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It Ain't Easy, Honey!

Their admiration was unbounded
Mark 7:31-37

Sermon Topic Christianity: cost of

Sermon Week Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 7:1-37


A few years ago, one of America's biggest department stores tried marketing a doll in the form of the Baby Jesus. The advertisements described it as being "washable, cuddly and unbreakable" and it was neatly packaged in straw, satin and plastic. To complete the package, the manufacturer added Biblical texts appropriate to the Baby Jesus. To the department store executives, it looked like a surefire winner; a real moneymaker. But they were wrong. It didn't sell. In a last-ditch effort to get rid of the dolls, one of the store managers placed a huge sign in a prominent display window. It read:

Jesus Christ _ Marked Down 50% Get Him While You Can

A common thread running through the presentations of many of the TV and radio hucksters of religion is a "Jesus Christ _ Marked Down 50%, Get Him While You Can" kind of sales pitch. They're offering a non-existent "cheap Grace": just say "Yes!" to Jesus and you've got it made! But if that's all there is to it, you're only saying "Yes!" to a bargain-basement Jesus -- a non-existent Jesus, really.

Christianity costs! To be a follower of Jesus you must pay the price! Empty words and showy walks to the altar simply aren't enough. Jesus wants you! That is to say He wants your life; He wants your total dedication to His Word; He wants you to herald the Good News in the life you live, day-in and day-out, year-in and year-out. In other words, He wants your love. He wants your total commitment of obedience to His command: "Love one another as I have loved you!" Christianity costs! In Jesus own words,

If anyone wants to be a follower of Mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loves his life for My sake, and for the sake of the Gospel, will save it.

What gain, then, is it for a man to win the whole world and ruin his life? (Mk. 8:34-36).

To "lose" our [...]

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