October 29, 2021
Scripture: “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? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.'” Luke 14:28-30 ESV
Observation: Here, Luke tells us that a great crowd joined Jesus, so he turned and challenged them to count the cost of following him. Most were seeking healing and other sorts of blessings. Some were intrigued by his bold confrontations with the religious order. But a few were captivated by his new teachings regarding humility, servitude, and the upsidedown nature of the kingdom of God (the first shall be last and the last shall be first). Thus, Jesus warns that those earnestly seeking to follow him and obey his commands must leave it all behind—even family if necessary.
Takeaway: This high-stakes calling warrants much consideration of what it will cost us. At age ten, when I felt the love of God and believed that his Son had died for me, I understood the meaning of Jesus, my Savior. But I scarcely knew the significance of Jesus, my Lord. Fifty-two years later, I am still learning what it means to die to myself and rise to new life in Christ, who is my Lord. As a husband, father, and grandfather, my heart aches to think that I might have to separate from any of my family to follow Jesus. But as I count the cost, I also add up God’s grace that has been poured into my life, time and again. His grace is sufficient to comfort the pain of any losses or sacrifices I might incur to follow his Son. So as we count the cost, let us also count the abundance of his grace. The ledger tilts heavily toward the latter.
Prayer: Father God, in your mercy, please help us to count the cost of following your Son on the next leg of our life journeys, and please enlarge our trust in your grace that will be sufficient to keep us moving forward toward the finish line. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling