Summary: Sermon focuses on our ability to make different choices as we prepare to enter into a new year.
What Will It Cost You?
The title of my message this morning is “What Will It Cost You?” This Thursday, should we live to see it, will begin a new year and 2008 will close. We witnessed things in 2008 that we did not see in previous years and may not see in future years. Every New Year brings with it the hope of promise, the expectation of something great happening and the awareness that things will happen that we will be totally unprepared for. Although we hope for change, wish for the better and believe that mistakes made the previous year would not be repeated, we still recognize that we will carry forward from one year to the next the same habits, tendencies, hurts and pains that we had in the current year. Some of these things we carry forward are harmful to us while other things benefit us. This morning I want us to consider those things that are harmful to us; those things that we hold on to so tightly because we cannot imagine ourselves living without them or being different from whom we are today. There are people in extremely bad relationships because they cannot see their life without that person in it. This morning, I want you to imagine what could be and then ask yourself “What Will It Cost You?” to make what could be a reality.
With every major step that we take in our life, it costs something. In order to learn to walk, you must fall down repeatedly. The cost of learning to walk is the pain of falling down, yet when you do learn to walk it takes you places you could never have gone before. When you learn to ride a bicycle, it costs you something. To learn to ride you must do what? You must again learn to fall down. Falling down is the cost of learning to ride a bicycle, yet when you do learn, you can get to all those wonderful places that walking could take you faster. Falling in love costs you something. The cost of falling in love is the hurt and pain associated with all relationship especially when they do not work out. But, when the relationship lasts, you can spend years in a wonderful, fulfilling relationship (complete with new hurts and pains) that you read about in books. Buying a house costs you something. The cost of buying a house is that you’ll be slave to the lender (according to Proverbs 22:7) until your house is paid off. But there are benefits associated with owning a house. You are out of the elements on a very cold night and it can be one of your most valuable investments. It costs something to have friends. The cost of having friend is that one day they will hurt you, yet through the hurt you still have someone who will stand with you during tough times.
Everything that we do has a cost and although sometimes the cost may pain us, there can also be benefits to the things that we do. I want us to consider this morning what the cost is of changing ourselves so that we do not take into 2009 those same things that held us captive in 2008. What will it cost us to make the change that we have been dreading doing? As you consider the cost of making a change, also consider the benefits. You see, there is a cost/benefit ratio that plays into a lot of our decisions. If the cost outweighs the benefit, then often we will not make the purchase. However, if the benefit we receive far outweighs the cost, then you can bet the purchase will be made.
I. Changing Directions
Jesus said “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it….So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” (Luke 14:27, 28, 33)
Jesus said that it costs something to be His disciple. The cost is the total surrender of us to Him. In the Scripture above, Jesus used an example to make this point. He said that if a person was to build a tower, before they got started, they would sit down and calculate the cost. After the cost was known, then the person would decide if they should move forward with their plans. If you read further, He said that the person who does not take this approach, would start building and would find themselves without enough money to finish the job and thus be ridiculed by those around him. Jesus then said that to be His disciples we must give up all of our possessions. So let me give you something to think about.