Before leaving the UK and coming to America I really wrestled with God about the idea of sacrifice and surrendering all. For me, I was putting down hopes and dreams of saving up for a house, getting promoted in a job, security, and comfort – all the expectations of what your family want you to do. At the same time as all of this “security” it was painfully monotonous and I couldn’t help but feel like God was calling me to something more. I was in my comfort zone. In actuality, there were things that I had unknowingly put my hope in and made little “g” gods in my life. Idols. When I arrived at Bible School God began to continue speaking to me about the “cost” and to surrender it all. Gradually my quiet time with Jesus was spent studying this specific scripture:

And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? – Mark 8:34-36

The gospel is this, we were made out of God’s love, love = free will. God could totally make us love Him but that would make us robots. Programmed to love Him, to be in a relationship with Him. Sin became a blockage from a Holy God, it was a curse. As we have blessings in life that are good and fruitful things from Him, there are also curses. As a result, to lift the curse of sin and death/eternal separation from a loving God, it required a sacrifice. The cost of sin is death. So God as a Father, sent His only son Jesus. Jesus who is fully God and fully man as someone who paid for our sins in place of us. A beautiful exchange. Now, we live in freedom, paid for by His blood, His sacrifice. 

So consider the cost:

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a 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 14:26-33

Part of my testimony has a lot to do about me before Jesus not being able to love myself. I found my worth in boys and it affected everything I did. I did it for the attention, I did it for the reaction, I bought clothes and wore makeup so that I could take pride in myself but the result was just an overwhelming sadness and the realisation that I would never be good enough. I sought the things that the world longs after, beauty, riches, popularity – all things that couldn’t fill my soul. In 1 John 2:15-17 it says:

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. – 1 John 2:15-17

What’s the cost for us? 

  • Comfort
  • Home
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Finance
  • Pride 
  • Looking foolish?
  • Your own expectations for how you think your life should pan out?

And so many times in our own lives we have things that we put our trust in, things that we think sustain us. We have a mobile phone that “connects” us but keeps us so distracted we can’t even focus for 5 minutes. We put our trust in our spouse or our family but we know that some days they test our patience and they fail us. We trust in our jobs because it provides for us and therefore we don’t need to rely fully on Jesus because that secure paycheck’s coming in soon. We’re searching in all of these temporary places for something to fill us up and we run on a temporary high with a permanent feeling of unsatisfied.

What’s the cost for Jesus?

  • Everything

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20

Christ has reversed the consequences of Adam’s sin and has given his own life and righteousness to secure their eternal glory. (From ESV reword)

As a result, we too, as followers of Him have to count the cost too. To follow Him until the end of time will require sacrifice from us. But we’ve got that eternal perspective. He sees the bigger picture. There is more to His divine plan than what we experience here on earth. That might look like going into the darkest places and preaching the gospel and it falling on ears that haven’t heard the gospel yet. That may look like getting out of our comfort zone and asking our life-long friend “What the meaning of life is?”

As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” … – Luke 9:57-62

For me, I made family and the approval of man an idol. That’s what they did in the OT, let’s take the Israelites for example. They witnessed the hand of God many times, He sent 10 plagues, parted the Red Sea, gave them manna from heaven, came as a cloud, they saw miracles and yet still tried to fill that God-shaped hole with things greed, lust, pride, sin. Of thinking they knew better than God and carving cows out of gold. 

It doesn’t cost anything of these worthless idols. It is nothing but man-made objects. They worshipped the created rather than the Creator. 

What we needed was a Saviour. A saviour to give us eternal life. Everybody’s looking for the “meaning” of life. We search for it in so many different places. In Romans 6:22-23 MSG “Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master.”

So if you’re here and God’s been moving your heart, highlighting something in your life that you know He has called you to or convicted by something you know is taking your eyes off Jesus or you haven’t experienced His love yet and you know that you love the things of this world more than Him I pray that you begin to have an eternal perspective. That you begin to desire the things of Jesus. All things on this earth and their desires for riches, beauty and popularity will fade away. They’re temporary and will never satisfy. What are you putting your hope in? Something eternal and true or temporary and like your clutching for smoke and mirrors?