God created you for blessings, for life, and for productivity. (Genesis 1-2)
“A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, “If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’ “Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own. “Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? Flavorless salt is good neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. It is thrown away. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!”” Luke 14:25-35 NLT
“But don’t begin until you **count the cost**. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?” Luke 14:28 NLT
- An example of marriage: It is a dedication to a person for the rest of your life. You should evaluate carefully in the Lord’s presence first, before the wedding day!
- Your commitment to God shouldn’t be less. You are consecrated for the Lord!
You can be free. You can be blessed. You can have life. And you can be productive, and a blessing!
How to count the cost?
- Your life. (Rev. 12:11, Joh. 12:25)
- Your “reputation”, “image” and what others think. (Matthew 5:11-12)
- God’s Word is 1st place. (2. Tim. 3:12)
- Love the Lord and hate what is of the world. (Joh. 15:18-19, 1 John 2:15-17)
Trust the Lord, and love Him with all your heart.
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Revelation 12:11 KJV
“He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.” John 12:25 KJV
“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.” Matthew 5:11-12 NLT
“Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12 NLT
“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.” John 15:18-19 NLT
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” 1 John 2:15-17 KJV
Man or a woman who has truly counted the cost, and decided to follow Jesus, can truly be free!
“Are they servants of Christ? I know I sound like a madman, but I have served him far more!
2 Corinthians 11:23-28 NLT
- Hard worker
- Been put in prison often.
- Been whipped times without number.
- Faced death again and again.
- Five different times the Jewish leaders gave him thirty-nine lashes.
- Three times beaten with rods.
- Once stoned.
- Three times shipwrecked.
- Once spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea.
- Traveled on many long journeys.
- Faced danger from rivers and robbers.
- Faced danger from his own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles.
- Faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas.
- Faced danger from men who claim to be believers but were not.
- Worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. Was hungry and thirsty, often going without food.
- Shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep him warm.
- Then, besides all this, the daily burden of his concern for all the churches.”
Mark 4:1-20 NLT
“Once again Jesus began teaching by the lakeshore. A very large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat in the boat while all the people remained on the shore. He taught them by telling many stories in the form of parables, such as this one: “Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seed. As he scattered it across his field, some of the seed fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate it. Other seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seed sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plant soon wilted under the hot sun, and since it didn’t have deep roots, it died. Other seed fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants so they produced no grain. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” Then he said, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” Later, when Jesus was alone with the twelve disciples and with the others who were gathered around, they asked him what the parables meant. He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secret of the Kingdom of God. But I use parables for everything I say to outsiders, so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled: ‘When they see what I do, they will learn nothing. When they hear what I say, they will not understand. Otherwise, they will turn to me and be forgiven.’ ” Then Jesus said to them, “If you can’t understand the meaning of this parable, how will you understand all the other parables? The farmer plants seed by taking God’s word to others. The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message, only to have Satan come at once and take it away. The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced. And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!””