I don’t normally do things like this. I mean, I’m not much of a blogger to begin with. I’m new at it, and I don’t really get very deep. However, what I want to share here was so intense, and touched me so deeply, I just have to share it. Now, I’m not fooling myself – there are, like, three to four people who check out my blog… this is not going to reach “the masses”, but I just had to share something dear to me heart. Isn’t that what blogging is supposed to be? Thank you for humoring me by reading this.
Excerpts for “A Word With You” by Ron Hutchcraft – March 08, 2006
…the highlight of my day in Rome was my visit to the Catacombs, the ancient caverns that wind beneath the streets of Rome. Here were the caverns where some of the first Christians hid from the Roman soldiers who would take them to their execution for believing in Christ… Here they carved in the walls the ancient symbols of their faith – like the cross and the sign of the fish. Those symbols are still there as silent testimony to their faithfulness. And here in the walls, they buried countless loved ones who’d been torn to pieces by the lions in the Coliseum all because they would not renounce Christ for Caesar…. As I emerged from those Catacombs, Dave said, “Well, what did you think?” All I could say was, “Our faith is very, very expensive.”
The way of Jesus that we claim to walk today was, indeed, very expensive for those first Christians; for millions who have suffered or died for the name of Jesus in every generation, including our own. And it cost Jesus everything. So who am I – who are we – that we should get off cheap?
Jesus put the cost of following Him right up front in Luke 14:27, “Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple.” In Luke 9:23, He made clear that joining Jesus in carrying your cross was not a once-for-all decision, but one that must be renewed every day. He said, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”
…Somewhere we’ve gotten the twisted idea that following Jesus just means going to some of His meetings, believing His beliefs, throwing a little money His way, maybe taking on a couple of jobs for Him, and maybe even being called a couple of names because we’re His. If the price tag gets much higher, we start to complain, to feel sorry for ourselves, to think about quitting. We are here today because of some real disciples who refused to quit, no matter what the cost. Because of a Savior who refused to quit, even when it meant the agony and humiliation of the cross.
…Don’t be afraid to make the choices for Him that may cost you something. That’s what taking up a cross means – expensive choices…. He is worth any price you pay for following Him, because as much as it may cost to follow Him, it costs a whole lot more not to follow Him.
Okay, now you see what I meant by intense! I pray, as I post this, that someone will be drawn to this tonight. I say drawn, because God seeks who He will call – we love Him because He first loved us!
If you know Christ, please remember the cost – both His and ours! If you don’t know Christ, I pray that He will draw you to Him through His Holy Spirit. The tag line is right… it costs a whole lot more not to follow Him!
Humbled by the mercy He shows me…