Day 15 – Count the Cost of Fulfilling Your Purpose
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?”
– Luke 14:28
This Luke 14:28 passage comes after Jesus has commanded the attention of His followers; He does not mince words but calls everyone to a thoughtful decision towards purpose. His delivery is direct, cushioned only with this analogy to help the hearer digest more readily the gravity of the call itself.
Throughout the Gospels Jesus said many things that were considered, “hard.” He left religious men offended, multitudes bewildered and His own disciples challenged by His responses. And while we, as modern-day believers, have an advantage in reading the fullness of who Jesus is and why certain things were said, we are no less rattled by some of His words; especially those that challenge our individual commitment to Him.
And, His challenge to “count the cost” is poignant, primarily because it is connected to verse 25, which includes great weight and consequence, as He says, “You cannot be My disciple, unless you love Me more than you love your father and mother, your wife and children, and your brothers and sisters.” Herein, we’re presented with a huge condition to being a true follower of Christ; and it does merit pause, as Jesus confronts earthly loyalties, priorities and sensibilities that can so easily displace proclaimed love and allegiance or honor and surrender to God alone.
So, without apology, Jesus challenges every familial allegiance, innate bond, safe space and person or idol that is, intentionally or unintentionally, used to give life meaning or fulfillment. He points to every relationship that we value as a potential hindrance to our relationship with God. So yes, His words are jolting, but they also redirect our focus towards the One who offers true meaning of life and fulfillment in life. He points us towards what it means to fulfill true purpose when we value our relationship with God more—more than anything and anyone.
So while the world uses relationships with people, things and activities as their reason for being or source for fulfillment, we as Christians, may cherish the people God has given us, but in reality, “God saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 1:8-9). Which means, we were created for God. And, our demonstrated affinity towards Him, over and above all other relationships, commitments and loyalties is how purpose is fulfilled.
So, Jesus says to consider—consider the sacrifice. Contemplate—mull over what is or could be asked of you. Objectively determine; really think about what it would mean to follow Him, because inherent in following Him, a cost is paid. And, while the cost may vary (for example, from the need to disavow opinions firmly held by those we naturally love and want to please; or, the need to prefer Him amidst life’s many options)—implicit in our relationship with God is an intentional decision for Him that makes the cost worth it all. Because He really is, the treasure. And, in Him, we really are complete. Thus, fulfillment of purpose is found only in Him.
Father, where I have loved Your creation more than You, the Creator, I repent. Where I have honored people more than You or preferred things more than You, I repent and turn towards You as the only Sovereign. I come boldly to Your throne for the mercy and grace needed to count the cost and take up my cross and follow You, today and always. I declare Your purpose and grace is fulfilled through me, and You are my portion forever, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
D. Qwynn Gross
Ministry Fellow, Christian Union Nova (Princeton University)
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