Counting The Cost

It looks like Jesus wants us to have a plan! What Jesus is saying is count the costs, consider your resources, and make an informed decision about the decisions you make…almost like keeping a spreadsheet. No quick fix here. This is not a “part-time follower” position, only following when it feels good or when it’s convenient or not too hard! My fear is that too many of us sign up in a fit of enthusiasm in the moment where it feels good inside. That’s the consumer way, isn’t it.  Life in Jesus is a Journey. Because this journey is crucial, you may need to think about what things in your life need to fall away from your attention in order for you to be able to pay attention to Jesus! We are called to count the cost. Is Jesus worth it? This is your choice – our choice.

 

And what are the costs again? Jesus told us in verses 25-26. The costs include our closest relationships—our family and friends. The costs amount to all our possessions. The costs involve taking up the Cross in the Name of Jesus and living out His teachings no matter the sacrifice. And so, if we sit down and tally the costs—as Jesus Himself suggests that we do—the only reasonable  decision is to choose not to follow Christ. The cost is too much!

 

But that is where the spreadsheet fails. Why? Because following Christ is not a zero sum game. It is not a question of giving up X (family, friends, possessions) in order to get Y (prosperity, eternal life, etc.) in return. Nope, Jesus has something different in mind. And it may not be what you were taught about the heavenly exchange. This is important! Jesus is not talking about either/or. It isn’t an experience of poverty in this life for wealth in the next life, or vice versa. Jesus’ logic is one of abundance, not of scarcity. Yes, He demands that His disciples leave behind their families and their possessions, but not as an exchange… only to grow deeper in Him. Jesus desires to usher us into a plan that will start a change reaction…something bigger, a completed tower! Jesus is talking about sacrificing in order to have something more…something beyond our reach…this is Kingdom work! And here’s the joy: Jesus promises that those very same families that we must “disregard” are invited to be a part of the Kingdom as well.

 

So there is nothing to fear!  Will there be setbacks?  Of course there will be.  Will there be losses? “Yes,” this comes with life, our human frailty, stubbornness and greed. Life costs! And the choices are rarely cut and dry or clean and easy. Even so, every choice we make, day after day, puts us closer to a life in Christ or closer to a life in this world (even death)!

 

Still, a planned and calculated life, counting the cost, will bring peace and focus and will strengthen us to be the disciples that Jesus called us to be, even if we stumble! So leave behind what burdens you and distracts you and wastes your time.  Count the cost; build on the foundation that is Christ Jesus as you live your life…a life of promises, forgiveness and strength that will renew our hearts for humanity and heaven and will grow our families in Christ Jesus! And the more we count the cost…take up the Cross and live in Jesus, the more we will be prepared for all that this world throws at us! Living for Jesus will strengthen us to battle anything!   

 

The plan and counting the cost does not happen overnight but only after a lifetime of choosing one thing over another: depending on Jesus over going it on one’s own, gathering with others of God’s own for worship, prayer, study and generous giving of time, talents and treasures. Jesus says, “Count the costs.” When we do…when we believe, sometimes against all evidence to the contrary, the choice may not just make a difference in your life but in the lives of others! Will you estimate the cost, not only when the stakes are high but most certainly, day after day, decision after decision, choice after choice? Will you choose Jesus whatever the cost?

 

I am blessed to be your pastor!   Joy, joy – Pastor Alexis


One Response to “Counting The Cost”

  1. Linda weiss says:

    Thanks for being a wonderful, hands on pastor!
    Thanks for showing us a path to take; daily
    We are to move toward Christ, leaving behind
    Family & friends; activities, and strings that can distract us from Christ’s will for our life.
    It’s a daily journey,
    To God be the Glory
    Linda

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