"For the wages
of sin is death, but the free gift of
God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our
Lord." Romans 6:23
The title of this devotional may sound a
bit strange to a Christian since one of
the fundamental truths of the gospel is
that forgiveness is a free gift from
is free to us but it is not free to
Jesus or the Heavenly Father.
Jesus did not simply decide to say "I
forgive you," He
bore our sins Himself. What did those
sins do to Jesus? The Bible says that He
suffered more than any man. That He was
so literally torn to pieces by a beating
that He was unrecognizable as a man. His
bones and internal organs were exposed.
He was nailed to a wooden cross in such
a way that to breathe He had to push His
body up against the nails in His feet.
And then, worst of all, He was abandoned
by His Father as our sins were placed
upon His shoulders.
While on earth, Jesus charged His would
be followers to count the cost. He,
Himself had to count the cost of paying
for our sins and was willing to do so.
Likewise, Christians must count the cost
of being followers of Jesus.
You see, your salvation has been paid
for and all you have to do is receive
your pardon. How? By confessing your
sins to God. Tell Him how sorry you are
for your rebellious past and express
your commitment to stop practicing sin.
God promises to forgive the person who
turns from their sins.
But there is a cost in following Jesus.
It will cost you your old way of life
-your old sinful habits and ways. It
will mean that you must be willing to
yield to Godís standard of living as
given in the Ten Commandments and as
magnified by the teachings of Jesus. The
cost is obedience to God. Jesus said
that those who love Him will keep His
Commandments. Ultimately, it means that
you must be crucified with Christ - your
old self must die.
To follow Jesus is to obey Him. That is
the only cost of discipleship. Following
Jesus will cause you to be persecuted
and hated by the world. It may cause the
loss of family and friends as well. But
Jesus promised that whatever we lose for
following Him will be repaid a hundred
times over. And in the end we receive,
glory, honor and eternal life with
pleasure forever more.
When we understand that the price of our
forgiveness has been paid by the cruel
execution of Godís own Son, we can
better understand Godís question, -"How
can we escape if we neglect so great a