The other evening I sat in front of my computer screen face to face via skype with our new field director for Touched by Mercy Ministries India, Pastor Sudarshan, as he leaned toward the camera showing me the scars he had taken for preaching the Gospel in that predominately Hindu nation. Yet, upon his face was not the appearance of weariness, or deep crevices from years of anguish from persecution. No none of these were present. But, instead a light shone from his face; a brightness that was evidence of the joy of the Lord that motivated this man of God.
I went to bed that night with a greater burden for this man, his family, and the team he ministers with. I lay in bed and woke with the same pressing thought of the cost these men and woman face as they battle on the front lines as they face down hostile enemies of the cross. A conviction fills me as i think of the many times I complain about the now understood minuscule hardships I face in propagating the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But, in my mental role play this morning I am fully aware that I face an enemy who is determined to stop my efforts at ministering the Gospel.
We may not stand on the street corner, blood trickling down our brow from a rock we took to the head, or facing a knife wielding crazed man angered at the message we bring, but there is opposition just the same, and a cost to be counted.
I am reminded of the words of Jesus in--
26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it-- 29 lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’? 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. "
There is a cost to spreading this Good News no matter where that mission field is. The question that swirls about my head this morning is--
"Am I willing to give up all for Christ. Today I say yes and I pray as long as there is a tomorrow I will wake up and the words from my lips are yes Lord, "Here am I ! Send me." Isaiah 6:8b
I love you all!!