“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it” (Luke 14:28)
When my wife and I first got married, we were driving a yellow and black Dodge Dart GT … and man alive, it could run! You see, it could run from one service station to the next service station down the road!
We sat down … counted the cost … and realized very quickly that we were not going to be able to keep my beloved car! We shopped around and decided to purchase a 1968 Volkswagen Beatle …and oh it was a beauty! Blue with grey interior. And the gas mileage … well … you get the picture!
We made a good choice … but it wouldn’t take long in life to see that it was going to be too small very quickly! What were we to do? We kept the VW rather than dig a hole we might not be able to get out of.
Where am I going with all of this? The answer is there is always a price to be paid for what you want to have, do and be in this life! There are those who have been willing down through the ages to stand up with integrity and courage in the face of whatever was threatening them and their loved ones! Hebrews 11 describes a wonderful catalog of just some of them.
To clarify, we’re not talking about some sort of blind sense of courage or standing up just for the sake of standing up!
Men have given their lives over the years for a cause, a purpose, for their country. There have been so many who were willing to pay the ultimate price … to make the ultimate sacrifice in the giving of their lives. And we should honor and recognize them for their valor … even though valor was not the motivation … but commitment to a purpose … to a country …and to a way of life!
The more important questions each of us needs to consider as we take a good, long, honest look in the mirror at ourselves are these: Am I who I claim to be? Am I what I claim to be?
Our Savior was very clear that if something is required of Him, shall we not also expect something to be required of us. Jesus in the context of Luke 14:25-35 expresses in clear terminology the high cost of discipleship!
Let’s be more specific. Having the willingness and the conviction regarding truth can mean that we will find ourselves in situations and circumstances, deciding on questions and decisions where the right choice is not the popular choice! Oh, we may want it, have it … make it or make them significant in our lives … only to discover we did not count the cost from a right and thoughtful perspective!
Sometimes we make choices we think and believe to be right … and we find out to our disappointment and dismay … they were not the right choices. Collateral damage occurs in the loss of family, friends, and even brethren. We MUST count the cost with the understanding there will be a price to be paid … perhaps higher than we could ever imagine!
At other times … we make choices we think and believe to be right and discover to our delight that it was the right decision … the right choice. And as a result of making the right choice even when it requires great sacrifice … that we gain family, friends and even brethren!
The fact is … every choice counts!
The Bible tells us in no uncertain terms that “there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 14:12)
Jesus warned His disciples and His warning has been preserved for our learning and we must decide if we are willing to pay the high price of following Him (John 16:33).
I love my family and I am willing to go to my very last breath to ensure that I am leading and protecting them from danger and the call of the world. But my family also knows this about me for I have made it plain throughout their lives, “I am not willing to lose my soul in the process!”
An old preacher friend who has gone on to his reward used to conclude his sermon with these words, “It’s decision time …”
Folks, we face “decision times” much more than we realize, and we must be vigilant to not allow this evil world to weaken or compromise our resolve to serve and please the Master above all else … above anyone else…above self!
It is beyond my lowly ability to comprehend why anyone who is a child of God would allow the world to creep into their thoughts, decisions, actions and very life. Yet, it happens every day … and it happens often to those we would have never guessed it could happen to.
Satan works the hardest at capturing the souls of the strongest and most useful in the Kingdom! Please … don’t allow yourself to become a casualty of war!
I serve at the pleasure of my Lord and Savior … not anyone or anything else … period!
We cannot earn our way to Heaven … we can’t in some way obligate God to permit our entrance through its gates. But we can make as our mantra, “Be thou faithful unto death” (Revelation 2:10). We can be fully aware of our sins, weaknesses and shortcomings … and we can ask our Lord for forgiveness and a greater faith.
When this life is over and when this world is no more … when all the smoke has cleared … the ultimate question will be “did we seek to please the Lord first?” First above self, family, friends, work, things and pleasure!
As we used to tell our children before they would go somewhere with their friends, “Remember who you are …”
There is always a price to be paid … for every choice and decision we make! Be wise!
Bill Fairchild, Jr.