Friday, February 09, 2007

But what is my petty offering to your sacrifice?

Jesus taught his disciples, saying: “And indeed, which of you here, intending to build a tower, would not first sit down and work out the cost to see if he had enough to complete it? Otherwise if he laid the foundation and then found himself unable to finish the work, everyone who saw it would start making fun of him and saying, ‘Here is someone who started to build and was unable to finish.

Wow, this was the passage from fixed hour prayer this morning. I've heard this passage many times, but today it really struck me. How many of us TRULY count the cost of following Jesus? How many of us jump in feet first, all gung ho, and by golly, can't finish what we started? It's too hard, or inconvenient, or uncomfortable. We are told to count the cost - why do we ignore that admonition? Sure, safe Christians, those who basically buy fire insurance, who do their duty by sitting in a pew week in and week out probably don't notice the cost as much. But for those who really get in and dig, and understand just what is being asked of us - the cost is astronomical. And we are surprised to find ourselves in over our heads struggling to stay afloat.

In our zeal to "win" souls, we so often neglect to make people aware of what is required, of the real cost. Jesus was up front with his followers. And if they chose to turn and walk the other way he did not push them to follow with all kinds of empty promises. We need to let the Spirit work. Do our part, and let God do his. We need to tell the whole truth. Following Jesus is hard. Uncomfortable. But to be part of his story, his plan - to participate in his reconciliation of the world - how cool is that? Our rewards may not be what we imagine them to be, but I think I can confidently say they will be much, much better than we can imagine.

Count the Cost.

I gave up my home
But you gave up Paradise
What You called me to offer
Has really set me free
Cause you left everything to be with me
So with joy I embrace a faith that calls me from home
And I will cling to Your Promise that I am never alone
And with each passing moment I'll keep hoping it's true
I left everything to follow you.

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