Verse: 1 Corinthians 4:8-13
8 Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have begun to reign—and that without us! How I wish that you really had begun to reign so that we also might reign with you! 9 For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings. 10 We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! 11 To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. 12 We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13 when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment.
Have you ever decided not to buy something because the price was too high? Recently my son had a choice to buy a new phone or to fix his old one. His decision came down to one thing: price. He definitely wanted the new phone. That wasn't the issue. It was just so much more expensive than repairing the old one.
This is what Paul is talking about here: the price of following Jesus. The people he's writing to want honor without having paid the price, and he compares them to the price the apostles have paid. For the sake of the gospel, they have been hungry, they have been insulted, they have been mistreated, and more.
But in Paul's view it has all been worth it. My son decided the new phone wasn't worth the price. But Paul decided that life with Jesus was worth the price that it would cost him.
And let's not fool ourselves. There is a cost to following Jesus. You will be different. People will judge you. Some decisions will be harder. The call is a sacrificial one. It is a call to lay down your life for God and others. But it is worth it.
Maybe you need to hear this today. Maybe the cost has felt too high lately. Maybe it's been really hard to follow Jesus lately. I want to encourage you today: you are not alone. You are in great company. All the men and women who have paid the price over the last 2000 years are with you in this. Together, we can do it. Don't give up. And not only that - God is with you! Scripture tells us that he helps us in our weakness and that he is near to us when life is hard.
Listen to me: the price may be high at times, but it is worth it.
The life you get to live with Jesus will far outweigh the price you have to pay. Stick with it. Don't give up. Endure. And God's blessing with flow in your life.
Jesus you know, better than anyone, the cost. Give me courage to not give up.