Following God's call is never easy - it is often challenging. But amidst the challenges that comes with obedience, an apologist argued that its benefits always "outweigh the costs."
Remembering Billy Graham's meditation about Mary, who obeyed the LORD in carrying the sinless Savior of the world in her womb while being a virgin, apologist Jim Denison declared that following the purpose of God means He meant to use one's life for something extraordinary.
"Such obedience will likely come at a cost. But because of who our Father is, in his providence, the benefits of following him must outweigh the costs, perhaps in this world but always in the eternal world to follow," Denison, who founded The Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, an organization that promotes moral and spiritual renewal in the United States, wrote on the Christian Headlines.
The apologist noted that alongside the excitement of bearing the baby who would save mankind from sin, Mary was faced with a possibility of battling shame - being pregnant without a husband, thinking that Joseph would divorce her out of suspicion for promiscuity.
"Would anyone believe that she had been faithful to her fiancé and yet became pregnant by a divine miracle? Would you believe such a story if it were told by your fiancée, daughter, or friend?" Denison contended.
But Mary obeyed anyway.
"How can we make the same decision today-whatever he asks, wherever he leads, whatever the cost? How do we choose to obey God's call even when it might lead us to Haitian kidnappers?" he stressed, recalling the abducted missionaries in Haiti, who have recently escaped to freedom.
He went on to explain about God's great love for mankind. Thus, he underscored that regardless of the LORD's challenging mandate for a person's life, His purpose for him is always for the best.
"This means that even when our broken natural world and its fallen inhabitants persecute his children, our Father redeems that persecution for his glory and our good," he added, citing Romans 8:22 and 2 Timothy 3:12.
Denison then remembered the statement of a persecuted Cuban pastor, saying that his fellowmen's suffering actually purifies their faith and strengthens their witness. This, the apologist said, reminded him of Tertullian's maxim which states that "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church."
Further, he emphasized that when Christians die for Jesus, they can proclaim what the Bible says in Revelation 14:13.
The apologist continued, urging others to also obey God as Mary did.
"Where is God waiting for your 'yes' today? What next step of faithfulness is he calling you to take? Would you let Mary's story be your story?" he pointed out.
Denison closed by stating Dr. Graham's prayer, desiring to live in faithfulness to God.
"Following her example, I pray that God would give me grace and courage to be faithful to him, no matter what price I may be called on to pay. May that be your prayer as well," the late evangelist prayed.
Denison serves as a board member of the Baylor Health Care Systems and an advisory board chairman at Dallas Baptist University (DBU). He is currently teaching at DBU and the B.H. Carroll Theological Institute. Further, he was the senior pastor of Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas and was also a pastor of other churches in Atlanta, as well as in Midland and Mansfield, Texas.