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Monday, May 4, 2009

Counting The Cost

Luke 14:33
So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.


Jesus demands the lives of those who would follow Him – nothing less. To say one must simply ask forgiveness is true, but, make no mistake about it; Jesus demands our whole life. He requires that all be given over to Him and He will have it all. Jesus will have our lives, each and every one. He will have it now; in our willing surrender or He will have it at the end in battle and by force.

Jesus doesn’t want lip service. He doesn’t want arrogance passing for belief that says, “Just come for me later, when I’m done here.” He wants all of our life and He has the right to claim it and take it. All things are from Him and through Him and to Him. All accounts will be settled.

We must repent. Meaning; we must ask for forgiveness and we must seek His pardon with the expectation of receiving it and we must be prepared to give over our whole lives and selves. Our repentance will not be true if it is anything less than that.

Those who do not believe often will say they are not willing to give up certain habits or vices. They know things must change and they are unable to know the power of Christ to change them. They are unwilling to give up notions of what they think will make for a nice life. We, who believe, have a bad habit of telling them they need not give up a thing – just believe, we say, and Jesus will take care of everything. We are surely saved by grace, and not of ourselves but by the faith given from God. However, Jesus tells us there is a cost and that we should consider the cost. His grace is free; it is not cheap. To communicate that God will make one’s life peachy with no cost to us is a lie. The cost is our life as we know it. The life we receive is not worth comparing with the old; but the old must go.

Jesus requires much more than changing a habit, behavior or attitude. Jesus requires the entire life of those who would be his disciple. In order to have Jesus, our eternal life, one must give up all. Jesus demands of those who profess Him; our minds, emotions, bodies, spirit, soul, possessions – all we are and all we have. The unbeliever who balks at the requirement of surrender is not mistaken; let us not tell them they are. They lack understanding, yes, but they are right in their assessment that it is not a small thing in receiving Christ. The Holy Spirit makes one hate his life so much he is willing to give it to Jesus. Any other seed will not grow because it was not planted by God.

Let the one who is not ready to give his entire life, keep it. God will make him ready in His time; or He will not. We must not try to make the exchange a small thing. Let us tell them of the treasure we have in Christ that they cannot even imagine and let us make sure they know it is absolute mercy that causes us to lay our lives down. Let us make it plain that we have gained so much more than we tossed off that it’s not even worth comparing. But let’s not act as if they must just say “I’m sorry” to receive the kingdom of heaven. Jesus makes it very plain that that is not the case. He does not hide this truth; if we are to follow Him, we must give Him all.

For those who do not know God’s grace, let us assure them of His love and power to work out all the details. We must communicate what a joyful giving over it is to know Jesus. Their desire to lose their lives must come from the Holy Spirit. We cannot tell them it doesn’t matter if they are unwilling to give their lives.

The day will come when those who have withheld from Jesus what is rightfully His (namely worship), will beg to give their money, their possessions, and their service in order to have peace with Him. It will be too late.

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About Me

I met Jesus in March 1997 and soon after I began the practice of writing things down that were happening in my life with the Lord. Over the years, in the rare times that I have looked back into older journals, I have found that the things the Lord was showing me then are the same things He is showing me now. This does not make them less helpful, on the contrary, it makes them more helpful. God is exactly who He says He is and is doing all that He said He would. We need to be reminded of God and His faithfulness. The intention of this blog is to encourage God's people to continue and to grow in their confidence in Jesus Christ. The things posted here are from my journal and are meant to be an example of God's love and help as He loves and helps me. I would expect that you would have reason to trust Jesus Christ with your life (and death) if you haven't heard about Him so I invite you to go to my page "About Jesus" to see why you can and should have every confidence in Jesus and Jesus only for all things.