For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.
Insights: After asking His audience to put Him in the first position of priority in their lives, Jesus then told them to be willing to sacrifice all for Him. Now, He tells them to make certain they want to live such a life. He gives them two illustrations to prove His point of counting the cost of discipleship. The first is a construction illustration and we have all seen buildings that have been started and not finished and stay in that condition for years and years. The second is a military illustration. I would hope our military analysis every aspect and contingency before engaging an enemy. I also hope that before deciding to advance with such a plan they determine the potential success rate of the operation. The point Jesus is making is that to serve Him there is potential danger. He does not promise us a life of roses with no thorns. In fact, He promises us hostility from the world. He promises us persecution and ridicule. He promises us work. Gregory Frizzell’s words begin to ring true at this point. He wrote, “We are all saved to serve, not sit. . . . Let us now resolve to become givers and servers far more than sitters and takers. May we all commit to serve our Lord with diligence and gladness of heart He deserves. To do anything less is profound ingratitude and disobedience.” To not count the cost of service is a profound ingratitude to Jesus, especially in light of the cross of Calvary. Jesus literally gave His life to save us from our sins and for us to respond with, “I am just going to sit here and not serve,” is profound ingratitude. Beloved, arise, count the cost and serve well!
- Do you often start projects and then fail to complete them?
- What would it cost you to fully surrender to the Lord Jesus?
Prayer: Father, to live a life of complete surrender would be very costly and very much worth the cost. There is no way for me to know the future requirements You will have of me, but Lord, I settle the issue today as to whether or not I will serve You. The answer is, Yes! Amen.