Costly Discipleship

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But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on buying it,

for I cannot present burnt offerings to the Lord my God that have cost me nothing.”

2 Samuel 24:24

 

Grace is free, but not cheap. Grace cost Me the Love of My life. My Son Jesus paid sin’s awful price with His innocent blood. Near the location of Araunah’s threshing floor, Abraham would have sacrificed his son Isaac, had an angel not interrupted his brave plan; but I did not spare My Son His excruciating death on Skull Hill.

 

Grace is yours for the asking, but there is a high cost to pay if you are to be My disciple. David had a chance to make an easy sacrifice, by accepting Araunah’s offer of a gift. But his conscience moved him to purchase the threshing floor and oxen. I ask you to surrender to your Creator at a cost the finest you have to offer, not just what requires no sacrifice. Anything less than your best is no real sacrifice.

 

Half-hearted discipleship will not do. I demand undivided allegiance. Only the highest quality, fully devoted service pleases Me. To follow Me, deny cheap attractions. To love Me wholeheartedly, quit lesser loyalties. To worship Me authentically, ignore inferior idols.

 

Let challenging teachings of My Son reverberate in your heart—If you want to be My follower, you must give up your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and walk in My footsteps. If you try to make everything revolve around yourself, you will miss life. If you make Me the center of your life, you will find life’s true meaning.

 

I am not opposed to your having a good time. I am not advocating that you go looking for pain. I am saying it will take heroic effort on your part to stay close to Me. Kingdom work will often be difficult. Walking in Jesus’ steps is never a cakewalk.

 

Near the site of David’s burnt offering was a place called Calvary—no easy place to die. You can be sure it will not be easy for you to shoulder your cross and unselfishly serve Me. Splinters from the cross will hurt—crucifixion of your ego will be painful.

 

Because your King paid a high price for you, respond in kind. Giving Me your life as a pure and holy sacrifice is reasonable worship.

 

Solomon built the expensive, magnificent Temple on the former site of Araunah’s threshing floor—build your life on Christ, whatever the cost. Consecration of your body as a temple of My Holy Spirit will transform your inner being to be like Jerusalem, city of peace. The eternal value of closeness to the King of hearts will be worth any price you have to pay.

 

Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

 

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Johnny R. Almond earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey and a Diploma in Religious Studies from the University of Cambridge. After pastoring churches for a decade, he served the Air Force as a military chaplain in worldwide assignments. After retiring from the military in 2000, he began serving as pastor in Virginia. He currently serves as pastor of Hull's Memorial Baptist Church in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He and his wife, Beverly, have four sons, three grandsons, and two granddaughters.

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