Luke 14:28 warns don’t begin until you count the cost.
I continue to be amazed at God’s attitude toward saving the world while He lived among us. Certainly His sacrifice had and has world-wide significance and impact because God loves the world since He Himself is both Creator and Sustainer of all life in the world.
However, when He had the opportunity to say to the world that He loved everyone and everyone would be welcome into His eternal heaven He chose not to make such a statement. God instead chose to communicate that few would make it into heaven, that the road was difficult and that we should count the cost before claiming to be His followers.
God encouraged us to consider all the things we had and all the people we love then when comparing them to our love for Him, live as though we hated those things.
The problem with God is He believes He is God and as God demands our love and loyalty above all things.
Many who claim to be His followers in the world are suffering greatly right now, their cost is very high in possessions and relationships. The middle east is on fire being set ablaze by Muslims who are using Christians for their fuel. Throughout history the physical cost to follow Jesus has been enormously high among a few. None of us wish to suffer but we all must count the cost of placing Jesus first and foremost in our lives.
So what does that look like for the vast majority of us who are not being persecuted for claiming to be adherents of Jesus and His teachings?
Loving God more than family means leading our family to love God. The cost we must pay is death to our selfish ends, death to ignorance of God and instead apply our self with the utmost diligence to know God and to pass this information along to our children through word and deed.
Loving God more than our treasure means choosing to build relationally with our family so that we can influence them toward Christ rather than working extra hours so we can provide nicer things and a more comfortable life. It means giving as much as we can to the building of God’s kingdom while keeping as little as possible for meeting our own needs.
Loving God more than ourselves means placing the needs of others above our own beginning with everyone’s fundamental need for reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ. We must sacrifice our comfort and objectives in order to place God’s objective of global salvation at the forefront of our prayers, efforts and goals – beginning right where we are in our homes and communities.
It costs to be God’s disciple, what price are we paying?