Thursday, July 15, 2010

The cost of following Christ

How much does your Christianity cost you on a given day? If we're honest, most of us don't pay a lot for following Jesus because we're risking little for His name and glory. Those who best know the cost of following are those who face the greatest opposition from others. Consider the cost paid by one French Protestant as recounted by Eustache Knobelsdorf, a German student in Paris, who witnessed the following in 1542:

"I saw two [Protestants] burned [in Paris]. Their death inspired me in differing sentiments. If you had been there, you would have hoped for a less severe punishment for these poor unfortunates....The first was a very young man, not yet with a beard...he was the son of a cobbler. He was brought in front of the judges and condemned to have his tongue cut out and burned straight afterward. Without changing the expression of his face, the young man presented his tongue to the executioner's knife, sticking it out as far as he could. The executioner pulled it out even further with pincers, cut it off and hit the sufferer several times on the tongue and threw it in the young man's face. Then he was put into a tipcart, which was driven to the place of execution, but, to see him, one would think he was going to a feast....When the chain had been placed around his body, I could not describe to you with what equanamity of soul and with what expression in his features he endured the cries...and insults of the crowd that were directed toward him. He did not make a sound, but from time to time he spat out blood that was filling his mouth, and he lifted his eyes to heaven, as if he was waiting for some miraculous rescue. When his head was covered in sulphur, the executioner showed him the fire with a menacing air; but the young man, without being scared, let it be known, by a movement of his body, that he was giving himself up willingly to be burned."

- Calvin, Bruce Gordon, p. 192

Thankfully, we're not being led off by an executioner for our Christianity today. Still, following Jesus will cost if we're taking His commission to make war against our sin and bring in His Kingdom. What price are you paying for His glory today?

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