28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down
and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise,
has laid a 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.' 31 Or what king, going
to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty
thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an embassy and asks terms of peace. 33 So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce
all that he has cannot be my disciple.
Meditation: Do you count the cost before you undertake something important or before something of consequence is about to happen to you? Jesus' twin parable of the tower builder and the warring king challenges us to consider whether we count the cost where it really matters. How are these two illustrations similar and different at the same time? The builder of the tower is free to chose whether he will build or not. The king whose country is being invaded has no choice but to do something or meet disaster! Both must carefully think through what they must do and then face the consequences of their actions. When Jesus calls us to be his disciples, he wants us to be clear about what it will cost us to follow him. We must "renounce" everything, including our very lives, for his sake. He, in turn, offers us a deal we cannot refuse -- unending joy and everlasting life with God in his kingdom. While we are free to choose whether we will follow him or not, we must, nonetheless, reckon whether we can afford to refuse his demands. Scripture warns us of the consequences of our choice: we lose what we keep and we gain what we lose. Are you ready to count the cost for following the Lord?
"Lord, you gave your life for my sake, that I might know the joy and freedom of life in your kingdom forever. Help me to count the cost and to joyfully embrace your will for my life."