And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 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....So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.
Luke 14: 27-28; 33
Jesus was trying to teach his followers to count the cost of following Him. He explained that one cannot be His disciple without being willing to forsake all, and He taught that knowing He would fulfill his own teaching by His crucifixion.
For followers of Jesus, this is a very special and holy week. This is the time that our Jesus rode on a donkey and made His entrance into Jerusalem to be revealed as King. For three years He had ministered, performed miracles, and taught whoever had ears to hear about the Kingdom of God. But, this is the week that He faced the ultimate cost as Savior. Jesus entered Jerusalem with the sole and primary purpose to die, and He was intentional in all that He did to bring about that Kingdom purpose, in spite of the cost.
While others were preparing to go through the religious rituals and sacrifice the traditional lambs for Passover, He came as the complete and satisfactory Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29 He knew what cost would be required of Him to save the souls of all who would seek Him. Jesus knew that He had the choice to call legions of angels to His rescue if the cost was too great for Him. Yet, He had counted the cost. It was worth it to Jesus, out of His great love for us and out of obedience to the Father's will, to finish His purpose.
Over the past year, I have had to count the costs of submission to Jesus and His will. Some of those costs have included lung cancer, hospitalization, surgeries, physical and emotional pain and suffering, isolation, abandoned dreams, weariness, and fear for the future of my children and family. Although my personal costs may seem great to me, as we consider the cost of our Savior, they are minimal.
He was despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed....He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth. Isaiah 53: 3-5; 7
Our Jesus counted the cost of His sorrows and being despised by His own people. He counted the cost of each bruise, and being beaten to the point of disfigurement. He counted the cost of the nails and hanging in shame before all men on a cross. He counted the cost of the thirst and mocking and torture. He counted the cost of death and darkness in a cold tomb, separated from God the Father who He deeply loves. He counted all these costs, and considered us worthy to finish His purpose. Jesus kept silent and bore His Cross.
When I consider my list of costs to call Jesus my Savior, they pale in comparison. My heart's desire is to bear my cross, whatever the Lord wills it to be, and to be found faithful in forsaking all to follow My Jesus. Instead of counting the cost of discipleship in sorrow, I join with David in saying nor will I offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God with that which costs me nothing. 2 Samuel 24:24 The man after God's own heart understood that God is most glorified when it cost us something in the flesh to worship and serve Him.
Throughout the world today there are many followers of Jesus who are required to forsake their own lives for the Gospel. They have counted the cost. This Easter, may each one of us seek God to show us the cost which will be required from our own lives that will bring Him the most glory in this generation. May we meditate on the costs we have already experienced in joyful praise that we may know the power of His resurrection as we join our Jesus in the fellowship of suffering, being conformed to His death. Philippians 3:10
May we pray for the Lord to give us the courage and strength to face the future cost of loving and serving Him for the sake of His Kingdom and the salvation of souls. In the words of Jesus, What will a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16: 16 What will we give?
Dear Beloved, may we count the cost, and finish it!
Dear MotherWise friends, this devotion was provided by our dear and sweet MotherWise California representative, Beth Cuvelier.