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It was Dr. Martin Luther King who said, “If you have never found something that you will die for, you aren’t fit to live.” Jesus said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me… And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?” “If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” Soon after saying this, Adolph Hitler hanged him. Following Christ is often costly. The Apostle Paul, like some radicals today, was once a persecutor of Christ, intent on wiping out the Christian faith. But after meeting Jesus, he turned from being a Christ-hater to being a passionate Christ-promoter. He wrote to the church at Philippi: “To me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better… Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ… You have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him.” Paul alerts us that while some Christians may indeed enjoy a sheltered lifestyle today, many others do not. Yet they remain steadfast because they regard Christ as worthy of their loyalty.

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