Sunday, September 5, 2010

Pentecost 15 (Proper 18)

Today's readings were Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Philemon 8-21, and Luke 14:25-35 (sermon text).

Christianity is not peaches and cream. Discipleship has its consequences and risks - but these are entirely worth it! Learning about Christianity can strike fear in the heart, but so do life's uncertainties. Spiritual risks include humiliation, embarrassment (being naked before God), appearing weak (before men). But Christ has promised to be with, listen to, and protect us always. We give up self and get God's goodness! We are changed for the better, known by the Spirit's fruits shown in our lives.

Unique hassles of Christianity are complexities, suffering for Christ, being at odds with the world, and being rejected. But we keep fighting for the prize, not giving up or in. Could we be in the wrong? Many would say so. We reply: so what? If Jesus exists as He claims, all the better for us! If not, our lives are still changed for the better as a consequence of believing in Him. There are eternal ramifications; Christ is worth losing all else. For He is our all, He in us, and we in Him.

Soli Deo gloria.

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