Clearance Sale Jesus
A friend and I were talking one day about the cost of following Jesus. Following Jesus is a costly thing. He said Himself that if we didn’t give up everything to follow Him that we couldn’t be His disciple (Luke 14:33). That’s costly.
It’s not about us working to receive salvation. It’s about being in a relationship with Jesus. Relationships take work. Relationships require commitment and they will cost you. You get out of a relationship what you put into it. When it comes to our relationship with Jesus we must be willing to give up whatever is going to hinder that relationship. It must be the centrality of all that we do. Like any human relationship it will take work on our part to make the relationship vibrant, wonderful and healthy.
Some people want Jesus to be their Savior, but they aren’t quite willing to make Him Lord. Jesus does want to be Savior, but He came to this earth to become the Lord and to set up His kingdom. The word lord simply means “the one with the power to decide”. They want Him to forgive their sin, but not necessarily “rule” their life. When I use the word rule, I am not talking about control because I don’t believe that Jesus wants to control us. I do believe that He wants us to surrender our will to His will for our lives because He has great plans for us. He wants us to allow Him to guide and direct us in our decisions so that we can have the most abundant life possible. He is not looking to rule over us with an iron first, but with a fatherly heart.
I hate to admit that I’ve been in this position before where I want His forgiveness and His blessings and benefit but I wanted to run my life independent of Jesus’ thoughts and wishes. However, in any relationship one person cannot control everything. In a marriage, neither spouse can control everything. There has to be a mutual submission for the betterment of the relationship. I know that the idea of Jesus submitting to us is a heretical idea to a lot of people. However, Jesus will not control you so, in essence, He does submit to your choices in the relationship. He will not override your will. He has given you the power of free will and choice. But He is asking you to trust Him and surrender your decisions to Him and to His wisdom and love.
Now, here’s where our conversation took an interesting turn. I told my friend that some people want a Jesus that’s “on sale”. They want what I called a “clearance sale Jesus.” They want relationship with all the benefits but without cost. They want to “pay as little as possible” for a great relationship. Again, it’s not about works in our lives. But relationships do take time, commitment and sacrifice. You don’t sacrifice to buy a clearance item. That’s why you look for clearance items. You want something of value for as little as possible. You don’t really save up for clearance items. You save up for “big ticket” items. You value the things that cost more in life. Americans have been conditioned to want things for the cheapest price possible. We live in a disposable society. We don’t value people and relationships like we should. Marriages are easily thrown away. Relationships are not reconciled with hard work and forgiveness; they are tossed aside and we simply move on. We don’t connect with people on a deep level anymore. Most of our relationships are shallow and connected by social media. It’s a clearance sale mentality. We want the cheap, quick and easy rather than that which costs us time and hard work.
But Jesus doesn’t do cheap. Salvation is free. Forgiveness is free. Grace is free. That’s His gift to us based on His great love for us. His blessings to us cost Him His life. However, salvation isn’t about getting my sins forgiven. It’s about entering into relationship with Jesus. It’s about following Him as He teaches us to be more appropriately human.
He said Himself that if you are not willing to lose your life…..you will not find life. If you don’t take up your cross and follow Him, then you can’t be His disciple. You can’t get a “clearance sale Jesus.” He’s worth everything. He’s worth your entire life. He’s worth every sacrifice you will make to gain Him. You will get out of the relationship what you put into it. In other words, He’s costly….but He’s worth it!
It’s not about how much you read the Bible or pray or go to meetings. It’s about what you invest in the relationship with Jesus. It’s about you loving Him and getting to know Him as a Person, not a character in the Bible or some cosmic entity in the sweet hereafter. It’s about you allowing Him to touch you in the deepest recesses of your soul and spirit. It’s allowing Him to know you
Be determined to pay the price.
What about you? Have you ever wanted a clearance sale Jesus?