Friday, March 2, 2012

Counting the costs

Well...I didn't get as many thoughts as I had hoped yesterday, and I didn't get the answers I was really looking for.  The answers I got were from two pastors and I'm not sure who the other one was from.  Not that it matters, but they are answers that I agree with. I was really challenged by Brady's response on several levels.  In part it was because it spoke of why the church originally gathered.  What is interesting to me is how that is often so easy to forget.  It is so easy to just look at our church through our American eyes and look for the things that we want rather than remember why we should be there in the first place.

I haven't really been able to figure out quite how to tie in the next part, but when I read the responses I was reminded of a passage that I was dealing with a while back.

25 Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, 26 “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. 27 Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. (Luke 14:25-33 NASB)

This passage has really stuck with me the past few weeks and I keep coming back to it.  It is a hard one to deal with really.  It goes against everything our flesh tells us.  We are so engrained to think about our needs, our wants, our desires that this step is often left out of our thoughts and teaching. When was the last time we calculated the cost of following Christ as a disciple?  

Putting this all together really made me think; have we missed some of what God has for us by not living in community with each other?  I mean, sure our churches are our community of believers, but when was the last time we regularly gathered together with people outside of church?  When was the last time we viewed it as important?  I don't know how I feel about living in a grouping of families to help better sustain each other.  I know if our economy keeps going the way it is going, it will be our only option.  We often view people that live in community like that as weird, but what if they actually have it right and we are the ones missing the benefits of what God has for us, because we are scared what it will cost us?

Just my thoughts for today. 

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