We have been talking a lot about the freedom we have in Christ. Sometimes I think that we start believing that living in this freedom has no cost to us. So, we are surprised when God asks something of us. It is true that Jesus has paid our way to God. But, living in His way does cost us. The glory is that is costs so much less than living our own way.
Luke 14:27-33 27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 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— 29 lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’… 33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.
What does it mean to count the cost? It means we consider what pains, hardships, blessings, and opportunities the path we are on truly give us. As we were talking last Sunday through Galatians 5:1-16, I thought of the 3 paths that Paul set before us. He set grace, legalism, and the flesh before us. Each path suggests a type of blessing to us. The path of grace declares that we have eternal life through Christ’s righteousness. The path of legalism promises self obtained righteousness if we follow every rule before us. The path of the flesh promises pleasure and self-determination.
Each path also has a cost. The path of grace encourages us to give up being the boss of our own life and let Jesus lead our every moral and significant decision. This may lead to sacrifice or persecution as we go against the desires of culture or friends and family. The path of legalism requires us to keep every rule without fail. If we fail, we pay a high price (the same price as the flesh); and we constantly live under the weight of that possible failure. The path of the flesh leads to pain as the flesh puts us under bondage and guilt as we hurt ourselves and others. Ultimately, it leads to hell.
I don’t know about you, but when I count the cost I understand what Jesus meant when He said that His burden is light. (Matthew 11:30) The “freedom” of the flesh leads to an even worse bondage. The “righteousness” of the law I just can’t achieve. It is only through grace that real life is found. There may be sacrifice, but it is a sacrifice that is worth it.
What about you? Have you counted the cost of the way you are living now? Is it really worth it?
Something to think about,