This afternoon I mailed a $5.50 book back to Amazon. It cost me $3.50 cents in postage. I probably used a gallon of gasoline to go to and back from the post office. Gas is currently $2.50 cents a gallon so I am out of pocket $.50. I should have just given the book to a friend. One would think that as old as I am I would count the cost prior to doing something.
In Luke 14 Jesus speaks of this very thing. He said, “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 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? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him,…”
So just what does it cost to follow Jesus? Salvation is a gift, which, when thoroughly appreciated engenders love. Love engenders a desire to give. Sometimes we speak of an obligation of grace. I’m not sure I like the word “obligation.” I do not feel obligated to give my wife, my sons or my grandchildren anything. But I certainly want to give them things. Is the word “urge” better than “obligation?” Obligation means have to. Urge means want to. I want to obey Jesus. I want to do anything for Him because He is so magnificently wonderful to me. My cross, which Jesus speaks of, is not onus. It is a joy. Obedience is a joy. Giving is a joy. Love is like that. Love and obedience are not obligations. They are fruit.
Written by Roger Bothwell on August 27, 2015
Spring of Life, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574