Count the Cost

by Stephen F. Olford

Text: "For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost" (Luke 14:28, read Luke 14:25-33).

Thoughts: The Lord Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem and, ultimately, to Calvary. The crowds who went with Him were otherwise-minded. They imagined that He was advancing to an earthly empire. Stephen OlfordSo He turned and said to them, "If anyone comes to Me [let him] . . . . sit down first and count the cost" (vv. 26-28). What a needed reminder this is in a day of easy believism and lazy nomalism!

1. We Must Believe in Christ. "If anyone comes to Me" (v. 26). Coming to Christ is believing in Christ. In the mind of the Master, believing initiates and incorporates discipleship. The Great Commis-sion makes this clear: "Go... and make disciples of all the nations" (Matt. 28:19). Jesus wants not dragglers, but disciples (see vv. 26, 27, 33).

2. We Must Build for Christ. "Which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost" (v 28). A building that is left vacant or half finished is a humiliating disgrace to any builder. It necessitates a sure foundation, even Jesus Christ (see 1 Cor. 3:11). All building must begin with Him and end with Him (1 Cor. 3:12, 13).

3. We Must Battle for Christ. "Make war against another king" (v. 31). A life of discipleship demands costly fighting. But as we face "the other king" we must know that "He who is in [us] is greater than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4). And we must never take the path of compromise and ask for "conditions of peace" (v. 32) with the world, the flesh, or the devil.

Thrust: What'er the cost I have to pay, I'm ready Lord, without delay; For grace and strength to face each task, I look to You, and simply ask. Amen.