What is the cost to us of being redeemed by Christ?
Have you ever wondered what we owe to God?
Well, the true answer is nothing. There is no debt to repay. No obligation or encumbrance upon us.
Yet the closer we come to God, the more vulnerable and intimate we become in our relationship with Him, the more we surrender to the Holy Spirit, the more we delight in taking up the mission of living our lives for Christ.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2)
What does this mean exactly?
Eugene Peterson in The Message expresses it this way (emphasis mine):
So here’s what I want you to do [with] God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
So breaking it down even further, what does being a living sacrifice mean to you and me?
The closer we come to God, the more vulnerable and intimate we become in our relationship with Him, the more we surrender to the Holy Spirit, the more we delight in taking up the mission of living our lives for Christ.
And to go back to the question, what is the cost if we choose to pay it? What is it God wants for (not from) us if we allow Him full and complete access to our hearts and minds? The cost is living in continuous renewal and transformation of our hearts and minds. If we allow God full and complete access, we receive the unrestrained love He bestows freely and unequivocally.
For some of us, this extravagant love is difficult to receive,
which is why it is so difficult to give.
Yet this is the Gospel. It is the cost of following Jesus.
I never look at the masses as my responsibility. I look at the individual. I can love only one person at a time. I can feed only one person at a time. Just one; one; one. You get closer to Christ by coming closer to each other. Mother Teresa.