10
Jun
14

The Long Haul

Are you in it for the long haul?  That’s Jesus’ question to us today.  In Luke 14:28-33, Jesus gives two examples/parables of counting the cost of discipleship.  The first example is of someone who sets out to build a building.  If you’re going to build a tower (or a house or a building or anything for that matter), you’d better be sure that you have enough money to complete it.  A half-finished building is an embarrassing eyesore.  The second example is of a king who is about to go to war against another king.  That king had better be sure that he has enough in the way of soldiers to be able to win the war.  If the king determines that he does not, then he had better send an ambassador to negotiate peace or else he’ll find himself out of a kingdom.  In both examples, the man building the tower and the king contemplating war have to count the cost.  They have to look at the big picture of commitment.  Are they prepared to go “all in” and devote themselves to the task at hand.
The same is true when it comes to following Jesus.  Have you counted the cost?  Are you prepared for what may come?  Look at Romans 8:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” – Romans 8:35-36 (NIV)

While I think that Paul’s words in Romans 8 are encouraging, I think that they are also a bit foreshadowing.  It is as if Paul is saying that nothing can separate us from God’s love and there will be many things that may cause you to question it.  Things such as persecution and death!
So I will ask the question again: are you in it for the long haul?  Have you counted what being a follower of Christ may cost you?  If it cost you a job, would you still be a follower of Jesus?  If it cost you a relationship, would you still be a follower of Jesus?  If it cost you comfort, would you still be a follower of Jesus?  If it cost you your life, would you still follow Jesus?  Jesus says it best:
​…​those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.​ – Luke 14:33 (NIV)​
Luke 14:28-33 (NIV)

28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

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