In my 20 plus years as a Christian I have heard sermon after sermon about the “free” gift of salvation, about how glorious life is after receiving Christ and having your sins washed away. Well, I beg to differ. I’m going to make a very bold statement that may upset a few people; salvation is not free. There is a cost that a lot of preachers don’t want to tell you about because it doesn’t make Christianity sound so attractive, and they want you to want it. And you can have it for the low price of the life that you’re used to living. Yes, your life.
Most of us didn’t learn about this price until after we’d signed up. Once you’re in, they tell you about the sacrifices you’re expected to make; giving up sin, dropping old emotional baggage, letting someone who knows you even better than you know yourself guide you through life, giving up control. What?!
The “free” part comes when God takes that old life and gives you a new one that’s a hundred times better. I’m not sure that math adds up, but I guess that’s why they call it grace. I won’t kid you though, it’s not always easy. We’re comfortable with our emotional baggage and dropping it can be difficult. I know I attempted to pick mine back up several times. And giving up control? Don’t even get me started! Then there’s the whole getting to know someone you can’t physically see, hear, or touch thing. Talk about not easy!
Here’s the thing – Christ sacrificed His life to save us from the penalty of death for our sins, and make no mistake – we are ALL sinners. When we choose to accept His gift of salvation we are choosing to make Him Lord of our lives; walk with Him, talk with Him, learn His ways and follow His example. These things are not easy for finite, self-absorbed creatures like us. He knows that and He loves us anyway.
Sometimes walking with Jesus feels like a big sacrifice. It feels difficult and even confusing at times. Bad things still happen to us and we still mess up big time. The difference is that we are still forgiven, AND we have a helper at our disposal – the Holy Spirit. We can turn to Him at any time for comfort and advice. This Christian life is not for the faint of heart. It’s a wild ride! It’s an ongoing process of one step forward, two steps back sometimes and other times it’s a glorious mountaintop experience. It’s an adventure like no other! We don’t receive Christ and immediately move into the castle. We spend some time in the desert, just like Jesus did.
Like Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Nothing worth having comes easy.” A relationship with Jesus is worth having! Eternity in heaven rather than hell is worth everything I’ve got to give! Christ going to the cross for us wasn’t easy for Him. I guess He thinks that WE are worth having.