When Is the Price Too Great to Pay?

The young church at Philippi heard of Paul’s imprisonment, sent Epaphroditus to comfort him, along with money and gifts. Certainly, a sacrificial act; however, they soon discovered that Epaphroditus fell ill.  How could a loving God allow such a thing?  Why would God allow Paul to be imprisoned and even possibly face death for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ?  When is the Price too great to pay to spread the gospel message?  Yet, Paul responds in his letter, “never!”  The cost is never too great to pay for the eternal salvation of one soul.  Jesus, certainly taught us that truth!  Our life upon this earth, our journey reflects a mere second in time compared to eternity. One blink of the eye and this life could be over.  So, we must ask ourselves, “Is the price ever too great for the salvation of one soul?”

Truly, the lesson my life taught me; yet, my sacrifices never compared to those of Paul.  Furthermore, Paul would say his sacrifice paled in comparison to that of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Jesus left His majestic throne, to walk humbly among mankind; willingly taking upon Himself all the shame, guilt, and punishment that we so deserved; in order to save us from our sins and cloak us with His righteousness; that, we might be adopted into the family of God.

THE PRICE SEEN THROUGH THE EYES OF GRACE

Paul wrote the church of Philippi these words:

12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,[b] that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard[c] and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear. Philippians 1 (TLB)

Look at what Paul said!  No matter how bad this looks; God means it for good!  My imprisonment is being used by God to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ in places it never could have gone.  Furthermore, my chains embolden others to spread the gospel without fear.  Paul recognized that no price was too great to pay for the salvation of one soul!

THE PRICE TO CARRY A CROSS FOR JESUS

Jesus knew that our journey through this land lay filled with trials, pains, and even sorrows.  Often, we face sacrifices to our own life; to spread the gospel message.

Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. Mark 8:34-38

A PERSONAL NOTE

My life’s journey lead me through many dark valleys; including, physical abuse, cancer, financial disaster, and chronic illness to name a few.  Beyond that, I battled the feelings of loneliness, rejection, despair, and the feelings as though I just wasn’t good enough, as a widowed mother battling the forces of this life.  Through it all, God’s plan remained good.  His plans for my life brought me to a place of perfect peace, joy, and hope in Him.  Because of all that I lived through, He also gave me a voice to spread the gospel.  I cannot tell you how many doors He opened so I could proclaim the truth of the gospel to others who face trials; because, I understood their pain.  Because I lived through pain; others found Christ.

So, the question remains, “Is there ever a price too great to pay?”  My answer: Never! Let me take up my cross and follow Him.  Furthermore, He lifts me up, strengthens me and carries the weight of that cross for me.  Amazing Grace, How sweet the sound!

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS:

I do not know what burdens you face today.  However, I do know this.  God’s plan for you always is good.  Turn your eyes to heaven and ask, “Lord, how does this sorrow fit into your plans?  How can you use this to save another?  Give me the strength, the grace, and the wisdom to see your will for me.  Your will-nothing else, nothing less, and nothing more.”

 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, Jeremiah 29 (NIV)

If you don’t know how to accept Christ as your Savior: I urge you to go to my page titled How to Be Saved by clicking on this link, email me by clicking here or comment here

CONCLUDING TWEETS:

What price are you willing to pay for the salvation of one soul or to spread the gospel message? Click To Tweet God, I know your plans are good, show me your will in this sorrow; use me today. Click To Tweet

 

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

I just released this new book dedicated to anyone who searched for love, lost a loved one, or felt the pangs of loneliness.  Illustrated by Ronald Barba, this poem I wrote: tells the story of God’s ever abiding love even when facing tragedy and heartbreak.  Available on Amazon.

Other books I wrote can be reviewed at:

Book resources

 

 

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION OF ARTIST

This is an original Drawing by an amazing artist. Check out his work: http://roninron.com .

You cannot copy or duplicate this picture without permission; because of copyright laws.

 

 

 

featured photograph at beginning of post by permission of https://unsplash.com/@aaronburden

©Effie Darlene Barba, 2017

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned except for my own books.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

One Sincere Prayer of Joy For An Anxious World

Our journey through life, at times filled with sorrows, pain and moments of distress; while we travel through an anxious world.  Sometimes, we think this moment is the worst that could be in history; what with terrorism, oppression of Christians in many parts of the world, anger and violence here in the USA, disrespect of the law and the President by hearts filled with hate.  However, when we look back over time; we see that following Jesus Christ always came with a price.  Sometimes, the anxious world in which our hearts live remains ever close: worries about finances, fighting within families, loneliness, and feelings of rejection encircle our lives. Sometimes we live in prisons of our own making.  What can we do? Paul prayed one sincere prayer of Joy to the church of Philippi during one of their most anxious times.

Let us learn from this prayer and the letter Paul wrote to this early church.  Of all the churches which Paul had planted, the church of Philippi followed with great sincerity; despite, the very harsh road that lay before them.  They had seen Paul imprisoned, even before their eyes for preaching the gospel.  Furthermore, now he again wrote to them from prison.  This time, the prison cell in Rome, far from their watchful eye.  It had been 10 years since they saw him; yet, because of their faith and love, they remained faithful.  Gathering what money, they could, they sent Epaphroditus to minister to Paul.  But, alas; he fell sick during that stay and they became anxious for his recovery.  So, in the center of an anxious world; Paul wrote the letter to the church at Philippi to bring comfort and reaffirm joy; despite his own imprisonment.

BEGINNING WITH THANKS AND EXHORTATION

Continue reading “One Sincere Prayer of Joy For An Anxious World”

Daddy, I Thank You-One Poetic Tribute of Love

My Daddy was a very simple man.  He did not concern himself with social status, nor what others thought of him.  Instead, he worked very hard; providing for his family; yet, I knew him as a strong tower.  Living in a world filled with division, my father viewed every man according to his own deeds; never counting a man’s worth according to social status, race, nor monetary status.  “All men created equal in the eyes of God”–a motto he displayed in everything he did.  I thank him for being that man.

Never once did Daddy complain about life being too hard; instead, he faced life with diligence, working hard to ascertain we had everything we ever needed.  I learned so much about faith, hope and love from this very giant of a man.  He did not have the ability to read eloquently; because, he worked in the fields, plowing them behind a pair of mules from the time he first could remember.  However, I truly believe God spoke to him as he worked every day in those fields; because, his wisdom displayed just that.

Daddy, I Thank you

by Effie Darlene Barba

 

Daddy, I thank you for your words so wise

Your strength and your truth you could not disguise

A humble; yet, noble farmer unknown

Yet, through your life you truly had shown

The depth of your faith and your love so true

Working so hard, without complaint; because you

Forgetting yourself, you did not believe

That you deserved more than you did receive

Because in your life, your eyes always could see

The Greatest gift you possessed: family

You would have always laid down your own life

To ascertain that we would never face strife

And whenever my life would fall apart

You stood by my side, to never depart

Never conceding that I had been wrong

My fortress, my tower, unyielding and strong

Never demanding, respecting my choice

Your steadfast love, was always the voice

That guided me, pointing me then to God

The One Who would lead this journey I trod

Daddy, your unfailing love, ultimately

Showed me the love, God has for me

IN MEMORY OF DADDY

My Daddy never spoke much; however, I knew the depth of his love when he jumped out of bed to make certain my car was warm, before I left for work.  He never thought of himself, his dreams, his comforts; but, instead always considered himself blessed with the least of things; because he loved his family.  My Daddy died suddenly of a heart attack in late 1993.  Although, I miss him here; I know he stands before the throne of God asking what he can do to serve.  One day I will see him again.

If you don’t know how to accept Christ as your Savior: I urge you to go to my page titled How to Be Saved by clicking on this link, email me by clicking here or comment here

CONCLUDING TWEETS

 

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

I just released this new book dedicated to anyone who searched for love, lost a loved one, or felt the pangs of loneliness.  Illustrated by Ronald Barba, this poem I wrote: tells the story of God’s ever abiding love even when facing tragedy and heartbreak.  Available on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION OF ARTIST

This is an original Drawing by an amazing artist. Check out his work: http://roninron.com .

You cannot copy or duplicate this picture without permission; because of copyright laws.

 

 

 

©Effie Darlene Barba, 2017

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

 

How to Be the Light Of Hope In An Angry World

I watch the news; concluding, we live in an Angry World. The far left screaming, violently protesting the ideologies of the right as being filled with hate; without hearing their own hate being spewed.  Proclaiming socialism as a cure; as though, government can mandate kindness; while ignoring the failed socialistic models throughout the world. The right scream back in protest.  We listen, we watch, and we turn to pray!  “God, how long?  How long will the cries of the angered, resist mob scream violently breaking down all civility?  Only, You, LORD of heaven and earth can change all this bickering and fighting! A house divided against itself cannot stand; come, open our hearts, our minds, and our spirits to seek you.  Though the fig trees fail to bloom, LORD; I will trust in You. LORD, help me to be the light of hope and love to show the way.”

Darkness, evil, hate, and anger will fill the hearts of men and women; when, they do not see the light of God’s love given freely through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.  Just as darkness is the absence of light; evil represents the absence of God’s righteousness.  When, we turn our backs on the creator; we doom our world.  How have we, the Christians of this nation so failed to demonstrate God’s love, His gift of salvation, and His grace to those around us?  How have we allowed our own words to become those peppered with anger, hate, and hostility?  Were we to shine our light of hope into the darkened world, what would happen then?  That does not mean we condone lawlessness; for that merely allows evil to perpetrate.  We must respect and honor those whom God places in authority over us; even, when we do not fully agree

STRENGTH TO STAND FIRM IN LOVE

Continue reading “How to Be the Light Of Hope In An Angry World”

Where Really Is Our Strength to Love? Our Faith!

As we hustle about the busy days of our lives; do we stop to sing the praises of God for all that we have?  For those of us who do live in the United States of America, are we not blessed?  Shouldn’t we take a moment to reflect and to praise God for all the blessings we have been given?  This nation began with a group of people seeking religious freedom; not wanting to be told by a government how to worship God.  Upon that foundation, this country fought and won its independence.  One nation, under God with liberty and justice for all.  Holding fast to those principles, we grew to be a nation admired and loved.  Certainly, there were mistakes along the way; as there are when humans try to govern.  Yet, part of our strength remained the undergirding of faith, which bred hope and love.

So, what happened? If I turn on the news; any news channel–turmoil, conflict, anger and distrust blares across the TV.  The entertainment channels playing politically charged shows filled with subtle agenda.  Even so-called comedy has morphed into cruel, vulgar satire. Yet, living in middle America; I refuse to believe that to be fully the truth or the majority.  Certainly, I realize the evil nature within man’s regenerate heart; however, most of the people I meet in my daily encounters remain those who sincerely love God, family, and country.   Yet, we allow the few to tell us we are wrong!  Because the minority scream that we do not love others, we, the majority bow in silence, never standing up to say that grace–the gospel message remains one of love.

DOES COMPROMISE EQUAL LOVE?

Continue reading “Where Really Is Our Strength to Love? Our Faith!”