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The Cost of Kingdom Building



Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “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 14:25-30


Over two years ago, purely by the good hand of God, our family was able to buy a home in our community. It has the space to meet our families needs at a price that we could afford, but usually as these things often go, it’s a bit of a fixer-upper. In a former life, I worked in construction and renovation. I’m by no means a professional, but I know my way around somewhat, working with the odd mistake every now and again.

There’s no shortage of projects around the house to do and what my wife and I have found is that I am really good at starting a project, but I need to work on finishing projects. Once a space becomes, what I call ‘functional’ then the things like baseboards and the little odds and ends become harder to motivate myself to do, but I’m getting better.

In our house, there are many projects waiting to get started. Beginning a project is a very exciting thing. Being on the ground floor of any project, whether around the house or building a business or starting a community group carries excitement of what benefits there could be. Apparently, what Jesus was beginning to say and do was also exciting for people, and they wanted to follow him and be on the ‘ground floor’. Jesus is healing people and he’s feeding thousands, driving out evil spirits, who wouldn’t want to be part of that?

But the question we don’t ask as much, and what Jesus wants those who follow him to deeply consider is not what are you hoping to get, but what are you willing to give up (aside from just money) in order to be a part of His kingdom?

When you are working on a project, do you consider not just the benefits, but the costs as well? Time, energy, stress, resources, the fact that you only have so many hours in a day. Do you consider what it’s going to take out of you?

These are the things Jesus wants people who would follow him to think about. Yes, you’ll have the forgiveness of the Father, you’ll have eternal life, you’ll have the Holy Spirit living within you to encourage, comfort and intervene on your behalf, you’ll have peace, confidence and joy in the midst of trial, all of these things and more.

But, are you willing to pay the cost that is also involved? To bear your own cross? To potentially have the people closest to you in your life hate you, and you, because you love Christ, will seem to hate them, that is, to prefer following Christ over them? To find your joy, meaning, and fulfillment in Him more than anything or anyone else.

This is what is needed in order to cross the finish line of being a disciple of Jesus. It is the sobering reality of what it means to truly follow Jesus, to finish what was begun. The good news is that the builder who sits and considers the cost will never regret anything that may be given up in order to reach the finish line because anyone who gives up will receive in abundance all that is needed from the Father who loves and cherishes all who are in His Son.