Following Jesus costs something. After all, Jesus said that “any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33). This is why He encouraged everyone to “count the cost” of following Him (Luke 14:28). These days, the choice between the world and Jesus is becoming more costly. Just take the case of the Benham brothers.
At the 2014 Values Voter Summit, Jason and David Benham spoke about losing their show because of their biblical stance on homosexuality. They noted that “It is a fun thing to follow Jesus until you find out where He’s going, because He’s going to a cross and He’s asking you to come follow Him; and we got that experience in real life.”
It may not be popular to preach about, but Jesus died so that we would live for Him. The Bible says “he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised” (2 Corinthians 5:15). Paul, who enjoyed the good life of being a well-educated Jewish leader, said “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:8). Power, prestige, and prosperity can’t compare to serving Christ out of love. It’s why Moses “considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward” (Hebrews 11:26). He eagerly awaited the promise of Christ, choosing persecution instead of the pleasures of sin (Hebrews 11:24-25).
Jesus died for the world, that whoever would trust in Him would also die—to this world, to sin and to themselves. It’s why He said “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:25). If you’re a follower of Jesus, your life is not your own (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). It belongs to Jesus, and that’s a really good thing because only the slave of Christ is truly free (1 Corinthians 7:22-23). If you’re not serving Christ, you will be a slave to your own desires, to the fear of man and to the fear of death.
Sure, serving Christ isn’t easy. What happens when things get rough? Well, the Benham brothers got on their knees and prayed “Lord Jesus, we committed to serve you with all our hearts whatever the cost. Whatever happens to this show, happens to this show, but we will not back down because you’re worth it. Jesus is Lord.” They may have lost the show, but they’ve got everything they need: Jesus.