April 18

Today’s Readings: 2 Samuel 3; Luke 14:25-35

Today's thoughts: Count the Cost

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. Luke 14:28

How many of us sit down and count the cost as we undertake a project? I tend to forge ahead using whatever means necessary to get started, but I find that most of my efforts are front-loaded.

I started organizing my office recently and as I was going through various stacks and boxes, I realized there were some projects either in the early stages or only halfway finished. Even though these ideas were based on good intentions, somewhere along the way they lost momentum, or maybe I lost the momentum. Or maybe I never really sat down and counted the cost of what it would take to finish. In other words, I put more thought into starting the task instead of finishing it. My intentions were good but did I really consider all of the factors? Maybe not. And as a result I have yet to finish many things I had set out to do.

Jesus is warning us through this illustration to take some steps in the beginning that will ensure the right course to the completion. For us as Christians, we need to take these words seriously. Consistency and perseverance strengthen character and teach us how to be wise builders, whether in our homes, work, or church activities. The next verse says that for those who do not finish, they will be mocked and scoffed at by others. We need to realize that others are watching us and often, they are expecting our failures. The goal for us, regardless of the size and scope of the project, is to first, “sit down” and “count the cost.”

Do you have an idea for a new project? Have you considered the cost? Before jumping in head first, stop and sit down. Go to the Lord in sincere prayer asking for His guidance. Try to lay out the complete plans from start to finish and find confirmation for these plans in God’s word. If we truly seek His will and plans for us, He will show us what to do and how to finish them. So often, we are in much more of a hurry than God is. Be prepared to wait on Him. Finishing something we started is tremendously satisfying. Knowing that the Lord has led our steps through the entire task brings both earthly and spiritual fulfillment, because the journey means as much as the destination.

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