For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t sit down first and compute the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish the tower, all who see it will begin to make fun of him.
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It’s interesting to look at Jesus’ life and teachings from a ‘church growth’ perspective. I work in a typical 90’s Calvary Chapel mega church out on the west coast, so how to draw people in and grow the church is a common focus. I don’t mean that in a negative sense, the leadership of the church really wants to draw people into the love of Christ, and that’s a great thing.
But I can’t help but notice that when the crowds are around, Jesus’ teachings are pretty heavy!
Things like having to hate your father and mother
or carry your cross
It’s almost like he’s trying to drive people away!
Something I love and wrestle with about Jesus, is that he wasn’t so much concerned with how many people were following him, as he was concerned with how serious people were committed to following him.
In our western culture, we tend to steer away from anything harsh that might push people away, I know I’m majorly guilty of this, trying to tone down Jesus to make him more palatable. Alan Hirsch says in the west we’ve “domesticated Jesus”. We’ve domesticated him Hirsch says, because he claims to be Lord, “and it’s hard to live with a Lord”.
Jesus tells us to count the cost, But I for one didn’t count the cost before deciding to follow Jesus.
How could I?
How could we understand what it will cost us to truly follow him for our whole lives, and with our whole beings?
I’m learning to count the cost now, even though I’ve already started, because it’s better late than never.
And what’s the cost?
To carry my cross, to die to myself everyday.
Because carrying my cross isn’t about me, it’s about loving others so much, that I lay my desires down for them
and that’s a lot of cost to count.
But I have faith that it’s worth it, because Jesus did it for us.
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Jesus help me to want to be like you in all ways. Help me by your spirit to live the way I know I ought to, and to be salt and light in the world. Not my will, but yours be done.