Business Man with TabletFor which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it? Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?  Luke 14:28-31

Counting the cost of following Jesus Christ has been lost by most of the church. If you have not been encouraged in this regard – or you have not been encouraging others – you will be blessed in reading our most recent lesson: The Lost Foundations – Counting the Cost… First.

Once you decide to count the cost (and/or encourage others to do the same), the following may help you get started.

  1. I have found that the most profitable starting point is a simple conversation with our Heavenly Father (imagine that). Here are some good conversation starters:
    1. Father God, stir up the desire you have placed in my heart – to hear your voice regarding the cost of following your Son.
    2. Father God, stir up the desire you have placed in my heart – to invest in Your kingdom.
    3. Father God, give me the opportunity to begin the investment strategy Your Spirit reveals.
  2. Keep in mind that a person’s perception of reality can be bent in one of two ways: Toward optimism, or pessimism. Both can be dangerous; pessimism, more so. Be wary of your mind’s leanings.
  3. Counting the cost may reveal areas where we are still reigning – in charge of our investment decisions. There is a fine line between what we would like to have, and what we demand, to be satisfied in life. If God and Christ are truly reigning, then everything we have been entrusted with is subject to their investment decisions. Repentance regarding ownership may be in order.
  4. Counting the cost may reveal areas where we are living in fear. Ask yourself: What do I fear losing? Remember, behind every fear is a lie, deal with the lie and the fear will fly. Ask God to identify the lie, and the truth that will overcome it. 
  5. NOTE: Beyond this point, allow the Holy Spirit to guide you in determining which of these helps will best exercise your faith.
  6. One way to test your counting is to consider a past commitment. For example, you may have promised Jesus that you would follow Him anywhere. Or, you may have commitment some amount of time to serve those less fortunate. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the commitments you have already made.
  7. If you have not made a particular commitment, then allow the Holy Spirit to prompt your imagination for a particular kingdom investment opportunity. Be careful; our minds are tricky things. They have a tendency take what the Holy Spirit suggests out to something entirely farfetched; something to which we can easily say “no way”.
  8. Jesus did not hide, nor soft pedal, the investment required to follow Him. The lesson mentioned above highlights a number of specific costs. The Parable of the Sheep and Goats, the Sermon on the Mount and the Great Commission are also helpful challenges for our counting. Incorporate those in your time with the Holy Spirit (in #2).
  9. Our love of the LORD should be the primary motivator for counting the cost (and paying it). Ask yourself: Do I love Him so much that I would joyfully sacrifice my __________?

I trust and pray this will help you become a more active investor in the kingdom of our LORD. Please, let me know if I can help you further.

Humbly yours and forever His,