Counting The Cost
It is very important that we know what we are getting into when we decide to be a servant of the Living God. Being a Christian is serious business. When Christ speaks of His servants, the word servants means slaves. We are to be enslaved to Christ and His will when we become Christians. Now that doesn't mean that we will follow His will perfectly, but we should at least try our best. We will begin this study in the book of Luke.
verse 26 If any man come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and even his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
The word hate in this verse means love less. In other words, we are to love Christ more than anything or anybody else. To follow Him we must be willing to put Him before our families and even ourselves.
verse 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot be my disciple.
Jesus isn't speaking of wearing a cross on a chain. During Biblical times the cross was a symbol of execution much like the electric chair of today. Jesus is saying that as Christians we are to represent Him even if it means that we have to die for Him. We shouldn't play religion. We need to be serious about our Father's business.
verse 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
verse 29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
verse 30 Saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.'
verse 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?
verse 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.
verse 33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
Although this statement applies to us all, it is especially important to those who are active in ministry. We have to count the cost and be willing to forsake all for Christ and put Him above all. When we make the decision to follow Christ, we should do this knowing that everyone will not embrace that decision. Some people will actually hate us because we choose to be His servant.
verse 34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
verse 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
verse 36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
verse 37 He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
verse 38 And he that taketh not his cross and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me.
verse 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for My sake shall find it.
verse 18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you.
verse 19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
verse 20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying they will keep yours also.
verse 21 But all these things will they do unto you for My names sake, because they know not Him That sent Me.
This persecution comes from the world, but it can also come from so called Christians who only play religion and from members of our own family because they know not the Father who sent Jesus. It will come so be prepared for it when it does.
verse 22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separete you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil for the Son of man's sake.
verse 23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
We aren't supposed to worry when we are hated and persecuted. We should rejoice and be happy. However, we should only be happy if we are hated and persecuted for His name sake not for doing evil. Let's get into some more scripture. Turn to 2 Corinthians.
2 Corinthians 4:7-10
verse 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not us.
verse 8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
verse 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destoyed;
verse 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
We will go through trials but we must continue forward.
verse 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
verse 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
verse 57 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto Him, "Lord, I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest."
verse 58 And Jesus said unto him,"Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests: but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head."
verse 59 And He said unto another, "Follow Me." But he said, "Lord suffer me first to go and bury my father."
verse 60 Jesus said unto him, "Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God."
verse 61 And another also said, "Lord, I will follow Thee; but first let me go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house."
verse 62 And Jesus said unto him, " No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."
This is an interesting analogy. Back in the Bible days, an ox or some other animal was used to pull the plow. If a person looked back while plowing, the plough would be out of control. This would result in the soil not being tilled straight. A farmer wouldn't have rows to cast seed into. This means that once we decide to serve God, if we turn to look back we will go off course. Each individual must count the cost, and decide whether or not to carry his/her own cross. As Christians we must look forward to God's Kingdom and spending Eternity with Him. No matter what kind of trials we go through, and no matter what anybody says or does, we must always remember that our Father loves us and nothing can change that. We will conclude or study in the book of Romans.
verse 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness or peril, or sword?
verse 36 As it is written, "For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter."
verse 37 Nay in all things we are more than conquerors through Him That loved us.
verse 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
verse 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to seperate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.