The Price of Free, that is, the cost of following Jesus. I covered alienation, self denial, reliance and vigilance. Today, I’d like to write the counter balance: the reward for following Jesus and why it far out-weighs any burden.
The reward is freedom. Without Christ’s sacrifice, without his saving grace, we would have remained locked in an inescapable prison. And then we would have died. But not only are we saved from death, we are given eternal life.
The reward is community. We may be alienated from the world, but we now have a new family. We are part of a community that builds each other up. We have all the support we could ever need. Our brothers and sisters surround us with love and encouragement and strength. We are made whole by the new connection to the many. The difference is that this community is not just made up of fallible people; it’s brought together through the renewing power of our Lord and Saviour.
The reward is self denial. From a worldly perspective this is a cost, but from a Christian view it is a reward. When we deny ourselves our world opens up to include others and most especially it includes God. We give Him room to move in our lives. We are more able to love others, more able to love ourselves and more able to love God and see all that He has done for us. We gain God’s peace.
The reward is reliance. Again, this could be seen as a cost, but the end result is a reward. It’s no longer up to us to save the world. It’s no longer up to us to carry the burden on our own (Matthew 11:30). It’s no longer up to us to battle the storms. We have our Lord who will fight for us. We only need to be still. (Exodus 14:14). We have no reason to doubt Him and every reason to trust Him.
The reward is a relationship with God. This is the greatest reward of all. We gain a friend who will never betray us, who will never leave us and who will always help us. We gain a love that gives us unspeakable joy. We gain a power that will always protect us. We gain everything worth having.
Can you think of other rewards to add to this list? How has God made a difference to your life in a way that out-weighs any cost?
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