Following Jesus requires sacrifice. We must beware of any teaching that disregards this reality. Therefore, we must consider the question, “What has it cost me to follow Jesus?” And what are some things in life that could hold us back from truly being a follower of Jesus?
As I’ve been spending time the last few weeks reading over Paul’s last letter to Timothy, I’ve been humbled and convicted and challenged by the tone in Paul’s voice and how he’s pleading with Timothy to not compromise his commitment to Jesus. To be honest, I’ve struggled with what’s being said in this letter because it just seems so far away from my own experience and my own commitment to Jesus.
As followers of Jesus, we should never give people a reason to criticize us, but we shouldn’t compromise our commitment to Jesus in order to avoid criticism either. We should not be ashamed to be associated with Jesus.
This is an astounding description of God’s love for man and a beautiful promise to those who love Him back. This is perhaps one of the most awesome sentences in all of Scripture. However, I often fear that this summary statement made by Jesus has been hijacked at times to promote a distorted gospel message.