“When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.” -Dietrich Bonhoeffer
The call of Christ is not “come and be happy,” “come and be comfortable,” “come and live like the world with the underwriter of salvation.”
No, the call of Christ is “come and die.” Lose your life. Crucify the flesh. Come and die.
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”
I don’t get to stay the same. I don’t get to live like the world. I don’t get to do whatever I want, whatever makes me comfortable and happy. I don’t get to have my way. If I choose to follow Christ, I choose to forsake these things for His sake.
And what is the promise?
The promise is that I’ll never regret it. At the end of the age, when I see Him face to face, I will never regret choosing to follow Him. I will never regret acts of obedience big and small. And I’ll find joy. True joy. Not the fleeting, in the moment happiness. But deep-seeded peace and joy, not only in the life to come, but also in this life.
Do I believe it? Yes and no. Do I believe He’s worth it? Yes and no.
But I guess this is where being a Christian takes faith. Christianity is not only about faith to believe in Christ initially, but then also about faith to believe in all the other things He says.
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.
Jesus, help me to die to myself. Help me to not be selfish. Help me to choose life. And give me faith. More faith to believe in and live out all the things You say.