Bible Study & Devotional
Guiding Scripture: “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24, NIV)
🔴 Are You Ready to Pay the Price for Purpose?
At the time of this writing, there is a great deal of political upheaval in the United States. The past weeks, months, and years have been difficult and painful for most Americans, if we’re honest. I’ve noticed many people, including Christians, complaining that they feel pressure to choose a side. But this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Jesus told us that if we followed Him, the time would come when we would have to draw a line in the sand.
In Matthew 10:34 and 10:36, Jesus says, “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword…Your enemies will be right in your household!” (NLT)
Now, this certainly doesn’t mean that we should go around picking fights and causing trouble, far from it. However, it does mean that whenever we take a stand for Jesus, we should expect opposition. And whenever we pursue God’s purpose for our lives, we should be prepared to pay the price.
Sometimes the cost is popularity, for example:
1. You may be the only one in your group of single friends who believes in waiting until marriage to have sex.
2. The only person in your office who truthfully reports your time off.
3. The only one who calls out your family member who makes racist comments.
It’s never fun to be the only person who stands for righteousness, but as Paul says in Galatians 1:10, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (NIV).
Other times, the cost is much higher, forcing us to give up personal comfort, financial resources, or in the most extreme cases, our lives. With John’s exception, we believe all 12 disciples died violent deaths, many as martyrs for the Christian faith. Even today, thousands of Christians worldwide pay the ultimate price for their loyalty to Jesus every year. It’s a difficult thing to think about, but as tensions grow, we must ask ourselves:
Would we be willing to do the same if the situation called for it?
Jesus tells us repeatedly throughout Scripture that the life of a Christian isn’t an easy one, but the good news is that He also gives us hope. He promises that “Everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life.” (Matthew 19:29, NLT). Not only that, but He also assures us that when we acknowledge Him before men, He will do the same before His father in heaven (Matthew 10:32).
We must remember that Jesus has paid the price for us that we can never repay, and we honor that sacrifice by living for Him. If we want to live our lives with purpose, bringing glory to God and expanding His kingdom on the earth, we must serve Him wholeheartedly, knowing that we will reap tremendous blessings in return.
Are you ready to pay the price for purpose today?
~Lisa C. Gant
This devotional was submitted by Lisa C. Gant, a loving contributor to Our Given Purpose. Edited by Torrie Slaughter the founder of Our Given Purpose® in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
🔴 The Bible In A Year Daily Reading Plan
Leviticus 4:1-5:19, Mark 2:13-3:6, Psalm 36:1-12, Proverbs 10:1-2