Summary: To establish that success is never achieved without one first counting the cost. This lesson deals with our commitment and faithfulness to Christ; and his promise to us regarding eternal life.
1. Counting the Cost before Building
2. Counting the Cost before Battle
3. Counting the Cost before Believing
1. In this lesson we will discuss the theme: “counting the cost.” Success can never be achieved by anyone unless they have taken the time to sit down; and count the cost. This is true in everyday life, in starting a career; getting married, building a home; going to war and most of all, in serving the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. First, we will discuss the necessity of counting the cost before building or in the construction of a home. One must count the cost to ensure once the building has begun; they have sufficient to complete the project.
3. Second, we will discuss the need for counting the cost before starting a campaign or waging war. A nation must endeavor to consider the gains and the losses in going to war. Truly, this nation was not wise enough to consider the cost in funds, in lives, and in the tremendous medical commitment it had to make for those who were injured or suffered loss due to our nation’s involvement in the Middle East. And the wars it fought due to misinformation and the lack of an exit strategy and planning.
4. Finally, we will discuss the need to count the cost of belief and the discipleship of Christ. As this is true in everyday life; it is also true in our Christian endeavors. We are committing to a life long struggle; in “fighting a good fight to lay hold of eternal life;” and following the Master unto the end. This we will do; if we have reverently counted the cost, and hold fast our faith stedfastly unto the end. Let’s consider our first point “counting the cost before building.”
BODY OF LESSON
I COUNTING THE COST BEFORE BUILDING
A. As we count the cost before fabrication or building. We must consider our capital; always ensuring we have sufficient to finish what we have started. A greater commitment will be needed of each; if we will be successful in our city for the Master. We have begun to build his Church here; let us finish this work. This will only be possible if we continually “count the cost” in building for the Master.
B. The Wise man Solomon said: " To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:…A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;…A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace,” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.
1. We have determined to build. Planning has been made, money have been invested, time has been freely given; all is left is determining who is truly committed to this effort. Who here is along for the ride, and who are truly committed to building the Lord's church here in this city?
2. I should warn you however; as things begin to progress, expenses will be higher; responsibilities greater; and purses will be fewer. Yet if we who remain, are truly committed; if we have counted the cost; we will be successful in finding and purchasing a new building. For this is the Lord's will.
3. Remember Paul: “All things work together for good,” Romans 8:28.
C. Count the cost in building. Jesus said: "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," Luke 14:28-30.
1. As builder we must be careful not to become selfish in our building. The rich farmer forgot others; he was building for himself alone.
2. Illustrate: The Rich Farmer, Luke 12:15-21. Where did he go wrong?
a. He did not recognize from whom he had receive these blessings. “And he spake a parable unto them, saying, the ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, what shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?”
b. He thought entirely of himself. “And he said, this will I do:
1) I will pull down my barns, and build greater (ones).
2) And there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
3) And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods stored up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.”
c. He forgot life is in God’s hands. “But God said unto him:”