Ministry Resources

Who Must Count the Cost?

Author: Jim Cole-Rous

Luke 9:57 “As they went on their way, a certain man said unto Him, I will follow thee withersoever thou goest.”

I was Director of Children’s Ministries for a large congregation in Los Angeles in the early 1980’s. A middle aged couple approached me, volunteering to teach in Children’s Church. I asked them why they wished to do this. They told me the Lord had told them to do so.

In every respect they were competent, and so I appointed them to teach. Two months later they came to me, to tend their resignation! My reply was simple. “You are talking to the wrong person!” They were surprised, and asked if I were not still the Director. I said yes, I am, but you said Jesus told you to do this, so you need to go to Him and resign. If He tells you it is O.K. then I will accept your decision.

They began to fuss, and said that I was being ‘difficult’, and they left. The real reason was that they had other things they wanted to do on Sundays that did not include going to Church. Sadly they did not progress in their walk with the Lord.

Jesus met up with three men who likewise volunteered to follow Him.

The first one was a man who had not thought through the requirements of discipleship. Impetuously he said he would follow Jesus. The Jewish people thought Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem to declare himself King. This man withdrew when he found Jesus declaring he had not even a place to call His own.

The second man was called to follow Jesus. (Verse 59) His reply was that he would do so one day after he had first fulfilled his duty to his father. The implication was that his father was not dead yet, and he might follow Jesus in some future time. There is a temptation to think that our duty to our family will excuse us from our first duty to serve Jesus. The apostles all had family, but they followed Christ first, and still kept in touch with their family.

The third man is found in (verse 61). He volunteered to follow, but with certain conditions that were unacceptable to the Lord. If you go home and tell your family and friends that you are thinking about following Jesus, they will usually try to talk you out of such a course. Jesus pointed out that once you put your hand to the plow, you are committed, you must not look back, or the furrow will not be straight for the planting. Saying that one who looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God, Jesus was pointing to the imperative need to get the work done now.

The phrase ‘looking back’ is a reminder of Lot’s wife, who never found deliverance as the rest of her family did.
Jesus is busy building His Church, and he is the one who counted the cost; and paid it in full for your salvation. He is not asking you to count the cost, but to serve Him whatever the cost!

Prayer: ” Lord Jesus, Thank you for paying the ultimate price for me on the Cross. I ask for your help as I turn myself over to you without reserve, that I may be faithful to what you call me to be. Amen.”

What's Next

We would love to answer any question you have or help suggest next steps on your journey.