If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it– lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see 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, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. (Luke 14:26-33)
The Doctrine Of Cost
The recruiting signs for disciples of Christ were way beyond the “Looking for a few good men” slogan. The plea to follow Jesus was not sugar coated with promises of a life of pleasure. In the minds of progressive people who want to bring as many people into their fold as possible a negative campaign of recruitment would be the last tactic to use. Jesus made it very plain what He was asking of anyone who wanted to follow Him: there is a cost to be paid and the debt is high.
Consider the FAMILY. We are to honor and love our parents and our family. To be a follower of Christ they cannot be more important than His word. This idea that blood is thicker than water is true only in the sense the blood of Christ is thicker than the transitory relationships of spouse, children and family. The doctrine of cost is first to be willing to put family aside for truth no matter the outcome.
Consider SELF. I am no longer the center of my universe. My will is now the will of God. There is nothing I can do in life that is not governed by Jesus Christ. Living in the kingdom of God is not a democracy but an absolute monarchy. That is hard to remember. What Jesus calls His disciples is total submission to His will.
Consider the SACRIFICE. For modern man the message of a crucifixion is lost. For those in Jesus’ time using crucifixion as a means of sacrifice was vivid. Thousands of people were crucified and everyone knew the horror that went with the death. When Jesus said His followers would have to take up a cross and follow Him it cut to the heart. Our life for Christ is one of sacrifice. Jesus literally bore a cross so we would not have too. But our life is one of sacrifice of cross-bearing.
Consider the COST. Whether it is building a tower or going to war we must understand the promise we made to the Lord is one of accounting. The Lord does not desire for those who follow Him to turn around. Many did but not us. I must be committed to whatever it cost to never turn back. I will overcome. I will not quit. I know the price and I am willing to pay it.
Consider LIFE. The essence of being a follower of Christ is to realize that without forsaking all we cannot live under His grace. This is not a burden but a blessing. We live for Him and Him alone. When I confess Christ I confess my allegiance to the cause and fight of righteousness without reservation. My life is forfeit for everything God asks of me. Nothing is left out. All is given to Him. The doctrine of cost is expensive. It cost the Son of God His place in Heaven and His life on earth so that I could leave this life on earth and be with Him in Heaven.
What our Lord said about cross-bearing and obedience is not in fine type. It is in bold print on the face of the contract. (Vance Havner)