The call to serve Christ will not be easy.
The word of God shows us that Paul began to learn that pain, struggles and oppression awaited him in the next town he was visiting!
And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. (Acts 20:22, 23 ESV)
As Paul I too want to be lead by the spirit and even though the cost may be great, I want to be totally willing to lay aside the concerns of the flesh in order to share the Gospel.
The Holy Spirit can speak to us and tell us about things to come. Don’t worry if you are not sure who is speaking here (I think we sometimes don’t think the Holy Spirit can tell us it’s going to be tough). The word tells us that many times it won’t be easy and we need to learn this as disciples of Christ as sometimes we think its all going to be comfy and cushty!
Then Paul says possibly the most amazing line of one who is fully committed to making Christ known!
But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24 ESV)
We can learn from this hugely – reading this inspires me because I too want to live like this, totally committed to making Christ Know. Reality is it won’t be easy and it’s all very well to say yes yes yes – no now we need to actually live it!
Luke the evangelist wrote ( it is very interesting that Luke almost certainly wrote the Acts of the apostles and so it’s brilliant to see unity in both Luke and Paul’s heart about what Jesus taught) about the huge cost of being a disciple. It’s not an easy walk!
Jesus said “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26, 27 ESV)
Finally I leave you with Paul’s writings from Phillipians. Brothers and sisters even though Christs call may be hugely challenging the reward is Christ Himself.
We gain Christ as we go for Christ!
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:7-11 ESV)
My dear friends as you read this I pray that you get a glimpse of eternity and the need to live for Christ wholeheartedly, totally sold out for His Cause. Lets give, lets go, all for Jesus Sake!