The Cost of No Decision
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian who endeavored to follow Jesus during the Nazi reign, wrote a benchmark book called, The Cost of Discipleship. It is a call to forsake our attachments to this temporary world, “for here we have no lasting city.” [Heb 13:14] It is a call to die to self and live for Christ.
The teaching of Jesus is not that we should expect God to cater to us; it is that we should abandon self to God. Yet we often prefer a Jesus that does not mind materialism and would never ask us:
- to empty ourselves for Him and for the advancement of His kingdom.
- to forsake our closest relationships and give Him all our affection.
- to infringe on our comforts.
- to fight against the enemy, as that would cause us to be anxious.
Instead, we tend to shape a Jesus created in our image; we want Him to be the giver of comfort and prosperity. In doing so we may be worshipping ourselves, rather than the Jesus of the Bible.
Jesus gave the parable of the man who saw a treasure in a field, then sold (risked) all that he had to buy the field and secure that treasure. Yet we frequently pass up eternal treasure by placing our values above Kingdom values.
We know in business and in other areas of life, the greater the risk, the greater the reward. This is a theme of the Sermon on the Mount, where the Lord promises He is paying attention to our thoughts, our intents, and our actions.
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Nelson is the generic Evangelical baby-boomer. Born in 1946, raised in the C&MA, he attended Urbana ’67 in college. He holds an MS degree in Chemical Engineering and worked in R&D positions in American industry for 33 years. Nelson is an inventor with formal training in methods of creative problem-solving. He was a founding elder at Walnut Hill Community Church in Bethel, CT (1982) and served in many leadership capacities of what is now one of the largest Evangelical churches in New England. In 1998 Nelson founded the Finishers Project, now MissionNext, and serves in program development. Locally he attends a Torah study and is chairman of the sewer commission to serve among unchurched leaders.