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!
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)
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
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:
RECOMMENDATION OF ARTIST
This is an original Drawing by an amazing artist. Check out his work: http://roninron.com .
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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.
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.