Mark 8:34 (NIV)
34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
“How much does it cost?” was the question of the inquiring consumer. The price is almost always that which makes the decision as to a purchase. Is this really worth it? Does it give what is promised? Will it be worth it after all? All good questions to ask when making a purchase.
Consider what our Lord offers to those who make the decision to follow Him no matter what. Is it worth it? It all depends on what you value. Do you value a life of purity and holiness? Do you value an eternal relationship with your creator?
Here is the Master of the Universe offering himself to anyone who desires him. What is the cost? Just to no longer live for yourself but for him. Some would consider this far too high a price to pay but, in reality, is it? What do you have to leave behind in order to find this life? Just your fallen, corrupted soul, just a love for all the things that will only to lead to death.
What do you receive when you deny yourself and take up your cross? Life everlasting, forgiveness of sins, joy abounding, love without measure.
There once was a wise merchant who found a field that contained pearls of great price. He immediately returned to his home and promptly sold everything he had in order to obtain the field. Did he consider the price too high? Not on your life, the text says that he did it with great joy because he had discovered what his life was to be about.
So dear saint consider this thought this morning, “Your Savior is offering you life to the fullest and all you have to do is to stop living for yourself which only leads to death and destruction and heartache and pain. Lay down your life and pick up your cross and follow Christ and you will find life more than you could possibly imagine.
Journal of our trek through the City of Chicago:
Today is the second day of our trek through Chicago. We are finding the cross to be weighty but we are also discovering the joy of following our Lord through the streets of this great city. Already we have watched God provide for us in the following ways; rain started as we began our walk but stopped before we even got wet. One man we shared with said that he had not been following Christ for five years but saw the cross and thought he needed to return to him. A few minutes later he returned and said he needed to give us an offering and gave us twenty dollars to help buy us food on our journey; as we were nearing the end of our ten mile walk all four of us were getting pretty thirsty and when we were making our way through a neighborhood a lady came out and offered us cold refreshing water. So we drank and were refreshed and then we heard a familiar sound, the ice cream truck was coming down the street just after we finished the cold water and I thought, “The twenty dollars is going to buy the team ice cream.” The truck stopped and we used the twenty dollars to buy ice cream for all and had money left over.
We prayed for every school we passed. The last school was Barak Obama Academy. We arrived to pray just school was letting out. We set up the cross and were about to pray when one of the administrators came out and asked what we were doing. We told him that we were going to pray for the school that God would bless them and he immediately said, “Please pray for the children.” We did.
We had several opportunities to talk with people who did not know Jesus. We finished our walk at Beacon Hill Baptist Church and were treated to a great meal and great fellowship. Then we had a good time of prayer and went to bed and slept well.
Now it is the second day and we are headed north into the city. God only knows what awaits us as we carry his cross toward the heart of the city. We have decided that laying down our life and picking up his cross is really the only way to find true and lasting life. Go ahead church and accept the challenge of denying yourself and picking up your cross you too will find life worth living.