1 Peter 4:1-6
Contemporary English Version (CEV)
We want to have it all, right? We want jobs that pay us lots of money but demand very little. We want expansive lawns that are perfect but require no maintenance. We want to have perfectly healthy and athletic bodies but don't want to exercise. We want it all, and we want it on our terms, at no cost to us.
Discipleship, however, comes at a cost. To follow Christ means to daily lay down one's life, dying to the self, and letting Christ live in us. It means setting down our own egos so that the desires of Christ may fill us, overflowing so that our entire lives are pursuing Christ, rather than our own goals. In our wisest moments, we recognize that pursuing Christ will lead us into a life more abundant than we can find on our own, but our selfishness often lies to us and tells us that we can have it all on our own terms.
Following Christ isn't easy. I fail every day at it, but being a Christian means repenting and striving to sacrifice more tomorrow, knowing that boundless love is offered to us as a free gift of grace, and that it is worth the sacrifice, even if it means turning my back on things that once made me popular or powerful or influential. Christ never told us discipleship would be easy, but he promised us it would be worth whatever sacrifices are required, and he demonstrated this by sacrificing all for us.