(28) For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitting not down first, and the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it. (29) Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it began to mock him, (30) Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. (31) Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitting not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? ( Luke 14:28-31 KJV)
May I be honest with you for a second? This thing called a christian journey is far from easy. Sometimes it will feel that you are in it for nought. There will be times when you will be misunderstood, rejected, mocked, called judgemental by those who has no interest in the christian faith, but despise you because of your walk. Jesus tells us two scriptures up in verse 26 if any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, wife, and children, and brethren and sisters, yea, and his whole life also, he cannot be my disciple. What does Jesus mean by hate our parents, siblings, family and friends, and life. Does he mean that we should despise them? No, of course not. However, he is implying that when you give your life to him. That it may have to cost you some family, some friends and the life that you knew before Christ. When he says hate not his father or mother he wants to know can you walk away from what’s familiar. If you’re the only one? If your parents refuse to follow Christ. If you are the only one in your circle of friends who has made the decision to follow Christ. Would you be able to leave them behind? To follow after that which is not always known. Jesus tells us for those who can’t leave behind certain luxuries and comforts of familiarity cannot be his disciples. The more that I walk with God. The more that I begin to understand that he will always call us forward. Not backwards. Sometimes, staying in a situation that God is trying to pull us out of is just as damaging as getting out of a bad situation. Only to return to it some time later.
For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? (29) Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it began to mock him.
If you were to start a business. Most likely, you would not just run out and buy the first building you saw. Without having it inspected and making sure that it is up to code. You wouldn’t open its door with only a quarter of your business being ready for public consumption. No, if you were to start your own business. You would make sure that you have the funding, the location, you would check out the competition in your market, you would trademark what needs to trademarked. You would make sure that your paper work was in order. You would even count up the cost of loss. Any smart business owner will know that there will be loss as well as profits. So, if we were to take all of these precautions and then some when starting a business. Why don’t we proceed with the same precautions when deciding whether or not to follow Christ. Don’t get me wrong. I will never discourage any one from following Christ. Too often however, we see those who start off strong in the Lord return to what they came out of. For some it’s because of ridicule and rejection. For others it could be from an expectation that wasn’t met, or a prayer that has yet to be answered (notice that I said yet, keep praying) some walk away because they haven’t felt the presence of God in a long time. For a majority of the people however, it’s the seemingly riches of this world that lures them away. Verse 29 says Lest haply, after he had laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him. Lest means to avoid the risk of and haply means perhaps by chance. So, the two very first words in verse twenty-nine shows us that we don’t intend to begin our relationship with Christ only to fall away from it. Although, many times we fall off simply because we never took the time to factor in every thing that could come our way. A mistake that many new believers make. Is the belief that things will change overnight. If not overnight then soon. We start off believing that it gets easier and not harder. It doesn’t matter that we may have come from an atheist background, because of our faith by next year my family will believe. Question, what if it doesn’t happen within the year as you have prayed. What if it takes twenty years. Would you still believe? A lot of the times when we begin anything. Whether it’s a project, a proposal, a business, a ministry or even a job. We mainly concentrate on all the good, but I believe that when Jesus warns us to count the cost. He’s telling us to weigh in the bad as well as the good. He’s telling us to make it up in our minds and in our hearts that no matter what may come out way. We will continue on. If my family never follows Christ. Then I still will. If my friends ridicule me for my belief, Lord I would still choose to follow you. If it means spending my Friday nights at a worship service. Instead of partying at a club. I will do it because I know that you are calling me to something greater. Choosing to follow Christ is not always easy. In fact attacks will come because you made the decision to pursue him. Let me encourage you with this though. It may not be easy, but at some point it will be worth it.
(29) And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife or children, or lands for my sake, and the gospels. (30) But he shall receive an hundred fold now in this time houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers and children and lands with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. ( Mark 10:29-30)
If you were to read a few verses up. You would see a conversation that Jesus had with someone who was inquiring about eternal life. Jesus simply told the man to keep the commandments. Do not steal, do not bear false witness, defraud not others and to honor his parents. Relieved the man replies, I have done all of these things. That wasn’t it though Jesus told him if you want to be perfect sell all that you have and give it to the poor. Upon hearing this the man walks away dejected. He loved his life more than he loved the thought of eternal life. Hearing this conversation Peter makes the comment. We have left everything to follow you. He was saying Lord, it’s been hard what do we get in return? Jesus response was to let him know that what they had to give up was not in vain. He let Peter and the rest of us know that anything that we give up for the gospels sake. We will receive a hundred fold blessings. Not just in the life to come, but in this present life. Maybe the young man should have stuck around to ask what shall I receive if I forsake all to follow you?
I would like to encourage you to count the cost of what it means to truly follow Christ. I’m not going to lie to you. It comes with trials and tribulations. Ups and downs but at the end of it all. The blessings will far out-weigh the sacrifice. Be encouraged in your walk with God!