Thursday, April 15, 2010

Counting the Cost

If you build it, they will come. But you have to finish building it first.

The city of Winston-Salem has found itself at the center of a controversy surrounding construction of a new baseball stadium for the city’s minor league baseball team. Apparently, the company building the stadium discovered about ¾ of the way into construction that they don’t have enough money to complete the project, which is going to cost $18 million dollars more than originally thought. They have asked city leaders for a loan to help them finish the stadium. However, some Winston-Salem residents aren’t too crazy about the idea of the city loaning this private enterprise money for a stadium, especially in these difficult economic times.

This situation reminds me of Jesus’ words in Luke 14: 28-30 "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'

When we read the whole chapter of Luke 14, we realize that Jesus is using this parable to teach potential disciples that we need to calculate the cost before we begin following Him. The cost of discipleship is everything! I’ve known more than a few people who started walking with Christ, but didn’t finish the journey because they just couldn’t put Him in first place. Jesus says each one of us has to carry our own cross in order to follow him, meaning we must choose to lay down our old lives and place Him first on our list of priorities, over everything else.

However, the irony and beauty of it all, is that once we have carefully counted the cost and chosen, still, to lay everything at His feet, we realize that the walk gets much easier. Sure, there will still be challenges along the way, but as followers of Jesus, we never have to face these difficulties alone. He’s right by our side, helping us finish the race.

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