Pastor Josiah Elias' Count the Cost | Summary and Reflection
At the Sunday night service, we praised the LORD with great passion. The worship brought us to the throne of Adonai as we sang “How Great Thou Art” and “You Are Worthy of It All” as well as many others. Music speaks to the heart in ways that other communication cannot. The evening service matched the power and message of the 10:00 morning service in that it was one way we could evaluate our yes to the LORD as well as our walks.
Pastor Josiah’s message entitled “Count The Costs” challenged us to evaluate what it means to say yes to Jesus. For “Jesus’ life is our standard; therefore, He sets the terms.” What are the terms He sets?
First, “Casual progress is no advancement at all.” What does that mean? According to Luke 9:61-62
“Another said,’Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say
good-bye to my family.’
But Jesus told him,’Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then
looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.’” (NLT)
When we say,”but first,” what we are really saying is that He is not our first priority. We have a different first like family, friends, jobs, social media. As Lot’s wife was running away from Sodom and Gomorrah with her family, she paused and glanced back. She was told not to look back, but she did and she turned into a pillar of salt. Lot’s wife had too much of Sodom and Gomorrah in her. Pastor Kip counseled me to “Not camp in the land of sorrow.” May we not camp any place but in the LORD’s camp.
Another “term” was shown in Luke 14:16-20 where a rich man prepared a banquet for his guests. “But they all began making excuses.” Luke 14:18 One invited guest had a new field; another had new oxen; another was newly married. “None of their excuses were essentially sin, until they became justification to not have to be with Jesus,” said Pastor Josiah. In other words, when our husband/wife, children, jobs, or possessions take priority over Jesus, we have made them idols. The LORD despises idol worship. When we make Jesus our priority-our main priority, our foundation, our cornerstone, then our spouses, children, jobs, and hobbies are in the proper places. He guides us on how to see, love, care for our spouses, children, friends, and hobbies.
In other words “The measure of your ‘yes’ determines the rest of your life,” stated Pastor Josiah. In Matthew 19:16-22 we learned of the rich, young ruler who asked what deed he should do to have “eternal life?” Did he feel he could earn his way to heaven? He told the LORD that he had obeyed the commandments and had not stolen, killed, or committed adultery. He seemed pretty righteous, especially in his eyes. However, the LORD in Matthew 19:21 said,”If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give your money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, and follow me.” The rich, young ruler showed through his response that he was a “poor, young slave” to his possessions. His things were too precious to him.
Pastor Josiah asked,”What is keeping you from an authentic ‘yes'?” Have you let spoonfuls compromise, of excuses, or of complacencies creep into your walk? What is keeping you from loving the LORD with all your heart, soul, mind and strength? Mark 12:30 When you answer that question, you are counting the costs. The level of your commitment and your yes are crucial.
The bottom line is “Count the Cost of being a true follower of Jesus, then give Him a fresh ‘YES’ and adjust your lifestyle to follow Him.” That way you can be salt and light in this troubled world.