What does it cost to be a…
July 23rd, 2019
The term skinflint isn’t all that common today, but it used to be bantered around a good deal.
We actually are going to look at value in our walk with Jesus today; avoiding being a ‘cheap disciple’.
It comes down to what we are willing to invest in our pursuit of being a Christ follower. I’ll tell you up front that the one who proves to be a skinflint with commitment to the Lord is the one that would most appropriately fall into that dreadful definition of a Christian.
Paul’s perspective on valuables is outlined in Philippians…
I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.
Philippians 3:7-9 (NLT)
When the scripture tells us that we undergo a transformation the first area we see this becoming evident is in what we value.
The old flesh driven person we were cannot sustain its passion for the flesh in the transformed consideration of what is truly valuable. “I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.”
When we consider our salvation, the grace that has been poured out upon us, the suffering that our savior had to endure, in order to purchase our salvation; we can’t afford to be a skinflint when it comes to our commitment to Jesus.
We need to be fully vested in his grace and revel in His righteousness he has imparted to us. We wear His righteousness.
I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride with her jewels.
Isaiah 61:10 (NLT)
If Jesus values us enough to suffer as He has for us, and then turns right around and not just pulls us from the fire but then dresses us in salvation (grace) and drapes his robe of righteousness around us; why would we think it unimportant how we spend our time, what entertainment we expose ourselves to, how we behave when we are far away from the doors of our church?
It matters big time.
Remember that Holy Spirit living in us? If we realized that God was capable of seeing everything all the time, the dimension of having His Spirit living in us 24/7, only adds to the appreciation that we are of value to Him.
Beyond that, as if He wasn’t already fully aware of the content of our hearts, with His Spirit living in us there is absolutely no way he wouldn’t know exactly what our intent is. Besides, because the Spirit is plugged into our intents and thoughts, it is impossible for the Spirit not to be fully aware of where our hearts intent is.
When we have found something of great value to us we will go to great lengths not only to obtain it, but once it has been secured we will nurture it with all our ability, and seek the opportunity at every turn to indulge in the benefit of that good thing.
Back to Paul and his letter to the Philippians, “everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”
If everything else is worthless in contrast to this gift of grace that has been given us, how can it be that millions upon millions of people that call themselves Christian, find secular activities much more important than fellowship with our brothers and sisters in the Lord, not to mention our fellowship with the one who gave us that grace.
Would not that person be the very most important person in our lives?
Why then do we see ourselves constantly slipping back in to self-worship, self-indulgence, self-gratification, and self-edification.
Paul goes on…
“For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him.”
Casting aside every weight and encumbrance!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT)
Christian! Where is your love. Where is your investment in treasures that are stored up in heaven waiting for you? Are you tucking the Words of God away in your heart?
I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
Psalms 119:11 (NLT)
It’s not as easy to sin when we have the Word of God abiding in us as a constant reminder of the one who valued us so much, to not only give everything to us, but at the same time take so much, from us.
“I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.”
It’s not about the rules, it is about what we value in our transformed hearts and minds. If that transformation has taken place, then we will invest all we have to nurture this treasure we have found in the field of broken dreams that is this earthly wasteland.
We should count it all as worthless, for the sake of Jesus. Allow our valuation of him and his glorious gift to us appreciate, overwhelming that old fleshly desire. Replacing it with the desire to be as close to the one who loved us so much, to give up everything and give it to us.
It’s no time to be a “Skinflint”. If you have a transformed heart, if your mind has seen the redeemer not as some historical figure that taught some good things and died for it, but the Son of God who became flesh so that He could rescue us from our fleshly imprisonment; don’t short change Jesus.
Those outside of grace today. You are more precious to Jesus than anything you could ever imagine. The King of Glory gave everything so that He could have a relationship with you. He took that burden of sin for you so why would you continue to try and carry that which you couldn’t bear to begin with.
Grace is full and abundant for all of us. It’s not a ‘get what you pay for’ proposition. He’s paid it all, because he values you and I. The path to wearing those robes of righteousness is only as far away as surrendering our lives in faith to that one who bought that grace for us.
He’s far from a “Skinflint”,
In the Grace of Jesus!