“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?” Luke 14:28
Jesus was giving a parable about the cost of being one of His disciples. He used the illustration of a person wanting to build a tower. Before a person builds a tower, he must consider the cost before building, unless he wants to take a chance on being short on cash.
Starting a building project is easy. In America, a few years back it was very easy to get a loan to build or purchase a house. Banks and the government were pushing loans for people to be able to own their own house.
Many people rushed out to get a home loan and were able to start buying their own home. However, later many of those same people ran into trouble with paying for the home. They did not realize the costs involved of owning their own place. Homes were being repossessed by banks, because people could not afford them.
Along with new homes, there were many buildings being worked on and companies or individuals ran out of money to build the place. Some of those buildings sat half done for years before being completed, or never completed.
In both these cases, people did not consider the full cost of purchasing a home or building.
In the same way, there are many people who become Christian without really considering the cost of following Jesus. When a person begins to follow Jesus, he is to do it with all of his heart, soul, mind and strength.
It is common for people to follow Jesus, just to escape hell. They do not look at the full cost of following Him.
Following Jesus means that you will be sold out to Him, mind, body and soul. It will mean giving up a lot of your own personal agendas and dreams. It seeking what He wants and doing what He wants.
The cost can be very high, though worth it in the end. The reward for the high cost is eternal life in heaven with God.
Each day, consider the cost of following Jesus. Being willing to pay the price so that you will not be embarrassed when you hit a time of high price. The cost is high, but worth it!
I pray today that you will know the cost of following Jesus; that you will dedicate your life to following Jesus; that you will not fear the cost of serving God; and that you will be God’s servant for life.
Then the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” Haggai 1:3-4
Israel had been destroyed and put into captivity because of their rejection of God. After 70 years in captivity, God made a way for them to return to their land. They had to rebuild everything, because everything had been destroyed in the takeover. The first thing that they built was their own homes, instead of focusing on building God’s house, the temple. God is now questioning their motives.
Building the house that a person lives in is important. Every person does need a place to live in. There are people in this world that focus on building that house as big and beautiful as possible. They spend many hours fixing the house to make it look just right. Thousands of dollars are spent on renovations and additions to make a house bigger and better.
While there is nothing wrong with fixing up a house or making it better, often there is too much focus on that house. The house of a person’s soul is often neglected as the physical house is being built up.
Every week people spend 40+ hours working to make money in order to build a better house. While that is happening, they only spend 2 hours, at best, on building up their spiritual house, their soul. They go to church Sunday morning and do nothing else with God.
The Israelites had to build a physical house for God. Today, you must build a spiritual one. The house of God today is your soul, your life.
Building your spiritual house for God takes time and work, just as building a physical house does. You must spend time with Jesus, your foundation. Study His Word and know how to build that house correctly. Allow the Master Carpenter, Jesus, in to show the way to build the house. He will make the correct changes in your life.
There will be some rooms that need to be removed, while others need to be added. Walls need to be moved down, while some need to be put up. The power of the Holy Spirit needs to be flowing through your house to empower everything.
Today take a look at your life. Which house are you focused on building?
I pray today that you will allow Jesus to build your life His way; that you will place your main focus on being more like Jesus; that you will build your temple for God’s glory; and that God will be welcome in your life.
“Woe to him who builds his house by unjust gain, setting his nest on high to escape the clutches of ruin!” Habakkuk 2:9
Habakkuk had noticed all the people who refused to follow God were appearing to be prosperous and making it. He could not understand how the pagans could be wealthy, while the believers suffered, so he questions God about what He is seeing. God answers him. God points out that there will be trouble for the person who builds his house by evil ways.
A house is where a person lives, eats, and sleeps in. It is a representation of a part of their life. For some people it is a major portion of their life, while with others it is only a small part of their life. It depends on how much they work or travel.
Lives and homes are built all the time with money that is worked for. Most people will state that they have legally earned the money that they have to build their life the way that they want to. The real challenge is what a person means by work.
Some people when they do go to work, they cut corners all the time at work, not fully working, and still get a paycheck. Others do work hard all the time, but are doing things that are illegal or sinful to get their money. These are people building their house on something that is unjust gain.
Even though they appear to be successful, God is watching them and their time will come. Their house is not built on the foundation of Jesus Christ. It is built upon things of this world and it will come crashing down in the end.
If you are believer, you must work at things that will honor God. Gaining money to build your life will do no good if it is gained by measures that does not honor God in any way or goes against God’s commands. If you sell something that promotes sin, you are building your house by unjust gain. If you do not give all of yourself to your work, when you are working, then you are building your house by unjust gain.
Take a look at your life and how you are building your house. What is the foundation? What are the materials you are using? Does it honor God? Or is it being done in the ways of this world?
I pray today that Jesus will be the foundation of your life; that you will build your life in God’s ways; that the work you do will show honor to God; and that you will be a witness of God wherever you work.