Counting The Cost

The builder in our Lord’s parable (Luke 14:26-33) started his construction job enthusiastically enough, no doubt, but called a halt when the bills began to come in. The cost was more than he thought. Many an undertaking starts with a bang and ends in a bog when the expenses exceed the original estimate.

Our Lord was speaking of discipleship and probably thinned the multitude that followed Him (Luke 14:25) with a short sermon on counting the cost. Many a superficial Christian hears the Word and anon receives it with "joy" (Matthew 13:20), but has no root and no depth and when the bills begin to come in, when he reads the price tag of real discipleship, he falls away (Matthew 13:6,21).

The early church got off to a glorious start, but when the public began to catch on to what being a Christian really meant, “of the rest did not man join himself to them” (Acts 5:13). The first flush of the new venture was past and the bills were coming due.

Our Lord was careful again and again to stress the cost of all out devotion to Him. He was not interested in gathering a mixed multitude of enthusiasts, mere joiners just going along for the ride (John 6:26-27).

He knew that by and by, when persecution arose, they would be "offended" (Mark 4:16-7 KJV). Every prospective follower of Jesus Christ ought to understand that discipleship costs everything he has (Philippians 3:8). But it pays because all things become his “in Christ.”

And never forget that it costs to be a sinner. The bills come in there as well, because “whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap” (Galations 6:7). And it never pays, for “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Vance Havner

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets


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