Counting Up the Cost

28“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ 33In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

34“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Luke 14:28-30; 33-35 (New International Version)

In this passage Jesus has a captive audience as He urges them to think about their decision on whether to follow Him or not. They came in droves to hear Him and I’m pretty sure there were those that were intrigued by His manner of speaking, by His humility and by the authority by which He spoke. But Jesus wanted them to know that following Him would cost them something. They had to be willing to give up everything; mother, father, sister, brother, children – in order to follow Him.

As a follower of Christ we cannot hold allegiances to anyone or anything above Him. Jesus used as an example a builder who was to build a building but he didn’t sit down first and count up the cost of this project. His ill preparation caused him to be ridiculed because he did not have enough resources to complete the building and the building stood incomplete for all to see. We must count the cost of being a disciple – we must be willing to give up everything to follow Him, realizing that it won’t be easy, but it will be necessary. We can’t compromise with the world and we also can’t expect an easy ride just because we are Christians. Yes, people will talk about you, yes, people will abandon you – but count the cost! The end result is far greater than anything the world can offer you!

Not only must you count the cost but you have to be effective as well. In verses 34-35 Jesus says that salt that loses its saltiness is no good for anything! What does salt do? It creates thirst, it is used as a seasoning and it has healing properties. As Christians we are the salt of the earth – we should create a thirst for Jesus Christ, we should also serve as seasoning and healing in the lives of others because of whom we serve! If we are just disciples and not being effective, what good are we?

Know that in order to follow Christ you must be willing to forsake everything – not holding allegiance to anything above Him. You’ve got to understand that it will cost you something, but you also have to be committed to being effective – creating a thirst for Christ, becoming a seasoning and healing property in the lives of others. Are you a true disciple?

c/Candie A. Price

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