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Count the Cost: Part 1

Words of Life / Salvation Army
The Truth Network Radio
February 16, 2020 1:00 am

Count the Cost: Part 1

Words of Life / Salvation Army

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February 16, 2020 1:00 am

For the next three weeks, Rob and Heather discuss the cost of ministry. Ultimately, discipleship will cost you something. Jimmy and the Dolbys share some moments where they were being the hands and feet of Jesus but that didn’t go quite as expected and ended up costing them more than they bargained. However, this is part of carrying each other’s burdens.

Series: The Least of These

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From the Salvation Army, you're listening to Wonderful Words of Life. Welcome back to Wonderful Words of Life. We're glad that you're here and we hope that you're enjoying our special guest, Captain Jimmy Taylor. Welcome, Jimmy.

Hey, thanks for having me back. We have a lot going on. We've just celebrated Valentine's Day. Can we tell our listeners what you did for your Valentine? Yes, so Bernie kind of hinted at it, but my wife, her love language is Chick-fil-A.

I know that sounds like, what, this guy? But she loves Chick-fil-A, and so we were able to take her out without the kids and just have a nice lunch, just the two of us in a busy Chick-fil-A. But that's what means something to her.

Now, I know that a lot of our listeners are from North America, here in the United States, Canada, and we've got some listeners around the world. And all I can say to you is if you have never experienced Chick-fil-A, let me explain it to you without shamelessly advertising for them that Chick-fil-A is made by people who love Jesus. And they did not invent the chicken, but they did invent the chicken sandwich.

It's true. It's made by angels out here. And we're grateful for them.

It is the home of Chick-fil-A here in Atlanta. And one day, if they're looking for sponsorship opportunities, we hope that they'll underwrite wonderful words of life. That's right. Well, this week in our series, The Least of These, Rob and Heather begin discussing the cost associated with ministry and mission. There's a great quote that says, salvation is free, but discipleship will cost you everything. And ultimately, we need to be aware that following Jesus and being his hands and feet in this world will cost us something. That's a part of carrying each other's burdens, I think.

Yeah. Jimmy, do you have stories where you maybe offered some hands and feet in a sense, or came alongside someone to help, and it cost you more than you might have expected? Yeah, I think we all have the experience of where you've tried to help somebody, and then your expectation of what they would be experiencing was you were let down. You thought you were transforming their life, and then it didn't materialize into that.

But I can think of one specific, not too long ago, we were helping this person. They were homeless. They needed a place for the night, and we were trying to accommodate them.

We didn't have anywhere to put them. And so, on my personal credit card, we put them in a hotel, and I don't advise anyone doing this, but we put them in a hotel room for the night. And we went back the next day to check on them, bring them some breakfast, and just wish them well. And when I got there, the door was open, and the room was destroyed. There was drugs that were left in the room, and the hotel manager was just waiting for me, of course, to arrive. And they did almost $1,000 worth of damage to this hotel room, and I was devastated. One, I don't have $1,000, but two, that my trust was betrayed. And I'm trying to do something amazing for this person in my mind, and this is how I'm repaid. And we were able to work it out with the hotel manager. I didn't have to pay all of the damages.

I had to pay some. But I had to flip the way I thought. Ministry is messy. Christianity is difficult, and not everyone is at a point to, they want to receive that. And we have to come with that understanding. If we set our expectations that we are going to save the world every single time, we will be let down. But it doesn't mean you stop trying. And, you know, we continue, we continue to serve people, we continue to minister to people. And I anticipate in my life there will be more times where I'm let down. And there's other stories, too, that maybe have a better ending.

Yeah. In my case, someone opened their home to me and let me stay with them while my wife and I were in transition, moving to Atlanta. And I had a place to stay for almost two months. But, you know, because of that, we were able to save some money, we were able to find a place that we could call home. And then we've done the same thing for many people that have come through town or maybe transitioning from college into their professional lives.

And you just never know how that can really help someone, particularly in transition. But, you know, at the end of the day, what we're hoping is that you'll just notice people and your ability to be present in your community wherever you serve. When we say the least of these, we mean that every person that you look at is, in a sense, Jesus, and that you would treat them as such, even with just a loving glance or a hug or maybe a more practical way.

And if there's a Salvation Army in your community, I guarantee you there are people there that are willing to come alongside your desire to help people, particularly with the idea of soup, soap and salvation. So be encouraged this week by the message and come back and join us next week so we can discuss this a little bit more. We're really excited to join with you again this week as we discuss counting the cost, specifically looking at scripture from Mark chapter five. We can all agree that Jesus is the one who paid the cost, like the ultimate cost.

Absolutely no questions asked about that. But there is a cost to ministry. Billy Graham once famously said, salvation is free, but discipleship will cost you everything.

I remember the first time I heard that from a very wise mentor, and it rubbed me the wrong way because I didn't want it to be too hard. I didn't want this life following Jesus to be too heavy and weighty because I felt like the life I had left behind, that sun scorched land, that lonely way of living that had been heavy. But this is a bit different because Jesus doesn't ask me to bear this weight or this cost alone. He says, come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take your, take my yoke upon you. Learn from me because my yoke is easy and my burden is light. And when he says that, he's saying straight up, look, y'all, it's going to be hard. There's going to be challenges, but you're not in this alone.

If you will connect to me and be part of my team and allow me to lead, I'll show you the way to navigate what I want you to do in the world. There is a cost to doing this ministry. And when we look into scripture, Mark, chapter five, we see the account of Jesus restoring a demon possessed man.

Right. So, we're confronted with a story where Jesus, and this is, you know, just good to know right after he calms the storm. So, he's kind of coming out of this pretty intense day and evening and then just kind of moves right into the next day. And as he's crossing the lake to the other side, of course, he runs into this guy whose scripture says he's demon possessed, this guy that's in torment. And as we read this, the evil spirit came out from the tomb. So, this guy's hanging out in the tombs, right?

Hanging out in a graveyard. That can't be good. I'm just saying. The man lived in the burial caves and could no longer be restrained, even with the chain. That's intense.

Right. Then it says, whenever he was put into chains and shackles, as he often was, he snapped the chains from his wrists and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. So, this guy's overtaken by this torment in his life where there's nothing anyone else can do anymore.

Like they've done everything. Now he's just forced to go and you just got to kind of hang out in the graveyard, in these caves, in these tombs. And you can't come near anyone. Just get out of the village.

And then comes Jesus. Right. Because the villagers have done everything they knew to do and they'd come to the end of themselves. And you and I both know with the years we've spent in ministry to people who are experiencing addiction, that quite often we'd have conversations with family members and spouses and spiritual community about that person. They were bringing in for treatment that they're like, we just don't know what else to do. And sometimes I think the the village here gets a bad rap because they didn't. They had driven the guy out and chained him up and, you know, ostracized him.

And we're like, hey, that's not cool. But the truth is, is like having someone in your midst, like it sounds to me this is not the kind of fellow that you want volunteering in the in the nursery at the Sunday school. Right. You can't have this guy around, one would think, in healthy, functioning community. You got to get him away. You got to get him up there.

They've tried everything that they've thought of trying already. One would hope. Right. So then comes Jesus. Right. And I love that it says that even when Jesus was a far distance away, the guy recognized him.

Wow. Right. And then as Jesus approaches, of course, he has this encounter with Jesus and that torment inside him, that depression, those demons that he was battling are confronted with the Son of the living God. That's right.

They really are. And, you know, if you are familiar with the story, you know, what happens next is Jesus has like this crazy conversation with the guy and with his demons. And the demons themselves end up being flung into this herd of pigs that was nearby, which, you know, I mean, I did not grow up on a farm.

I do not know about things. But I just know that that herd of pigs would have represented community wealth because they would have used food. They would have used the sustenance.

They would have used for lots of things. And so you got this whole field of pigs and you got this dude who it's his job to or it's their job to tend those pigs. And that day was a day like no other day because their safe space hanging out with the pigs had become an unsafe space.

Right. Well, Jesus shows up and he's a disruptive force to this situation, right? He interrupts this darkness. He interrupts the torment in this guy's life.

And this guy's begging with Jesus. He's like, please, Jesus, this thing in me, this thing in me that is separating me from my community, from my family, that's tearing me apart. Would you make it go far away?

Would you get it out of me and make it go far away? So what he does is he sends the spirits into these two thousand pigs and the pigs are driven mad and they run down and they jump off the end of a cliff. And all that is a lot for me to imagine. But what happens is those tending the pigs freak out. They run off and they can't wait to go back and report it in town about what has just happened. So they do it all in the town and all up the countryside.

And what happens next? As soon there's a crowd around Jesus. Now, when the crowd gathers around Jesus, sometimes they're there to honor Christ.

And sometimes they're there to push you off a cliff. Right. Which is a really interesting point to know. In his ministry, he wasn't that concerned about impressing people or pleasing people.

He knew that his work was to do the will of the Father. Right. And then there's this moment where I think maybe they had to count the cost. Right.

Because these folks are pig farmers. But we understand a principle here as well, that when we see someone come out of great darkness and restored into community, there's a cost. Right. Which is so interesting because the fella that ends up being delivered is like, can you just stay with me with you? And I don't blame him.

Right. Like he's just heard all these people be like, just take your ministry and get out of here, Jesus. Like there wasn't, there did not seem to be celebration. Like, I mean, scripture is silent on that, but there wasn't celebration of like, what Larry man, good to have you back.

You know, like, come on over tonight and hang out with the wife and kids. Like there's none of celebration about the miracle that's taken place because everyone is so shocked at what it has now meant for the community. And that is like a real legit thing. So maybe we don't have in our part of the world, like herds of pigs as our livelihood. But there are times in ministry where when Jesus shows up and brings restoration that everyone doesn't get to stay comfortable.

Right. It disrupts our kind of church community that we're all kind of used to and comfortable in. The Salvation Army's mission, doing the most good, means helping people with material and spiritual needs. You become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army. Visit salvationarmyusa.org to offer your support.

And we would love to hear from you. Email us at radioatuss.salvationarmy.org. Call 1-800-229-9965 or write us at P.O.

Box 29972, Atlanta, Georgia, 30359. When you contact us, we'll send you our gift for this series. It's totally free for listeners like you, one per household while supplies last. You can also subscribe to our show on iTunes or your favorite podcast store and be sure to give us a rating. Just search for Wonderful Words of Life. Follow us on social media for the latest episodes, extended interviews and more. And if you don't have a church home, we invite you to visit your local Salvation Army Worship Center. They'll be glad to see you. This is Bernie Dake inviting you to join us next time for the Salvation Army's Wonderful Words of Life. Music.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-03 10:06:45 / 2024-02-03 10:12:41 / 6

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