Time with God - January 7, 2016

Luke 14: 27-28, 33 (NLT)

And you cannot be my disciple if you do not carry your own cross and follow me. But don't begin until you count the cost. So no one can become my disciple without giving up everything for me.

What's the cost of following Jesus?

Isaias Catorce, Ambassadors for Christ International's director in the Philippines, shares that there are many obstacles to ministry in his country, but that there is a great hunger for the Gospel. On his preaching trips to remote corners of the various islands, he often faces long, difficult travel.

When the team arrives in a village, they begin preaching at 8 pm and give the benediction after midnight. But no one leaves. "You can go home now," he says.

Still they do not leave. "No, pastor, give us more!" Many who attend have walked up to 8 hours to attend the meeting. Hearing the Word of God brings consolation and strength to their hungry souls.

When the meeting is finally over, the team often sleeps on the floor of the pastor's house with the dogs. They return home very, very tired and flea-bitten.

Isaias' daughter once said to him after one of the trips, "Daddy, why are they doing this to you?" He answered her, "It's OK. The local pastors are sharing all they have and that is enough."

So, what is the cost of following Jesus? One word: everything. Just as He gave up everything for us, He calls us to give up everything for Him. As long as we cling to our own life priorities, we are not hungry enough for Him to give up everything, and we are missing the delights He has for us. Jesus gave up everything, even His life (Philippians 2), but He was filled with the joy of the Lord (Hebrews 1). Paul said, "For me, to live is Christ."

Are you hungry enough for more of the Lord that you would walk 8 hours to worship with others and hear a sermon? Is your heart in tune enough with His priorities that you would sleep on the floor with the dogs for the privilege of sharing His word with others?

For the iPhone app and more from John North and Ambassadors For Christ International, click here.

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