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Summary: Stop and count the cost of the spiritual warfare that you are now engaged in. Is the price you are going to pay worth the reward you will receive in the end?

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COUNT THE COST

By Pastor Jim May

Luke 14:28-33, "For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple."

Everything in life that is worth having carries with it a price tag. If you want a new house, the price tag can easily become $1000 to $1500 per month for 30 years even for a modest home. A new car can easily cost you $500 or more each month. And who can deny that the cost of living has risen to the point that we can fully understand what John said in Revelation 6:6, when he spoke of the cost of wheat and three measures of barley for a day’s wages. Nothing is free and nothing is cheap, at least anything that’s worth having.

People have tendency to buy cheap, just to say that they have something they want, but they will often regret it when whatever they purchased won’t last.

Just last summer I was involved in the purchase of some audio-visual equipment for one of our local school systems. We purchased some projectors at a very reasonable price. Oh, they looked good, worked well and did just what we wanted them to do – for a little while. But it wasn’t long until major problems began to arise and now, their weaknesses have surfaced and nearly half of them are already unusable. We got just what we paid for – junk at a cheap price.

That’s the way it is in our walk with the Lord as well. We need to count the cost and decide right now just what kind of walk we want with Jesus. Do we want a cheap gospel? Do we want an easy relationship? Do we want a surface faith? Or do we want to hear the truth of the Word of God; a close and strong relationship with the Lord; and a faith that is unshakeable?

In one of our nation’s parks there is a place called the Bridger Wilderness Area where hikers and campers are allowed to freely roam the wilderness and experience nature first hand. But before you go, I would suggest that you count the cost of being alone in the wilderness for several days better than some of the people who have been there already. There is a suggestion box at the trail’s end where visitors can voice their opinion on how the wilderness experience can be made more enjoyable. Here are some of their actual suggestions.

1. Trails need to be reconstructed. Please avoid building trails that go uphill.

2. There are too many bugs, leeches, spiders and spider webs. Please spray the wilderness to rid the areas of these pests.

3. Please pave the trails to make them easier to walk on and some places need to have Chair lifts so that we can get to wonderful views without having to hike to them.

4. The coyotes made too much noise last night and kept me awake. Please eradicate these annoying animals.

5. One night a small deer came into my camp and stole my jar of pickles. Is there a way I can get reimbursed?

6. Escalators would help on steep uphill sections.

7. A MacDonald’s restaurant would be nice at the trailhead and at regular intervals along the way.

8. There are just too many rocks in the mountains making the trails hard to negotiate. Please remove the rocks.

Can I tell you that none of these folks counted the cost of living in the wilderness before they began their journey? They obviously didn’t know what a wilderness area is.

I am convinced that a lot of people are very eager to be called Christians. They really want to obtain eternal life. But they don’t have a clue of the real cost of being a true disciple of Christ.

All the cheap Christians are looking for is a church where they can hear a positive, uplifting message that makes them feel good in the midst of their sin, but no condemnation or conviction for that sin.

All the cheap Christians are looking for a preacher with a degree in psychology, or marriage counseling, or theological understanding who can help them get their relationships right or teach them some “new thing” about the Bible that no one else has ever taught, but don’t give them anything that will make them shake in their boots and change their lifestyles.

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