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First - Count The Cost

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you, for I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;" Isaiah 43:2-3 One way NOT to bring someone to the Lord is to tell them that the Lord is going to heal them, deliver them, and prosper them, without telling them the rest of the story. While it is true, he will do all those things, nevertheless there is a cost to following the Lord and we would be remiss in not telling them the whole story. If someone decides to accept Christ for the benefits only, you're wasting your time because as soon as he comes into trials, he'll flee. Jesus is not a "get out of hell free" card. When one leaves the kingdom of this world which is ruled by Satan, and is born again into the Kingdom of God, the powers of hell will chase after that one relentlessly in order to get him back. Friends, when you bring someone to the Lord, present the whole truth to them so they can make an informed choice. Jesus told believers that in this world we will have tribulation (John 16:33). That's a fact, because we have a deadly enemy. Before someone comes to the Lord they need to know that. They need to count the cost. "For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost..." Luke 14:28 But once a person has counted the cost and has decided that he wants to follow Jesus Christ, there are great and mighty promises made for him. Yes, the waters will come, and the fire, and the pain, but no believer walks through these things alone, for Christ walks through it with them. In the Book of Daniel, chapter 3, we see three believers refusing to bow before the gods of the king and the penalty of that was that they were thrown into a fiery furnace. Yet in the end, not only were they not scorched, but the king looks in and sees that not three, but four are in there! "'Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?' They answered and said to the king, 'True, O king.' 'Look!' he answered, 'I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like a Son of God.'” Daniel 3:24-25 From the day you surrender your life to Jesus Christ, you will never again walk through anything alone. He will make his presence known to you, and his fingerprints will be all over your every story in such a way that it can't be missed. Nothing shall come into your life without his permission, and the difficult things he permits will be turned to the good and that is a promise (Romans 8:28); there will be purpose in it, and the fruit of that purpose will endure for all eternity. The fruit of it will give you heartfelt joy forever. Is it worth it? That's a beggarly question because anything passing through the hand of your Creator will ALWAYS be turned for your good, that's a promise you can absolutely trust. "And we know that ALL things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 If you're going through suffering now, take heart because it won't last forever, but it surely will bring you into a depth of communion with God that you have never known before. And then will have joy for all eternity. Be assured that there is no person in heaven who now regrets what he suffered in his lifetime on earth. Yes, the joy of heaven is that great. "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Romans 8:18


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