For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.
The cost to follow Jesus is extraordinary. Jesus calls us to lay down everything for Him and the sake of His kingdom. To follow Jesus doesn't mean we are promised health, wealth, and prosperity. It doesn't mean that God doesn't bless us and that God hasn't blessed people financially in His kingdom. There are those who God has blessed financially in mighty ways because He calls them to use their finances to bless others and advance the kingdom.
But what Jesus calls us to is to lay down everything for Him and His kingdom. He tells us in this world you will have trouble but to fear not He has over come the world (John 16:33). We need to have a proper understanding when we are making a decision to follow Jesus. If we believe that the purpose of Jesus dying on the cross is to make us happy and to give us what we desire, we have come to follow a false Jesus. We have not heard the gospel.
One of the greatest privileges God can give any Christian is to suffer for Him. There is a deep work that happens within us when we are called to suffer. God is brought great glory when we are called to suffer and we don't become bitter towards God, but instead we praise Him with all that is within us. Our lives are called to be a living sacrifice unto the Lord. Our lives no longer belong to us.
The major issue is there has been a false gospel preached in America. It is a gospel that focuses on man instead of a gospel focused on God. All that we have is because of the grace and mercy of God. It is His kindness that leads to repentance. May we heed the call to lay down all for the sake of Jesus Christ. May our one aim and desire be His glory. May our eyes and heart be fixed upon Him.
Father I thank you today for calling me and finding me. I thank you that by your grace I am saved. Jesus I thank you for giving everything for my salvation and freedom. I thank you for redeeming my sin and my shame. I thank you that in you I am set free. I thank you that in you I am free. I praise you because you are my God and may you enable me to lay down everything for the sake of your mighty name. In the name of Jesus, Amen!