“In this world you will have trouble.” John 16:33 (NIV) Where do people get the idea that if you follow Jesus you can expect a life that is free from failure, disappointment, and loss? This is exactly the opposite of what Jesus says. Jesus confronts His disciples with the realities...
Since Christ suffered in the body, arm yourselves with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. 1 Peter 4:1 (NIV)
What Peter has in mind is not breaking a leg or some kind of illness. It’s the price you pay for doing what is right: “If you should suffer for what is right you are blessed” (3:14). “It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil” (3:16).
Jesus paid the ultimate price to bring highly resistant people to God, and if we are Christ’s followers, it works the same way with us. There is a price to pay for doing what is right.
Jesus was ready to pay the price of living in obedience to the Father, and you need to come to the place where you are ready to pay the price of obedience too. Your suffering will play a part in the advance of God’s kingdom among highly resistant people. The suffering is the price you pay for doing what is right; the attitude is that you are ready to pay the price.
The defining mark of an authentic Christian is not when you say a prayer, go forward at a meeting, or get baptized. It is the moment when it costs you something. It is when you make a decision you would never have made if it were not for Jesus.
When you pay a price for doing what is right, you have some skin in the game. You value what you paid for. There will be a new clarity in your obedience to Jesus, a new decisiveness in your living for Jesus. It will change the way that you live.
Do you have some skin in the game?