God does not offer us salvation to make us feel good, either emotionally or physically.

Instead, God saves us and we become targets of evil, suffering personal costs, troubles on every side and a life of discipline and constant training.

So who would buy into that?

Before somebody goes off the deep end on this look at things this way. Olympic athletes suffer greatly and practice constantly, sacrificing what many people would consider normal social life, in order to achieve their goal of gold.

Or consider a soldier who enlists, knowing it means rigorous training, duty above all else, and, perhaps, the need to sacrifice one’s own life for others.

In both these examples the person finds something to live for, and that does not include personal comfort!

Likewise those who follow Jesus who become part of a cosmic purpose, going further than possible in one’s own talents alone, camaraderie among others who have joined the same journey, all wrapped in a cloak of unconditional, proven love. All that is worth living for – or dying for.

Even though Jesus forewarned would-be disciples of the possible costs, God also included benefits that supercede mere fleshly feelings or temporary treasure. On the list is deep joy in this life even in troubled times, a guarantee of ultimate victory and life never-ending.

It is like making a choice between selling all you have to live off the proceeds (until they run out) or having someone else pick up all the bills, forever.

How far ahead do you look? A few years? What about forever?