Recently, I have been working my way through two different books, both of which have been very similar in their message. The one is entitled Risk by Kenny Luck and the other is entitled Radical by David Platt. Both books have challenged me to think through my answer to the question, “What is Jesus worth to me?” I have had to wrestle with whether or not Jesus Christ is worth risking living the kind of life that Christ said his followers would actually live. According to Christ, “If any of you want to be my follower, you must deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever wants to lose his life for me and for the gospel will save it. If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

Is Jesus worth that kind of risk? Sadly, our American Christian culture has attempted to lower the bar of Christ’s standards for following Him. It is impossible to live this kind of life for Christ and yet still pursue security, money, convenience, hobbies, and careers. Something has to give, and typically what gives is Christ’s standard. To many, Jesus is simply not worth that kind of risk.

If we determine that Jesus is not worth the kind of risk that His standards demand for following Him, then the next question we all must wrestle with is, “What does this mean about my status as a follower of Jesus Christ?” Certainly, no man, including the Apostles Peter and Paul, will ever be able to live up to Christ’s standards. However, those guys at least risked trying. Their risks started small and were inconsistent at first; but as their commitment to Christ grew, so did their risks and their consistency.

David Platt writes, “Radical obedience to Christ is not easy; it is dangerous. It’s not comfort, not health, not wealth, and not prosperity in this world. Radical obedience to Christ risks losing all these things. But in the end, such risk finds its reward in Christ.” The question is, “Is the reward of Christ worth the risk?”

Pastor Scott Snyder