At what cost? Your relationship with Y’shua, what has it costed you? The man’s grin transformed to astonishment. What do you mean?, he snarled, salvation is a free gift!
This is not about tithes or other payments. Money is not the issue. It is not about salvation by works, as leftist Christians will charge.
It is about being a partaker, and a companion. Not ice cream socials or chili suppers, if they still do that, rather a much deeper form of fellowship.
Watch out. Do not be ashamed of the testimony of Y’shua. In other words, don’t cower when you are challenged. Be a partaker of the afflictions of the Gospel according to the power of Eloha, who saved us, and called us, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given in Y’shua Messiah before the world began. His purpose will not be confounded. That grace is empowerment to see it through.
This is why I asked the man the question.
Each one of us, many more now, and many more before have paid a price for their steadfast adherence to the Truth they have been given. Our purpose individually and collectively was determined by Yahweh before the foundation of the world. He placed us right where we are, right now.
Paul relays to Timothy his sufferings by the Gospel. He tells of the shame of the handcuffs, or the fetters, even who was ashamed of him and who was not. He told Timothy to endure hardness as a good soldier. A soldier, you say? Yes, and we do well not to spiritualize this away. We are soldiers of Y’shua the Messiah. Soldiers fight in wars, they are wounded in wars, they die in wars. Even so, our battles are not always fought with military gear. We are breaking the silence, we are crashing through the gate, we are tearing down strongholds and pulling away the concealment.
We suffer trouble as a evildoers. If we suffer we will also reign, as it has been prophesied over us. We know there are vessels of honor and dishonor. It’s not what we think about but what we do. Our reward is of works.
If we’re going through life with no buffeting from the world, going with the flow down stream, If we don’t sometimes feel like a stone worn smooth, resisting the current, standing firm, If we haven’t been forced to make the difficult choices for Messiah’s sake, If we’ve lost nothing, given up nothing, in the battle, and no one sees a change in us, If we’ve suffered no wounds, as Y’shua said we would, then we must have fallen short, we have fallen asleep.
No, our lives are not about sulking. We the Called Out know the jubilation of a healing, we have been enraptured in the sound of the Heavenly harps, and have knelt at the foot of the Mercy Seat. We have felt the bitter shame of our sins, we have victory over the *accuser by our testimony and by the blood of the Lamb. We know not to seek our reward in this age. We labor for the Kingdom Age. Yet all of our needs are met.
Paul cites the wickedness in people at the last days. He said then that people would have a form of Godliness. They will give off and project the appearance of Godly authority, they will do what seems religious. They will go through the motions. “They draw near with their mouth, and with their lips do honor Me, but have removed their heart far from Me…,” it says in Isaiah. We do not belong to the masses who attend church to pretend, who walk out after an hour and say within that’s over for another week.
Only a soldier knows. He or she can not explain it to someone who’s never been there.
*This is a reoccurring theme in my posts. It is critical that we understand the powerful enemy warring against us continually. The devil has many names, one, the accuser, is found only once in the entire Bible. Compare it to a plaintiff or a prosecutor in our courts of law. The accuser seeks to remind the Righteous Judge of the sin he has caused in each of our lives (See Revelation 12:7-11). The victory, the acquittal comes through our testimony we give, and the shed blood of our Salvation, Y’shua the Messiah.
Since the accuser is cast down, he and his minions have “come down to you,” the inhabitants of the earth. To make war with the Remnant of Israel, who keep the Commandments of Yahweh and have the Testimony of Y’shua the Messiah. That’s us, that’s the battle.