Thursday, May 27, 2010

At Any Cost

AND since it is of Thy mercy,
O gracious Father, that another day is added to our lives;
We here dedicate both our souls and our bodies to Thee and Thy service,
in a sober, righteous, and Godly life:
in which resolution, do Thou, O merciful God, confirm and strengthen us;
that, as we grow in age, we may grow in grace,
and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. ~ Amen."
(1828 Book of Common Prayer, Morning Prayers)

"And since it is of Thy mercy...We here dedicate both our souls and our bodies to Thee and Thy service..."

Ever feel like God is repeating something to you no matter where you turn? In my life the past couple of weeks the theme has been sacrificing my thoughts, time, emotions, heart, desires, relationships, hopes, fears, my whole LIFE to Him. I copied the following prayer into my journal and the front cover of my Bible:

"LORD, I give up all my own plans and purposes,
all my own desires and hopes and accept Thy will for my life.
I give myself, my life, my all, utterly to Thee to be Thine forever.
Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit.
Use me as Thou wilt, send me where Thou wilt,
and work out Thy whole will in my life
at any cost now
and forever.

~Betty Scott Stam~

The line in bold has me troubled: at any cost. I began reading The Cost of Discipleship by Bonhoeffer at the end of last year. He said a similar thing: if we are disciples of Christ Jesus it will cost us everything. Are we ready to pay the price? Am I ready to pay that price?

At any cost. Am I willing to root out sin in my life? Am I going to sacrifice friendships, family, even marriage? Will I offer up my hopes, dreams, and desires? Will I lay down my very life for the sake of Jesus Christ?

Well, how much do I love Jesus? Do I love Him more than my sin? Is He my desire above all others? Really? Would I give up my independence, Colorado, the familiar and the adventures in life? Do I love Him? Or do I want my own way more than His? Do I really think my choices, likes and dislikes, plans, and steps are better than His? Do I love Him enough to let go of them and find out? Do I love Him?

What price am I willing to pay? Something higher than most Christians offer? A very high price? Everything?


He doesn't ask us to follow Him at a high price. He didn't pay a high price for us. He paid the highest price. He demands the highest payment. Not because He is cruel or egocentric, but because He is just, He is worthy, He loves us. Do we love Him? Do I love Him?

Do I love Him enough to give Him everything? Enough to answer His call? Enough to be obedient to His commands? Enough to be called a disciple? Isn't it all or nothing? Why try to live somewhere between those options?

I admit, there are far too many rhetorical questions in the above lines. Far too much is assumed or open-ended.

There are many hard questions there.
I know what the answers should be.
I wonder how my life will actually answer them...

~ Johanna

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