Count the Costs
In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything cannot be my disciples (Luke 14:33).
Abandonment is the attitude of disciples of Jesus Christ. Utter abandonment to fame, fortune, friends and family to carry out Christ’s calling. I don’t like these hard words of Jesus, but they are a test of my true love for Him. Am I a casual Christian or am I a committed Christian? Motivations of convenience and comfort bear the fruit of shallow spirituality while the desire of death to self bears the fruit of unencumbered obedience. Count the costs before commitment.
Zealous fools begin, but do not proceed down the path of the Lord’s purposes for their life. However, as a sober-minded disciple who counted the costs, you answered Christ’s call to follow Him. Your commitment was based on the courage and resolution to do the next right thing, regardless. The gates of hell do not prevail, because you are executing God’s game plan. There is a visceral sense of destiny because you are following the most trusted One, Jesus. He is worth it!
Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully (2 John 1:8).
Furthermore, tribulation and persecution will come when we persistently love and serve in Jesus’ name. The outside forces of radical resistance are not meant to be met with our radical activism. A combative and harsh religion loses its attractiveness to the spiritually unattractive. Thus, when we feel pressure to conform to the culture, we invite the Holy Spirit to conform us into the likeness of Jesus. He raises the stakes with our radical love, forgiveness, acceptance and service.
Have you given up everything for God, only to experience His generous return policy? All we have is His anyway, but our gracious Heavenly Father allows us to steward His assets. What we desperately hold on to, He often takes and gives away. What we freely let go of, He may give back, since we can be trusted with His blessings. Therefore, count the costs as a Christ follower by being a radical doer of the Word. Be known by how well you love. Give up everything for Him!
I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ (Philippians 3:8).