy Spirit to reshape our heart so we become convinced of our dire need for Christ and for His desire to save us. Our eternity depends entirely on this. 

There’s no room in God’s kingdom for double-minded followers of Christ. Jesus said, 

“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” (Matthew 6:24)

In America today, it’s fashionable to compartmentalize our faith so we don’t appear too radical to others. But Jesus is calling His disciples to be radical followers of Him. Are you on board with Jesus?

By Jim Connell

Jim and his wife, Becky, moved from Indiana to Lexington to establish the Lexington Rescue Mission. They have two married children, Laura and Brian.

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