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Counting The Cost

“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—lest, after he has laid the 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 14:28-30 (NKJV)

A few years ago I read an article about three people who had died while climbing Mt. Everest.  Nepali-born Canadian Shriya Shah, 32, German Eberhard Schaaf, 61, and South Korean Song Won-bin, 44, had each made it to the summit, but they didn’t make it back down the mountain.  Each of them was climbing with different teams, and yet each of them died within feet of each other while descending from the mountain's peak.

As I thought about this tragedy I thought about how each of these people had perished.  Each of them had died alone on the face of a mountain.  Each of them had trained for this day, and I am sure that they each had great expectations of summiting the highest peak in the world.  I am equally sure each of them knew of the imminent danger of death, but did they truly count the cost?  I am not judging their decision to risk dying to climb this mountain, but I have to wonder if they really thought about what could be lost.  Was it worth dying for?

In many ways we all have to make the same basic decision as these mountaineers — is what we are doing worth what it will cost us?  Maybe we aren’t sharpening our crampons or planning on training our bodies to live on a wisp of oxygen, but we are making crucial decisions in how we will live out our lives, and what we are willing to die for.  And just like these climbers we will one-day face death.  There might not be an article written about how we died, but there will be a record in heaven of how we lived, and for what we gave our life to achieve. 

In actuality each of us has been given a greater mountain to climb than Mt. Everest — we’ve been given a greater achievement to accomplish than summiting 29,029 feet, and it will cost us our very lives.  Jesus said,  “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.  For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:34-36). 

I want to encourage you to think and pray upon these things today.  Choose to identify with the goals you are setting for your own life.  Choose to count the costs of following Jesus and be willing to lose your life for Christ and for the sake of the gospel.

STUDY QUESTON: According to Mark 8:34-36 what did Jesus say we would receive by losing our life for Him?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: If there were a eulogy written today about how you lived your life, what would it say?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Choose to focus on proper goals and hold fast to what you know to be right.  Count the cost and climb the mountain that the Lord has set before you with confidence. 

LET’S MAKE THIS OUR PRAYER TODAY: Father, I thank You for Your guidance and mercy upon my life.  Father, I know I cannot do anything apart from You (John 15:5), but I also know that I can do all things through Jesus (Phil 4:13). In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000