Luke 14:28 (MSG)
28 “Is there anyone here who, planning to build a new house, doesn’t first sit down and figure the cost so you’ll know if you can complete it?
Jude 1:3 (MSG)
3 Dear friends, I’ve dropped everything to write you about this life of salvation that we have in common. I have to write insisting—begging!—that you fight with everything you have in you for this faith entrusted to us as a gift to guard and cherish.
Genesis 32: (MSG)
22 But during the night he got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants, and his eleven children and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.
23 He got them safely across the brook along with all his possessions.
24 But Jacob stayed behind by himself, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.
25 When the man saw that he couldn’t get the best of Jacob as they wrestled, he deliberately threw Jacob’s hip out of joint.
26 The man said, “Let me go; it’s daybreak.” Jacob said, “I’m not letting you go ’til you bless me.”
27 The man said, “What’s your name?” He answered, “Jacob.”
28 The man said, “But no longer. Your name is no longer Jacob. From now on it’s Israel (God-Wrestler); you’ve wrestled with God and you’ve come through.”
29 Jacob asked, “And what’s your name?” The man said, “Why do you want to know my name?” And then, right then and there, he blessed him.
30 Jacob named the place Peniel (God’s Face) because, he said, “I saw God face-to-face and lived to tell the story!”
31 The sun came up as he left Peniel, limping because of his hip.
32 (This is why Israelites to this day don’t eat the hip muscle; because Jacob’s hip was thrown out of joint.)
There’s one thing that I learned at a young age, everything will cost you. Financially, mentally, and yes even, spiritually. There is no such thing as a free ride. I know there are a few who are born into a wealthy family but somehow they are void of all that seems down to earth. They have no appreciation for even the smallest things in life.
From grade seven on I always had some type of part-time work. When I entered high school I was told I was responsible for all my school supplies and clothing. Anything after that was mine to spend the way I felt. Usually the extra was used to buy gospel records for my mother, or, to take my then girlfriend out for a burger etc.,
I was taught back then that if I were to quit school before grade twelve I would have to begin paying room and board. When I left to have my first apartment Mom told me that the basic rule of thumb was not to spend more than one week wages for one month\s rent. In today’s economy that is just not possible.
I remember the first time I went grocery shopping after paying my rent, car insurance, and utilities, I had approximately ten dollars and that had to put gas in my car for a whole two weeks.
Let me say this, the scriptures give us much wisdom about finances. Let me assure you this is not a message about giving to receive prosperity. Christ gave us insight about counting the cost. This applies in all areas of our life here on earth.
When I was about ten years old my parents went to London, Ontario to find a home for us to live in before moving there. Well my siblings and myself were left with my aunt and uncle for the day. My sister and I were told to go outside and play and were warned not to climb the one tree in the yard. Well we didn’t listen so we began to climb. I went first and my sister followed. I was on a branch and she stepped on it after me. Needless to say that was the wrong thing to do. The branch cracked and gave way and down I went landing on rocks that surrounded the trunk of that tree. Several hours later in the emergency ward of the city hospital when the doctors told us the news. I had broken both major bones in my left arm in three places.
My arm was in a cast for almost a full year because the bones would not heal properly. Well the day arrived for the cast to be removed. That was just before the beginning of a new school year. A couple of weeks into the school year and we were playing baseball as part of the phys-end program. I was standing off to the side near home plate. The batter hit the ball, threw the bat which was heading directly for my head. I put my right hand up to stop the bat only to snap my right wrist back and break more bones.
The doctors warned me and my mom that if I continue to break bones I would have problems later in life. The doctor was right. I have broken more bones throughout my life and now suffer with arthritis, osteoporosis all from my younger years. Physical ailments can be treated and I take medications for the arthritis and the osteoporosis. I seem to manage because I know that one day this old physical body will one day give way to death and return to dust of the ground.
The next part in one’s life that is even more difficult to handle is that of a mental health. Mental health is critical to one’s ability to cope with every day situations. For over twenty years I have battled depression, attempted suicide and now been diagnosed as bi-polar. If you don’t have great mental health, it makes little difference how fit your body may be. There are many things that will weaken mental health. Scripture tells us , “a merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a contrite spirit drieth the bones” I have been told arthritis is the drying of the joints in between our bones.
My one sister began to experience severe stomach problems. Heartburn, stomach aches, etc., She would take antacids but with little relief. Finally she was sent to see a specialist. Some of said it is what you have been eating. The doctor reversed that thought and asked her, ‘what’s eating her’. It wasn’t the food that was causing the stomach ailments but rather forgiveness and bitterness.
Now the one thing that every follower of Christ must guard is our spirit. Our mental health can bring on the weakening of our spirit. Imaginations, and all manner of wicked thoughts. We are warned to think on those things were are honest, etc., Sometimes we hear stories how someone sold their soul to be popular, talented, etc., The enemy of the followers of Christ knows that if he can corrupt, destroy, and discourage our spirit, he knows he has one. We have been given all the armour we need through Christ Jesus. We must constantly be diligent and continually to fight to keep the faith that was delivered to the early saints.
Yes, life is a battle. For every action that we do there is an equal cost associated with our actions. We can lose the battle with our body, even our mind, but if we lose the battle for our spirit, we then lose all that Christ died for on Calvary.
Follower of Christ, be on guard. The enemy does wander around like a roaring lion looking to see who he can devour.
Always feed your spirit with the Word of God. Keep a humble heart, and a bowed knee before Christ.
Remember, the world owes you nothing. Life definitely isn’t cheap!