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Communion 2009

The Price of Obedience

Originally scheduled for September 20

It falls to a select few Christians to receive a high and hard calling in the faith. Most of us are called to lowly things – which just might be a practical form of “lead us not into temptation.” Most of us are not cut out to be heroes, leaders or even modestly famous. Those who receive the high and hard calling are, in a sense, privileged. They receive high honor and recognition for this calling; most of us will receive the simple, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” But for that honor there is sacrifice – hard work at the very least. Often enough that sacrifice carries with it martyrdom – the honor of dying for Christ. Indeed, the ultimate example of the high and hard calling is in our Lord himself, who was sent to take away the sins of the world.

 

There is a secret to those who succeed in the high and hard calling, and it is one we can use: obedience. Permit me a comparison. Some of you will remember Jim Jones, the preacher who led his church to mass suicide in Guyana. Compare him to Billy Graham. Both men worked hard. Both men made sacrifices to achieve their goals. Both were loved by those who followed them and derided by the world around them. But only one was obedient to his Lord; the other followed his own vision.

Things go right, you see, when you follow the instructions given by God. That’s Christian obedience. The ultimate example is, again, in Christ himself – who was obedient to the Father, even to death.

 

The ultimate price of Christian obedience is one most of us will never pay: death. But is it not obvious that there can be no greater price a man can pay? It is a fact that millions of Christians paid this price; many were martyrs simply because they would not proclaim Caesar as a god. In this they followed their ultimate example: Christ.

It is fitting, therefore, that we should remember that obedience. The time may yet come when we are called to imitate it; therefore it is good to keep the example fresh in our minds. Do this – in remembrance of Him.

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