Counting the Cost

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The High Price of Commitment

Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?

“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it.”

(Luke 14:27-34; 9:23-24)

God is love and peace and joy and contentment. But He is serious business. You’d better be too.

Being a born-again Christian means everything. Everything you are, everything you have. That’s why the most miserable people in the world are Christians who aren’t willing to take it all the way. To them, church is uncomfortable, because it keeps confronting them with their sins. Sin is uncomfortable, because the Spirit’s taken all the guiltless fun out of it. Relationships are uncomfortable, because being a Christian in one place and a heathen in another makes life to keep up with. The call of God stirs their heart, but the call of the world purrs even louder. So with feet in two worlds, they know only the worst of each, the empty promises of sin and the nagging pain of an awakened conscience. Wow. And they thought God’s ways were hard. The road to the good life is narrow. And pretty steep in a lot of places. But the view is breathtaking, the experiences, unforgettable. And those who choose to walk it find everything their heart desires. Everything.

“God nowhere tells to give up things for the sake of giving them up. He tells to give them up for the sake of the only thing worth having.” – Oswald Chambers

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Tomorrow’s Reading: You’ll find many of the basic, everyday disciplines of Christian living new and challenging, but get good at them. They are spiritual habits you’ll never outgrow.

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