By: Susan Bea Good
When my two sons were young we had a Friday tradition. After school we’d stop at The Little Sack (a nearby convenience store) where I would allow them to go in without me to spend some of their allowance on whatever they wanted. Of course they alway emerged with a soda and some candy. For months, unbeknownst to me, my youngest was completing his purchase with the contents of the cup marked, “Need a Penny, Share a Penny.” I was appalled when I learned of this, and proceeded to instruct this son to always count the cost of his items before committing to the purchase.
Counting the cost is a biblical principal regarding our following of Jesus Christ. Throughout Scripture we are instructed to preview the price required for changing course and beginning to live according to God’s Word. For some, that cost may seem insignificant for years, but eventually every child of God will be faced with it. And though we’ve been warned, for too many of us this is a painful surprise.
The cost for following Jesus ranges from death by murder (as our brothers in the Middle East are experiencing) to overcoming the temptation to covet. We all face a cost. The wise will heed Paul’s warning to “count it” daily.
Kentucky clerk Kim Davis counted the cost of following Jesus, and it was ridicule, jail time, and self-righteous disapproval from all sides (even from her brothers in Christ).
Mariam Ibrahim, counted the cost when she refused to renounce Jesus and remained in a Sudanese prison for months, even being forced to give birth alone and in chains.
Being a Christ-follower is not free. Jesus’ payment for your sins is a gift you did not pay for. But when you received that gift you also accepted its consequences: forgiveness from your sins, the promise of eternal life, and fellowship with your Creator on the walk through this earthly life. You also accepted the process of sanctification.
Though it cost us nothing to become children of God, there is a cost for being one. Sanctification, the cost of being a child of God, is a life long process. The more that you cooperate with God the more you will benefit from the process. God is not cruel. His sanctifying requirements are met with sufficient empowerment. As we work with Him over many years, we better understand His ways, rejoice in a closer communion with Him, and receive courage that could only come at this cost.
The cost of your salvation is unmeasurable. However, the cost of your walk with God is one that you must make a habit of measuring. Obeying His commands, following His leading, and expecting and accepting the knocks that come…this is counting the cost of being a child of God.
(Jesus) “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.” (Luke 18:29-30/ESV)
The purpose of this blog is to encourage Christ-followers to see God’s Big Picture and be a part of it. Adonai Eloheinu!