Stories

Faith is No Cake Walk | Persecution Sunday, Day 1

“Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: ‘If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.'”
– Luke 14:25-27

Every follower of Jesus is called to imitate their Master. Jesus brought the Good News of the Kingdom. Jesus loved others. Jesus suffered for the sake of the Gospel. This is the way of the Kingdom—it’s the price to pay.

Did you ever commit to a project and not realize how difficult it would be? Did you ever sign a purchase agreement without knowing the price you would have to pay? Did you ever have a baby, not recognizing the financial cost of raising a child?

Knowing the challenges may not have changed your decision, but it would have better prepared you for the journey and given you a deeper understanding of the weight of your commitment. Similarly, Jesus is telling His potential disciples in Luke to consider the future cost of following Him. He is telling them that being His disciple isn’t just about receiving something from Him—it’s also about sacrifice.

We recently spoke with a woman named Fazeela, who told us the heartbreaking story of her husband, Narun. A Christian in India, Narun risked and sacrificed everything for his faith. In his village, houses were being burned at night and Christians were being killed during the day. He and his family were advised by their neighbor to leave the village. So they fled to the jungle, and the next day, Narun left to go to his parents’ house to get a motorcycle. An hour later, his cousin came to find his family with the news that he had been killed. Fazeela shares, “From that day onward, our happiness has gone away—but Jesus gives us peace.”

Throughout our everyday work at Mission India, we hear stories of brothers and sisters in Christ who have sacrificed more than many of us will ever come close to enduring. We’re glad that you’ve chosen to take a journey with us this week as we open our eyes to what God says about those who give everything to follow Jesus, and what we can learn from them. As we do this, we invite you to stand alongside our Indian brothers and sisters in Christ through prayer as they give up everything to follow their Savior.

Want to read more about this topic? Check out The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, whose actions matched his words.

Prayer:

Father, I pray that you would show me what I need to give up in order to be fully committed to you, and that you would pour out your love on those in India who have sacrificed so much because of their faith.

 

– Todd VanEk, President & CEO of Mission India

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