The mark of a great leader is the demands he makes upon his followers. The Italian freedom fighter Garibaldi offered his men only hunger and death to free Italy. Winston Churchill told the English people that he had nothing to offer them but “blood, sweat, toil, and tears” in their fight against the enemies of England. Jesus declared, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that doth not take his cross and follow after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it” (Mat. 10:37-39).
Secular history records that:
Andrew died on a cross
Simon was crucified
Bartholomew was flayed alive
James (son of Zebedee) was beheaded
The other James (son of Alphaeus) was beaten to death
Thomas was run through with a lance
Matthias was stoned and then beheaded
Matthew was slain by the sword
Peter was crucified upside down
Thaddeus was shot to death with arrows
Philip was hanged
The demands that Jesus makes upon those who would follow Him can at times be very difficult. Christianity is not a Sunday morning religion. It is a hungering after God to the point of death if need be. Faithful Christianity will shake our foundations, topple our priorities, pit us against friend and family, and make us strangers in this world.
Are you willing to follow Christ? The eternal reward is worth every effort. The apostle Paul said, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us-ward” (Rom. 8:18). Remember, “Yea, and all that would live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:13).
Think About It!
Have A Great Day!
Park Heights church of Christ
P. O. Box 107
1300 East Boynton Street
Hamilton, Texas 76531
“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes.”