Counting the Cost
We are living in a world that is full of businesses and so people are very preoccupied - both traders as well as buyers. Therefore could we recall what happened in the days of Noah, and Lot, too.
Peter, speaking about disciples, said, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light; who once were not a people, but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, - abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul” (I Peter 2:9-11).
Could we have a second look at verse 11, “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.” Knowing that the life of a disciple was bought for a price hence he no longer lives to himself or as Jesus put it: “They are not of the world.” The phrase, fleshly lusts, what does it mean? Maybe John could put more light on this: “For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world” (1 John 2:16), and verse 17 says, “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it, but he who does the will of God abides for ever.” And so the world of Noah’s and Lot’s days really did pass away with that generation. Remember the subject of our study is “Counting the cost”. With all this, then, it is right and proper for the disciple to sit down and make a proper life’s budget.
In Luke 14:26, Jesus said, “If any man come to me and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” Hey! friends, brethren and sisters, what is our life’s budget list like? One of the first great commandments is: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” The question is, Have we done this? If our answer to this question is positive, thus good enough because God should be first on each one our lists of our life’s budget. Therefore the rest should come second.
Peter calls us “a chosen generation” because of our response to God’s calling, that is our decision for Christ Jesus was final. Therefore like Paul we would proudly say, “Yea doubtless, and count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung that I may win Christ.” Yes, Christ is my life and yours too.
Bro. Sylvester Tembo (Mzuzu, Malawi)