I tried on the coat and loved it, but when I glanced at the price tag I put it back on the rack. It was too much. But then Kelly saw me in it and loved it too. “I could get it for you for Christmas?” he offered. I knew we could afford it. Even so, it went against my frugal upbringing and desire to be a good steward of our resources. I’m a thrift store shopper and sale rack girl. I re-use plastic bags and create cards and wrapping paper out of old calendars.

When we travel to Mexico, I’m glad to know one important phrase, “Cuanto cuesta este? (How much does this cost?) I’ve seen signs in exclusive stores that say, “If you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it.” So I don’t shop there. This is something that applies to all spheres of life.

How often we buy into: habits, relationships, jobs, lifestyles, and dreams without ever asking, “How much will this cost me?”

Sometimes in desperation—for a change in circumstances—we say we’ll pay “whatever it costs.” But that’s a dangerous declaration to make before you determine what you’re getting into. 
Large crowds followed Jesus because they liked to hear Him preach, plus He gave out free food and healed their sick. But He told them to count the cost. Becoming His disciple is not something to take lightly, because being a Jesus follower has a price tag. We have to be ready, when there’s a question of loyalty, to choose Him over work, possessions, even our family. 
God doesn’t want us to become Christians based on an emotional appeal or fear of hell. He wants us to check the price tag and come to Him with eyes wide open, ready to commit to Him to the end, no matter what. 
Jesus said, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples” (Luke 14:28-33).
On the other hand, Jesus also challenges us to look at what we will missif we’re not willing to choose Him. When we compare the hardships and sacrifices believers make here on earth to an eternity without God or anything related to Him—forgiveness, freedom, love, friendship, beauty, peace, hope, music and so much more—it’s the deal of a lifetime! 
Plus, Jesus isn’t like a life insurance policy that only pays after death, the benefits begin now.
I can’t imagine going through pain, loss, grief, sickness, confusion, or any other heartache without the comforting presence of the Holy Spirit to help and guide me. I also have a family of Christians all over the world whose prayers and encouragement give me strength and joy. I know my life has meaning and purpose; I know I am loved; I can have peace even when I don’t understand why things happen the way they do.
If you’re questioning whether or not you want to choose Jesus, I encourage you to evaluate the pros and cons before you make your choice. Your eternal destiny and the costs involved are worth careful consideration. Just don’t wait too long to choose.

#countthecost #wanttobeaChristian #nomatterwhatthecost #Luke14 #thinkbeforeyoubuy