The Cost

“But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” (Acts 9:15, 16 KJV)

Any time you start a new project there are several costs that need to be considered. Not simply to decide if you want to go forward with the project or not (although that needs to be considered too), but by estimating certain costs you can begin to get a picture of how this project is going to proceed. Some things have to be let go of right from the planning phases and it is understood that, although missed, they are simply too expensive to engage and still obtain the desired result. One of the passions of a new believer is to tell everyone around him about his new discovery in Christ. This is a valiant passion. One that is generally to be encouraged. One that is often amazingly successful and reaches those that long standing believers have not yet been able to reach. You would think that one who is in the midst of whatever he was in the midst of would be an ideal testimony to those who are also caught up in that activity or belief structure. Many times this is the case. This truly offers a unique and powerful testimony.

However, sometimes this testimony is best seen with joy from the believers and not from the circle of influence from which the new convert has come. From the Christian perspective, a convert from an atheist circle ought to be an excellent witness to all the atheists. A convert from a Muslim faith should be a key note speaker to others in that faith. Many times this is very effective. Yet in God’s design for Paul, an avid Jew, he is being sent to the Gentiles. We see Paul’s passion for the Jews in his testimony in Jerusalem (see Acts 22), but there are certain passions that we must write off in lieu of the direction Jesus has directed us. From time to time we may have opportunity to speak to those we care so much about, and those are times that should be bathed in prior prayer so that much will be accomplished. Yet learning to be passionate about what God has called you to do, even if it is counter your perceived talents, is what we should work our hardest at. Those are the seeds that He has given you to plant and from those seeds you may one day see the greatest harvest from.

This is not to hinder or impede the progress of a certain population. It is hard for the manager to understand the upfront cost of following God’s direction. They find in that surrender that God has someone headed for every population, group, and individual. It is in this surrender that they grow the most in their faith and those receiving the individual sent to them hear the clearest. The best irony comes when God sends you directly to your closest neighbor.

“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” (Mark 10:32, 33 KJV)

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