Thursday, January 14, 2010

Count the Cost

Luke 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it?

As many of us are still recovering from the recession there are plenty of mistakes we can all learn from in 2009. Adjustable rates vs. Fixed Rates. Purchasing a home we can afford vs. one we can’t. Living below our means vs. living beyond our means. Making sure we have 3 months of our wages saved up in case of an emergency. Getting rid of all debt.

Not only financially but morally we learned some lessons that cost people money, endorsements, and careers. Politicians that had affairs or took money. R&B singers involved in Domestic Abuse. Rappers carrying illegal guns. Iconic athletes committing several acts of adultery. If each of these people would have counted the costs they probably would have reconsidered their actions.

Not only financially, or morally but spiritually we must count the cost of being a follower of Christ. You must give up something in order to be a disciple of Jesus. In order to follow Jesus, you may have to give up certain social alliances, land, relationships, or even career paths. There is a radical allegiance in following Jesus that most folks don’t consider.

During this prosperity gospel era, we have over emphasized what we get and de-emphasized what we have to give up. R. Kelly wrote a powerful song called, “trade in my Life for Jesus” but like many of us he sang more than he could do.

Jesus said, “no one builds a tower without first sitting down to estimate how much it’s going to cost because you don’t want to get in the middle of a building project and not have enough money to finish it.” This is a powerful principle for life. Before you initiate anything you’ve got to ask “how much is this going to cost me?

1. Before you build or buy a house. How much is it going to cost to own a house? Repairs? Mortgage? Light bill? Cutting the grass? Furniture? Security? Insurance?

2. Before you use your credit card and accrue compound interest. How many times would you have paid for the purchase by the time you pay off the interest?

3. Before you have sex with someone? What if the condom breaks? What if my spouse and kids find out? What if I get pregnant? What if I get an incurable disease?

4. Before you open up a business? What if I don’t make a profit for a year? Do I have enough startup capital? What if my partner bails out on me? How much are all my taxes going to be? Payroll? Inventory tax? Property tax? State tax? City tax?

5. Before you get in any relationship? Will this take away or strengthen my relationship with Christ? Is this person crazy? Are they a stepping stone or a stumbling block? Are they headed in the same direction I am? Are we equally yoked?

6. Before you head in a New Direction? Is this where God is leading me? What will I have to give up? What will I gain?

7. Before you walk away from God. Where will I spend eternity? Where is my source of Joy? Who can I turn to?

The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life.

Dear God, what I have given up does not compare to what you’ve given me. Whatever else I need to give up I am willing to follow you. Nothing else matters. I surrender all to you my blessed Savior.

In Jesus Name.

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