What is the cost of following Jesus?
The answer is pretty obvious in scripture – everything. While we all know that is true how often does that come up in our conversation with seekers? Are we often afraid to really address the issue of “counting the cost” with those who are seeking Christ? Do we come up short in the picture we paint of Christ’s Lordship? Painting the picture of Christ as savior is favorable and easy. It is heartwarming and absolutely true. I wonder how many times I have done people a disservice by not being honest about what the Lordship of Christ means as they are on the brink of giving their lives to Christ.
When my wife and I bought our first house two months ago we knew we had to first count the cost. So we got an estimate from our mortgage company of how much it would cost to close on the house we bought. We got the estimate and considered whether or not we could afford it. We decided we could, just one catch…after we signed the contract the estimate was not dead on and we had to pay more per month and more at closing than we had hoped. The price turned out to be higher than we had been told. It made us more uncomfortable than we had planned. I am not complaining…I love our new home. I just bring it up to illustrate the point that if we present skewed numbers, we may wind up with people committing to what they do not understand or to an unrealistic picture of what life will be like.
Let us tell the story of Jesus without being ashamed of the demands God makes on the lives of his people. Demands are not bad news. The demands to live a more holy life actually bring fulfillment and blessing so let us not sell the Gospel short or the seeker short of how to really live a better life for God. I love the title of the 2 volume (vol 1 & vol 2) collection of essays by David Noel Freedman: Divine Committment and Human Obligation (either of which can be purchased for under $5 including shipping, I might add!).