Sit down first and count the cost
The Word of God is Spirit and Life. However, an isolated verse can kill. A verse taken out of context can cause you to make a mistake, to the point where you go down the wrong path and endanger your salvation. For this reason, it is important to understand what the Word of God says and – most importantly – seek the Spirit of God, so the Word can have Life.
For example, when Jesus says: 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, many think He is telling us to look and analyze a situation. Realistically speaking, you can either finish or not something you plan on starting. Many use this to criticize sacrifices and visions of faith. But if you read the whole passage, placing these verses in context, a remarkable new truth is revealed to those who want to follow Him.
Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 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’ (…) So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple. Luke 14.25-30,33
The Lord Jesus made a comparison to show the conditions needed to follow Him. This tower represents the life of those who want to be His disciple. Before you start building something you want with God, it is necessary to “sit down and calculate the cost”; in other words, forsake everything you have. Sacrifice. This is planning. This is preparing. This is using your intelligence.
If you want to build up your life with God, sit down first and check if you’ve forsaken everything you have, including your life and your tendency to rely on others and the possessions of this world. Otherwise, you aren’t going to be able to finish, you will not be able to move up in life and keep your salvation until the end. In the Kingdom of God, sacrifice is the means to complete what you want to build.
Thank God, Bishop Macedo did not interpret this verse wrong. If he were to sit down and calculate the same way the world does, the Temple would never have left paper. Its construction began without the resources to finish, but they were provided over time. However, from the beginning, the means to finish existed – because everything was forsaken. This construction was based on sacrifice, grew with sacrifice and was finished with sacrifice.
Do not worry about your conditions. Don’t think that you will never amount to anything because you didn’t go to school, don’t have a diploma, aren’t wealthy, because of your age, the color of their skin or your physical abilities. In the Kingdom of God, the only condition needed is sacrifice. After you have made a plan, this is, after you have sacrificed, act on what you believe. The Lord Jesus could not have made this any clearer.
The gospel of the wide gates leads straight to hell. The Path we were proposed to follow is narrow, which goes from sacrifice to sacrifice. It is a path of long passages, which are difficult to read and don’t always bring happy feelings to our soul, but they bring life to our spirit. Jesus did not say: “whoever of you does not forsake some of the things he has”. He said: “whoever of you does not forsake all that he has.” And the religious, who don’t like to hear this, you can go complain to the person that wrote the Bible. The reality of true Christian faith is clear. Those who consider themselves a disciple of Christ, but run away from sacrifice, are only deceiving themselves.