It is no easy thing to be a Christian! If words have any meaning, there are great and painful sacrifices which are required of those who are willing to take Christ on His own terms:
"If any man will come after Me — let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me."
"If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into Hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into Hell."
God does not indeed put all His people to such a trial as Abraham's, saying, "Take now your son, and offer him for a burnt offering," nor does Christ lay on all his disciples an injunction so hard as this, "Go, sell all you have, and give it to the poor." Still the adage holds true as ever, "No cross — no crown!"
To mortify the lusts of the flesh,
to be crucified to the world,
to overcome the devil,
to die daily to sin and live daily to righteousness,
to be meek and gentle and patient and generous and kind and good
— in one word, to be Christ-like, is a work beyond, far beyond our ability! Yet God promises to perfect his strength in our weakness, and is "mighty to save."