Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Counting the Cost

Have you truly counted the cost of your decisions?  

For yourself?  For others?

We all suffer and endure at the expense of not only our decisions but also other people's decisions within the body of Christ.  Why?  We are all connected both spiritually, physically, and/or otherwise.  We are ultimately affected as a part of the spiritual body though.

"And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it."  (1 Corinthians 12:26, NKJV)

However, there is another way.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me."  (Matthew 16:24, NKJV)

'The world' would have you to think and believe that you are just on your own here.  You have to do it all by yourself.  Just pick yourself up by your boot straps so to speak.  You are old enough, educated enough, pretty enough, etc.  After all, it's all about you and your own selfish thoughts and ways.  You should be self-sufficient.  Just do it as the Nike commercial said many years ago.

Well, that kind of thinking is contrary to God and His word.  

"For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ."  (1 Corinthians 12:12, NKJV)

"For in fact the body is not one member but many."  (1 Corinthians 12:14, NKJV)

But now indeed there are many members, yet one body.  And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”  No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.  And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty,  but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.  (1 Corinthians 12:20-25, NKJV)

"Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.  And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.  Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles?  Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?"  (1 Corinthians 12:27-30, NKJV)

We all need not only God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.  We all need each other spiritually, physically, and/or otherwise.  

The Apostle Paul not only recognized his weaknesses but he boasted about them.  That is usually contrary to the world's view which doesn't want you to know your weakness, show your weakness, or talk about your weakness.  He knew that it wasn't about him but about Jesus Christ though.  

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  (2 Corinthians 12:9-10, NKJV)

I too like the Apostle Paul recognize my weaknesses.  Therefore, I know my absolute need for my Savior on a daily basis.  It's through His Grace that He strengthens me, empowers me, and more.  

What is Grace?  For one, Grace is the person of Jesus Christ.  Grace is also a gift which cannot be earned nor worked for either.  We are not only saved by Grace through faith in Jesus, but we also live by Grace through faith in Jesus.  (See Romans 5:1-2Ephesians 2:8-9)  

We are not only made in God's image, but we are His children which is all by Grace through faith in Jesus.  He loves all of us unconditionally.  (See Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 8:31-39)  He not only modeled His love for us but tells us about His love for us.  (See Isaiah 53; John 3:16-17; 1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

"By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."  (1 John 3:16, NKJV)

What does that look like?

"My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth."  (1 John 3:18, NKJV)

What is the truth?

God's word.  It is the absolute and eternal truth.

"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  (John 8:32, NKJV)

That freedom is not to indulge the flesh --- the old, sinful nature --- but to serve one another in love --- His perfect love.  (See Galatians 5:13-14, 16)

Copyright 2020 by Dawn Freeman. All Rights Reserved.

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