Luke 14:25-30, 33 - (Jesus said) "Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 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? Otherwise, when he 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.' ... So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be My disciple."
Some years ago, there was a young man who ran marathons all over the country. Unfortunately, he developed cellulitis, and soon it was so bad that he was hospitalized. The same leg that had carried him to the finish line couldn't even carry him to the bathroom unaided. All his great strength was not enough.
Jesus points us to a similar paradox in our lives when He warns us to count the cost of following Him. He gives the example of a man building a tower. If the man has any sense, he will consider his resources and decide if he is ready to take on the challenges or not. We should do the same, Jesus says.
And yet ... and yet, what is the actual cost of following Jesus? Let's see what Jesus says. "Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me ..." He says. Oh dear. "Whoever does not renounce all that he has ..." Oh my. "Whoever does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life ..." Okay, Lord, I give up. There is no way I can possibly pay this price. I do not have what it takes. If You wanted to convince me of that fact, You have succeeded. I am a failure before I begin.
It's at this point that I seem to hear Jesus saying, All right, now that's an attitude I can work with. "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26b).
The young man in the hospital had no strength—but he did have a walker, and he had doctors, and medicine, and parents who loved him. Together they got him where he needed to go—whether that was to the bathroom, or to final and complete healing. Likewise, we, poor wounded sinners that we are, have no strength either—but we do have Jesus. And if He asks us to carry our own crosses, we can be absolutely sure that He will be doing the heavy lifting for us—because He has already carried our cross, with all of our sin, guilt, and shame—all the way to Calvary.
Jesus is our Savior, our strength, our help. We have counted the cost. We have realized our own weakness, and we are wrecked. But He is strong beyond all knowledge, and He will gladly carry us, heal us, and make us His own. Because He loves us.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I have nothing—but I have You. Thank You for giving me everything. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. What qualities, strengths, or assets do you tend to rely on in your life?
2. In what kinds of situations do they let you down?
3. How does Jesus help you in those situations?
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