Have you ever made a big purchase in your life that you had to really sit down and do the numbers before buying it? For many of us it was buying a house, but it could also be a car, college tuition, a wedding, or maybe a big vacation. Before you do any one of these things the first thing you need to do is find out how much it costs. It would not be wise to go look for a home, see one you like and say “I’ll take that one” without first asking how much it is. For most of us, before buying a home you sit with a mortgage brokers or a banker who goes over your finances to see how much money you make, how much is going out in bills then what is left over to afford a house. It doesn’t end there though, once they tell you what you can afford then you begin to weigh in other factors. What if hot water heater goes, or one of us loses a job, or medical bills, or saving for a vacation and emergency reserves. We need to consider all of these factors first, then we come up with an amount that you decide you can afford and go from there. It is the same with all large purchases, we need to make sure we know what we are getting ourselves into before we decide buy. We need to follow through on our commitment.
How about in your decision in what God you follow? Did you consider what it costs? Did you weigh in all the factors If and when you made a decision to follow Jesus as your Lord, Jesus warns us to consider the cost. I know what your thinking, if you are on the fence on this, this may not be pushing you into accepting Christ as your Lord and Savior. But these are His words, not mine. I feel so many Christians are trying to convince people to believe in Jesus, and they talk a lot about forgiveness of sins and love and the assurance of salvation, but not a lot are saying “hey, you know what, it is not going to be easy”. Jesus on the other hand was saying this. He says in Luke 14:28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?
14:29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,
14:30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’
14:31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?
14:32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.
14:33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
It Will Cost You Everything
Oh so wait a minute, it will cost me everything? I don’t remember the preacher saying that in the alter call? Hmmm, I am not sure I am willing to give up EVERYTHING. Jesus also says in Matthew 16:24 “Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” I know, crazy right? What does all this mean? What on earth does take up his cross even mean? Why do I have to give up stuff in order to follow Him?
This is kind of like asking, “why do I have to stop dating other people after I get married?” You had to consider this cost when you got married. Is this the person that I love? is this the person I want to spend the rest of my life with and give up all other women or all other men for. This is what Jesus is asking. He is in effect saying do you love me enough to give up others for me. Do you love me enough to give up other things for? Are you willing to take up your cross, meaning die to self, no longer living for your own desires, rather living for the will of God? Or are you just buying fire insurance to stay out of hell?
Giving up Everything to Gain Everything
What is the result of this cost, Jesus continues by saying in Matt 16:25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Yes it will cost us everything, we will go through hardships, Jesus even says the world hated me, they are going to hate you too. (paraphrasing) But in the end Jesus says “Whoever loves his life loses it and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” These are tough words to understand, and even tougher to live out. Who are you living for? If you are living for yourself, for your own gain and your own wants and desires, Jesus is saying this leads to death. But if we relinquish our desires for His desires and follow Him where he leads, this leads to eternal life.
God came to earth as a man and humbled himself as a commoner, a carpenter. He lived a sinless life to give it up as a ransom for many. Where we deserved death, he took our place on the cross. He died so that we would have eternal life. He calls us to follow him, how do you respond? Count the cost.