Count the Cost
Have you Counted the Cost?
, by Emmanuel Higgins
Recently I’ve been studying some interesting verses from Luke chapter 14.
For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have [sufficient] to finish [it]?
Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish [it], all that behold [it] begin to mock him,
Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?
Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.
Think about it for a moment. If one of us decides to build a house, don’t we first sit down and work out how much it is going to cost, to make sure we have enough money to buy all the materials and to finish the house. A half-finished house, that’s abandoned because the owners ran out of money, shows the foolishness of the one who couldn’t finish what he’d started.
Or what about a king who is going to fight a battle. Doesn’t he first assess the enemy and make sure that he has enough soldiers before making his way to meet the foe? If he didn’t do this then he would be unprepared to meet the enemy and would be more likely to suffer defeat.
So you see how important it is to count the cost of everything we enter into.
And then Jesus applies this principle to the life of a Christian. He says:
So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:33
"To forsake all" is the cost we ought to count when we become a disciple or follower of Jesus. And what does this mean, "to forsake all"?
Doesn’t "all" mean just what it says, all or entirely everything? Yes! It includes everything we own, our money, our house, car and anything else we could name.
And it goes even deeper than just material things, "all" also includes what we do, it includes the things our ears listen to, the things our eyes see, the places our feet walk, the words our lips speak and even the thoughts that we think.
Now what does it mean to "forsake" these things?
When Jesus was walking as a man on this earth, He showed us the greatest example of what this means. Just before He was crucified, as He was agonising with the great burden of sin that was being place upon Him, He said:
Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. Luke 22:42
Even at this most trying time, Jesus surrendered his all to the Father. And this is what it means to forsake all, to say "not my will, but thine, be done", to surrender our things to God and consecrate them to be used as He directs us.
Does this sound like a hard thing to do? It is a challenge to surrender all to Christ but let’s remember that God created all things, the clothes on our back, the house, the trees, our money and even our own bodies actually belong to God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. John 1:3
And also remember what Jesus gave up for you and I.
The gift of God to man is beyond all computation. Nothing was withheld. God would not permit it to be said that He could have done more or revealed to humanity a greater measure of love. In the gift of Christ He gave all heaven. - Ellen G. White, Amazing Grace p. 176
God gave everything he had when Jesus came to this world. Imagine Him leaving all the indescribable glories of heaven, to come down and live a humble life of service in this dark sinful world, and ultimately suffer a cruel death in the hands of those whom He had forsaken all, to save. Remember this and ask yourself, "if Christ gave up so much for me, shouldn’t I give up my all for Him?"
Count the cost, dear reader, of giving your all to Christ. The life as enduring as eternity that Jesus promises us is worth far more than all the things we possess in this world. So pray to God and commit all you have and all that you are to Him. Be challenged to study the Bible, and ask God to show you what His will is for you. As you do this, God will speak to you through His word, and you will understand more and more of what it means to forsake all and be His true disciple.
This reminds me of the chorus of a beautiful song:
Have you counted the cost if your soul should be lost
Tho' you gain the whole world for your own?
Even now it may be that the line you have crossed
Have you counted, have you counted the cost?
Helen 12 years ago - September 26, 2010 at 7:44 am
Thanks for the inspiration to these words. Great wisdom.
Emmanuel 12 years ago - September 25, 2010 at 7:06 pm
I\'m glad you like the background James, Praise God for the beautiful scenes of Nature and for His powerful promises given in the Bible.
James 12 years ago - September 24, 2010 at 2:21 am
Thank you so much. Indeed, we all need to count the cost. Thank you for the desktop background. I really like it.
Hannah Higgins 13 years ago - September 19, 2010 at 8:54 am
Thank you for these encouraging thoughts from God\'s word. A life of inner happiness and peace on this earth with God and spending eternity with Him are worth far more then the pleasures of sin for a season.