The Heavy Price of Following Jesus

At the conference Jerry and I attended in Tucson last week, I was reminded again of the pain and suffering that is often always required of those who sincerely and fully commit their lives to God and to His work. The price exacted from ministers and their families prostrate_in_worship_sm6674053_stdis extensive and if truth be known, there has not been a church staked, but what a woeful, sometimes frightening charge has been levied. Blood streaks the foundation stones. The salt of tears muddles on altars, and to the discerning who walks about in the now beautiful, filled to capacity, auditorium (or the frankly faltering, half-empty shell of a church) may be seen shifting shadows of death and may be heard the faint din of despair.

A heavy price must be paid to follow Jesus. Unfair of me, though, to suggest that only ministry pays such price, for did not Jesus say in Mark 8:34:

“…whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

Deny myself? What does that mean, Jesus? Take up my cross? How? I thought living for God was the good life, the abundant life, viewed through rosy pray_2_3glasses that reveal only joyful and happy days. What about the power, the miracles, the healings? I thought I was getting into that, Jesus.

You are getting into that, Jesus says, for in verse 1 of Matthew 10, He speaks:

“And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.”

But the price. The heavy price.

“I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves…” vs. 16

“But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues:” vs. 17

“And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death…” vs. 21

“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake:” vs. 22

Expect suffering, Paul said in Romans 8:18

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

The disciples rejoiced in their suffering. Acts 5:40-41

“…and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

And they (apostles) departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.”

And so I have this word for you…and for me…today. Let us willingly pay the heavy price; the only price by which we are admitted into the fellowship of the suffering of Jesus, that lets us share His shame, His exhaustion, His disappointment, His cross.

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About Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 78 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She has been married to Jerry for 60 years. They have 4 children, 12 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)
This entry was posted in Acts, Bible, Christian Service, Devotionals, God, Humility, Jesus, Mark, Preaching/Preachers, Romans and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to The Heavy Price of Following Jesus

  1. Pingback: The Price Tag of Discipleship « Shirley Buxton

  2. Becky says:

    Good post, Shirley. Thanks for the reminder.

    Hi, Becky. Thank you for visiting my site…and for appreciating the reminder that suffering inevitably comes with serving Jesus.

  3. helenl says:

    What a powerful reminder of what it means to follow Him.

    Helen, honestly I vacillate between “taking glory in the cross,” and pursuing comfort and ease, although I like to think my spiritual side that rejoices in the suffering (small though it is) takes precedent over my natural side that wants little of sacrifice. I take comfort in Paul’s writing where he confesses to the same battle.

    Pray for me.

  4. helenl says:

    Shirley,

    I guess the response on the other blog was a back-handed compliment, concerning this blog, and meant to say, I really like a medium-sized church, where I see the best of both small and new combined, which is my opinion and nothing more.

    I also know we must go where the Lord leads, whether others “get it'” or not. Precious few people understand my call to racial issues and my challenge to Christians. If it were up to me, I’d have abandoned that years ago, but it isn’t up to me. I do enjoy and grow from your posts on this blog and, maybe selfishly, wish you’d post here more often and share your wisdom.

    I think, here you minister to yourself also. I will pray for you. Please pray for me.

    Love, Helen

    Thank you for the compliments, Helen. I do appreciate them and do not take them lightly.

    I’d like to respond to this statement of yours:

    I think, here you minister to yourself also.

    I believe you are right in this observation. Yesterday, I had a combination lunch and counseling session with a dear person whose life is a mass of problems. As we parted she thanked me for listening, and, wise person that she is, (despite some unwise decisions and choices she has made–as have we all at one or two times in our lives) said, “It has helped so much just to hear myself say these words.” She’s right of course. We sort out and solidify our beliefs, by saying them…by writing them…and in that regard we do minister to ourselves.

    Thank you, Helen.

  5. Pingback: Speaking in Tongues in a Catholic Church « Shirley Buxton

  6. tommyjoe says:

    Hi Sis. Buxton! How are you and Bro. Buxton? It has been a while for me since blogging. I do have to schedule time for it, and I finally did! Wanted to visit your site. I liked this reminder about the price of following Jesus. Sometimes, when I’m tempted to think things are “really heavy,” I remind myself of Jesus’ words, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28–30).

    I’m not someone who likes to minimize others’ devotion to/sacrifices for the Lord. I feel like we all, in one way or another, have had devotions/sacrifices to make. Some sacrifices have seemed heavier at times than others and for some greater than for others. but to me, when it’s all put into proper perspective, it’d be wrong to underestimate the words of the Lord (or the recompense of the reward we’re asked to keep in mind) who tells us his yoke is easy and his burden is light. It is the way of the transgressor that is hard! (A good man in the church I used to attend in WA state—Bro. Mark at Calvary Apostolic Tabernacle pastored by Bro. Coon—used to testify often to this effect.) I try to keep this always in mind.

    Lord bless you. I think of you often (weekly) as you are in consistent prayer! And sorry for being so long-winded. It’d been a while since I’d “spoken” (laugh).

  7. Fiona says:

    I believe that God has led me to your article about the heavy price we have to pay to follow Jesus! I am Catholic and I have recently received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit followed by the manisfestation of tongues. Speaking in tongues has been the most wonderful experience of my life so far. There is so much joy speaking to Him, I cannot even begin to explain it! It was last night that I felt the ‘mood’ of my tongues very suddenly going ‘solemn’ (tears started flowing). Like God said He had something important to say to me. I could feel myself asking God very surprisedly why He was asking me to prepare for the ‘suffering’ ahead? Whilst still speaking in tongues all this while, I could feel myself telling him I couldn’t understand….I begged him. I said I was disappointed. Didn’t I just find Him? The joy? The jubilation? Why was he talking about suffering? Wasn’t finding Him all about victory? Wasn’t He going to solve all my problems because of my surrender. I woke up this morning and it was the same feeling. So…… I’ve just read your article and it seems to be jumping out at me. Thank you.

  8. SUSAN SAPP says:

    DEAR SISTER IN CHRIST, I HAVE JUST FOUND YOUR SITE AND WAS SO VERY BLESSED. THE SPIRIT OF OUR SAVIOR IS SO VERY REAL IN THE WORDS YOU SPEAK. TO GOD BE THE GLORY FOR ALL HE HAS DONE AND ALL HE IS DOING AND WILL DO IN THESE FINAL HOURS. I SEE THE MOVING OF HIS PRESENCE IN THE LIVES OF SO MANY LOST SOULS. PLEASE PRAY THE I WOULD GAIN A MUCH DEEPER BURDEN FOR THE LOST, SO DEEP THE IT HURTS. GOD BLESS YOU DEAR SISTER, IN JESUS’ PRECIOUS NAME. LOVE IN CHRIST, SUSAN 1ST UPC ,GLENNVILLE, GA.

  9. SUSAN SAPP says:

    PS, I SHOULD HAVE PROOF READ MY E-MAIL TO YOU SORRY FOR SUCH POOR SPELLING! SUSAN!!!

  10. Hi Shirley. I just happened to click on you God things for the first time today. And I am glad I did. This morning, I cried so hard…before God. Why does it have to be so hard? I asked Him. Isn’t it enough that I obeyed you, left my country, my people and all I had to follow you into the unknown? And He has answered me…through this post and I give Him glory.

    You are a blessing to me and many out there. Keep being true to Him.

    Gladwell

  11. marycoxpace says:

    Yes, there is a very high price to follow Jesus. And I’m glad, because it’s a true indicator that we are human and He is God.

    God bless you,
    Mary

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