Catch of the Week, Devotional Readings, John Bunyan

Do we count the cost…..

Mike Ratliff raises this very uncomfortable topic and it does open our hearts to some challenges…..

Btw.. Reading it in the Original doesnt make it any easier.

Matthew 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

But the use of the word “perfect” does give a clue….
Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Reposting from…..

Paying the cost of discipleship
Posted on February 25, 2018 by Mike Ratliff by Mike Ratliff

21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Matthew 19:21 (NKJV)

The message of salvation that is normally preached or taught in the vast majority of churches these days has been contaminated with Humanism. The focus is on becoming a Christian for some great benefit or reward from God. Tragically, masses of people respond to that false gospel as well. The genuine gospel that our Saviour preached during His earthly ministry may have mentioned the benefits of being saved, but He emphasized the cost of becoming His disciple in such a way that it caused many of His hearers to not follow Him anymore, which was His intent. In fact, whenever He saw that the people were flocking to Him to have their felt needs met, He would speak a message to them that expressed that those who are His disciples are the ones who have counted the cost and seen that the eternal is all that truly matters.
Read more…

There are so many things to learn about this. And different degrees. Just check out the number of times Jesus healed someone and sent them back home to their own people….there is much more that could be said.

And note that in Matt 19:21 and all the other gospel accounts, Jesus was specifically speaking to this individual man. Though in the follow on context, Jesus assures his selected disciples that their own following him will not be in vain.

There is another passage about a lawyer who came to Jesus to test him, who certainly more directly wanted to justify himself, and like the Richman who can’t buy his way into heaven even with his own “giving all” payment, this lawyer found his definition of loving his neighbor was faulty.

Luk 10:25  And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
Luk 10:26  He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
Luk 10:27  And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
Luk 10:28  And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
Luk 10:29  But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

Luke 10:37  And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

Jesus is constantly getting to the heart matters.

BTW Acts 2 seems to present a more universal call to giving away our goods. But note how John Gill, gives the context and the greater body of teaching that we actually find in the NT.

Acts 2:45 Gill
And sold their possessions and goods.…. Their houses and lands, their fields and vineyards, their goods, moveable or immoveable:

and parted them to all men; that were of their society, not to others:

as every man had need: the rich sold their estates, and divided them among the poor, or gave them such a portion thereof as their present exigencies required. This was done by Jews, and by Jews only; who, when they embraced the Gospel of Christ, were informed that the destruction of their city, and nation, was at hand; and therefore they sold their estates before hand, and put them to this use; which was necessary to be done, both for the support of the Gospel in Judea, and for the carrying and spreading of it among the Gentiles: but is not to be drawn into a precedent, or an example in after times; nor is ever any such thing proposed to the Christian churches, or exhorted to by any of the apostles.

We are called though to answer the call of God when we hear it.
Act 2:36  Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
Act 2:37  Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
Act 2:38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Act 2:39  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

But Mike’s text is a call to examine ourselves. And as he correctly noted in to the comment above this is also God’s work that lets us do that.

In 1688 John Bunyan wrote a little book about the deception of false profession.

The Barren Fig Tree,
or, The doom and downfall of the fruitless professor

And the words of interpretation Jesus gave about the first three soils ring as a warning of what could be called a false profession.

Mat 13:18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
Mat 13:19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

Mat 13:20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
Mat 13:21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

Mat 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

Mat 13:23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Btw if you have ever had any larger sized garden you will know that the soil doesn’t just make itself good.

It’s sad about the percentages even in the church, but it’s nothing new and doesn’t take away from the joy..

Luke 15:7  I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

John Gill writes that these are the 99….”the Scribes and Pharisees, that murmured at Christ’s receiving sinners, are the ninety and nine just persons, who were only outwardly righteous before men, and trusted in themselves that they were righteous, perfectly righteous, and without sin, and so stood in no need of repentance for it”

This is always a risk, if we fake it.

Joh 6:64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.

Joh 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. Joh 6:66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

One last though, since I updated this on 2/27, Mike has another good post at:
Our good works done in the Spirit do not earn our salvation, but prove its authenticity
Posted on February 26, 2018 by Mike Ratliff

1 thought on “Do we count the cost…..”

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