If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner? (1 Peter 4:18) (NIV)
Kumar was raised in Hinduism, but his gods turned on him. I met him and his coffee-brown wife in Chennai, India. They wanted freedom from the evil spirit that was causing Kumar to fall into fits, lose his job, and beat his already suicidal bride.
I presented the cure of Christ and waited for their response. No one spoke. The humming ceiling fan pushed hot air around the office.
“Can we follow Christ, but pray to the gods with my parents?”
“Jesus would not have his followers bow to his enemies,” I said.
Kumar’s brow furrowed. If he went against his parents, with whom they lived, his family would shun them. Yet, he was desperate for relief. Husband and wife stared at the floor, as the cement of their situation hardened around them.
I’m astonished by how difficult it is to follow Jesus. My sacrifices are not as big as Kumar’s, but to me, they’re still huge. The prize, however, justifies the cost.
The prize is the glory that goes to God when a creature of free will chooses to pay a high price to honor him. Our God deserves much honor, therefore, the cost to follow is high.
Salvation is the simplest hard thing we’ll ever do. It’s simple to pray for forgiveness, but that prayer requires a repentant heart. That’s hard.
Are we willing to sacrifice before our God who sacrificed for us? Both Kumar and I have to answer, and end our days standing by our decision. The ceiling fan turns, and heaven awaits our reply.
Prayer: Your glory, O God, is my expensive prize.