First, Consider the Full Cost or Commitment
Key Verse to Read and Treasure
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? (Luke 14:28, ESV)
I know some who love the “idea” of something but not the long-term impact or commitment it may take to sustain it. Just like some who loves the thought of marriage and family. I’ve known some who looked forward to the wedding ceremony, loved the thought of getting married and the honeymoon, but once the ceremony was over, once they needed to get down to the brass tacks of married life: daily life with that person, responsibilities that are part of family life, sharing finances, meals, living space, life together, they weren’t all-in or very happy, maybe even resentful. That makes for a miserable existence for everyone. Makes you wonder why they didn’t think it all through before beginning.
The crowds followed Jesus everywhere. And why wouldn’t they? After all, He fed them, healed them, forgave their sins, treated their wounds, had a charismatic personality, was a great preacher and learned teacher. But He wanted them to know discipleship was more than what they were receiving from Him it also meant their renouncing some of the things they were attached to: relationships, material possessions, lifestyles. Having nothing or no one that was more important to them than Him. With Christ there is no such thing as half-in or 50% committed. Many stopped following Him that day. As long as Jesus was doing the giving they were fine but the thought of giving up what was precious to them, letting go of people, things, and being all-in to that extent was another story.
Discipleship is a prayerful consideration. It takes commitment and God is not pleased with half-hearted commitments. I can remember these words being spoken at my husband’s Ordination ceremony nearly 40 years ago. A reminder of the life he has said “yes” to when God called. And even though there have been challenges, valleys, and deserts he has continued that journey and call.
In Revelation Jesus reminded the Church in Laodicea that He was aware of their works, saying they were neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm, therefore He was going to spit them out of His mouth. That is similar to what Paul wrote Timothy, about our need to be faithful to the end; run the race and finish the course.
Whatever we take on. Whether it’s work, family, education, paths that require commitment, or being a discipleship we should not make half-heartedly but with full awareness of the cost involved. Though hard times come Jesus is faithful to stay with us and help us so we can stay on the course and finish what we started.
Praying Luke 14:28
Jesus, even though we often make commitments at the height of emotions and at first thought, we cannot commit to a path or life of discipleship in this manner. We need to count the costs and be willing to let go of anything—even when its people and possessions—that would keep us from following you completely. We can only do this with your help. Amen
Is there anything or anyone that keeps you from fully following Jesus?