Sunday, January 27, 2013

The cost

I'm in a place of deep thought with the Lord.  You know those times when something that God is working on in your heart seems to come up everywhere?  I am currently taking a discipleship Bible study at church while simultaneously reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship.  So many words from Bonhoeffer's book are resonating in my soul.  I have much to ponder.  The cost of grace.  Christians love to talk of God's love and grace and how God loves to lavish us in His grace.  Now, I believe that He does.  But...that grace that God gives us cost Him everything.  Bonhoeffer says:

Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession, absolution without personal confession.  Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.  Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has...Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow...Jesus Christ.  What has cost God much cannot be cheap for us.  Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us.  Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.

Am I really willing to pay any price to follow Christ?  I don't know for sure...  Does God's lavish grace mean that I should be comfortable all the time?  Certainly not.  Through difficulties I can have abundance and I can have joy.  I can have peace that passes understanding.  If my peace must be beyond comprehension, then it seems that the peace within my soul will not always make sense to others. For it is just for my soul from His Spirit.  More from Bonhoeffer:

The cross is laid on every Christian.  The first Christ-suffering which every man must experience is the call to abandon the attachments of this world.  The cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise god-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ.  
When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.

The sermon this morning talked of cheapening God's grace.  The special music was about becoming stronger in our weakness.  Asking for God to show up in our suffering...even asking Him to bring us to a place of weakness and suffering so that we can be stronger in Him.  When my life feels stormy and painful what I need more than calmer water is, simply, Jesus.  What I need when following Christ seems too costly is to remember the cost my Savior paid for me. I have been looking for the Stronger for It song lyrics but cannot find them online.    Please listen to this song.  

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