"When Jesus calls a man, He bids him come and die." (Dietrich Bonhoffer)
That's what it costs: Death to self everyday.
When we choose to follow Christ it requires all of us. He doesn't want so much of our money, or so much of our time, or so much of our work (Lewis). He wants us. And that may sound simple. . . non-commital. . . safe. Like we don't really have do anything except say the words. But, think again.
"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it; and he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal." (John 12:24-25)
I'm realizing more and more that beauty really does come out of ashes. The most wonderful things in the world take sacrifice.
Seeds are small and plain and apparently useless. But when you put them in the ground, something incredible happens. That little round seed dies --- it splits open; it gives itself. And bursting out, comes life.
My heart wants to be that seed. But many times my mind, my life, my sin, get in the way. It's hard to want to sacrifice. Our natural selves tell us to look out for number one. The world says that inside of us we're all "good" people. Believe in yourself, they say. Follow your heart, they say.
"The heart is deceitful above all things" He says. "And desperately sick."
Nothing in us that does not die will ever come to life.
God is so full of glorious paradoxes.