From the Pastor

On counting the cost…

To die a martyr’s death
‘Tis yet a price too small
For with His final breath
He gave His life for all.

Consider Steven, James, Peter, Paul and the countless number of saints throughout church history that have died a martyr’s death with courage and with a peace that passes all understanding, defying the adversaries of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the most torturous of circumstances. Would I have done so? I am forced to count the cost of following Christ when I reflect on these things. How much am I willing to do or to lose for Him? How have so many believers faced even death for Him? Where did they get the power to endure such pain brutally inflicted upon them? It is a question well worth the asking, my friends. Jesus instructed His disciples in chapter 10 of Matthew’s gospel on the subject of enduring persecution to the end. He plainly told them and us that serving Him was not going to be easy. He was right, of course. Easy grace is not what Jesus has in mind for His followers. Rather, it seems logical to conclude that we should expect a most difficult path that He just might set before us. He also sets something else before us that we cannot afford to miss—Eternity with Him.

Let us count the cost together, never fearing or doubting –
If I believe that Jesus died for me, I face the possibility of rejection for His sake.
If I believe that Jesus died for me, I face the possibility of persecution for His sake.
If I believe that Jesus died for me, I face the possibility of death for His sake.
If I believe that Jesus died for me, I have the promise of Eternity with Him.

If I believe that Jesus lives for me, I have no reason to fear rejection for His sake.
If I believe that Jesus lives for me, I have no reason to fear persecution for His sake.
If I believe that Jesus lives for me, I have no reason to fear death for His sake.
If I believe that Jesus lives for me, I have the promise of Eternity with Him.

I do, of course, believe these things. I have counted the cost. I have found it to be paid in full by Him. Would I be able to die a martyr’s death? If that is what He wants from me, I know I would. He who died for me has enabled me to do all things in His strength, even when I am weak. I will gladly take up that cross for Him, at any cost.