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Counting the Cost – Following Jesus to the End of Your Life [podcast]


The Cost of Discipleship

“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24

Those who count the cost refuse to count their own life dear to themselves and this is the only way not to be derailed, to finish our course, enduring to the end.

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Revelation 12:11

Those who balk at and ignore that Jesus says you MUST “endure to the end” to be “saved” into eternal glory, simply do not love Him (Matthew 10:22; 24:13, etc.). Jesus is not worth their life. They were worth His life which He gave for them on the cross, yet the Son of God is not worth giving up their own life in this fleeting world. Counterfeits. These are the frauds who hide behind the eternal security sham.

“So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:33  


By divine design, there’s an order of priority in the Ten Commandments. Here’s the first of the ten:

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3

And the fifth:

“Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” Exodus 20:12

Honoring God supersedes even the love we have for our husband/wife.

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:37-39

Jesus knew that if we don’t love Him supremely, we will allow other relationships to interfere and circumvent our relationship with Him.

If we don’t hate those other relationships compared to our love for Him, our decisions will be affected, will be to please them and not Him. When we love the LORD supremely, His will takes precedence, priority over all others.

“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.” Luke 14:26 

We must love the LORD so much that our love for others is near to being hate in comparison. If we don’t love God supremely, others will without exception, drag us downward and away from Him.

Of this passage in Luke 14, FB Meyer wrote:

“Our love must be greater than the ties of family affection, Luk_14:26; must be greater than our love for our own way, which must be nailed to the Cross, Luk_14:27; must be greater than our love of possessions and property, Luk_14:33. Christ has done more than any other teacher to cement the relationships of human love, but He always asks that they should be subordinated to the claims of God. Oh, for the love that Paul had! See Php_3:8.”

“What a comfort it is to realize that God counted the cost before He set about the task of redemption, whether of a world or of us as individuals. He knew all that it would cost, and surely He did not begin what He cannot complete!”

In Matthew 10, after speaking of the essential of enduring to the end (v22), Jesus gives warning concerning those things most likely to derail and prohibit our enduring to the end in His will.

“And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” Matthew 10:36-37

Of this Adam Clarke wrote:

“He that loveth father or mother more than me – He whom we love the most is he whom we study most to please, and whose will and interests we prefer in all cases. If, in order to please a father or mother who are opposed to vital godliness, we abandon God’s ordinances and followers, we are unworthy of any thing but hell.”

Of Matthew 10:34-42, FB Meyer writes profoundly:


In Jesus Christ we acquire a new affinity, stronger than that of family ties. When we enter into the family of God we belong to all His children. They are our brethren and sisters in the most intimate sense. See Mat_12:48-50. The new love that floods our nature does not make us less but more tender and sympathetic toward our own kith and kin; but if we are compelled to choose, then we must stand with the children of God, though it should rend us from the old happy family life in which we were nurtured.

As to the closing paragraph, may we not illustrate it thus? When the widow who sustained Elijah at Zarephath entered Paradise, she found herself standing amid the great prophets of Israel. When she asked the attendant angel whether there was not some mistake, he replied, ‘Certainly not. In treating the prophet as you did, you proved yourself to be of the same spirit and temper as he; and it is but right that you should share in the prophet’s reward.’”

To those who are entangled with earthly family, namely unbelievers who are not repenting, it would be spiritually beneficial to get free, to cease your dependence on them and to sever the soul ties and cease basing your emotional well-being on them and how they view you and your decisions. Lay the axe to the root as you denounce false obligation to them. “Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:60). Read Matthew 10.

You are no longer your own. You are bought with the price of Christ’s blood (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). You now and forever are a part, a member of the eternal family of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:14-15).

“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole FAMILY in heaven and earth is named,” Ephesians 3:14-15

Jesus Addressed the Excuses

Jesus addresses excuses, diversions concerning obeying Him, asserting our highest priority – the LORD, not family. The point becomes even clearer – that we are to be captive to the LORD, our “first love,” supremely, and not family (Revelation 2:4-5).

“And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father (wait till parents die). 60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. 61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. 62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:59-62 

Jesus further establishes that He is to be supreme in our lives and those who are His – not natural familial bonds. The body of Christ, its members, are our eternal family.

“And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. 28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” Luke 11:27-28 

The harshest of biblical truth is the delicacy, the delight of the true disciple of Jesus. He runs to all of it and never from any of it. He embraces the cross, never evading it. He delights in the sword of the Spirit that cuts to the core and carves the image of Christ into his life – into the fabric, the innermost core of who he is in Christ! Christ and Christ alone is his sole identity and he counts not his own life in this world dear unto himself so that he is able to finish his course with great joy – hearing from His Savior the sweetest of all words “Well done, thou good and faithful servant … enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:21; Acts 20:24; Romans 8:29; Galatians 2:20; 6:14; 2 Timothy 2:3).

Militancy is essential in our abiding relationship with Christ (Matthew 11:12). Heartfelt love also.

So many today who claim Christ view salvation as something they did in the past and not a present relationship with Christ on His stated terms (John 15; Titus 1:16).

Jesus commands His very own to “endure unto the end” to be “saved,” and unless one becomes deliberate, absolute, militant, he will not make it “unto the end” with Christ (Matthew 10:22; 24:13; Mark 9:43-49; 2 Timothy 2:3, etc.).

“And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, 26 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. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage (a messenger to negotiate peace), and desireth conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:25-33 

“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 2 Timothy 3:5-7

Striving Lawfully – That is, According to the Rules, the Terms

Denouncing the crippling, corrupting comforts of Laodicea. Grasping for the obedient love of Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-22).

“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. 5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.” 2 Timothy 2:3-5 

May God bless each of His people to “endure hardness” as good soldiers of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2:3). Take note that “there is no respect of persons with God” (Romans 2:11). The LORD made His servant Jeremiah obey Him on His terms. God never bends or modifies, bends the rules (2 Timothy 2:5). We must not deceive ourselves and must “strive lawfully” which means according to HIS terms, not our own or any other.

“And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.” 2 Timothy 2:5

“Be Not Weary in Well Doing”

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9

SATAN tempting you to give up? Who wins if you do? Where shall you turn? Turning away from God means we are without Him in our life and trials, right? The LORD, who is your Potter, has a plan. He will absolutely bring you through the floods of water and fire! (Isaiah 43:1-2; Jeremiah 18:1-6) After saving us, God has to bring us to an end of ourselves and that happens through “much tribulation” (Acts 14:22; 2 Corinthians 4; 12:7-12, etc.). Read 2 Corinthians 4. When Jesus had fed the flesh of the multitudes, they turned and walked away from the Savior. But…

“Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? 68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” John 6:67-68

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