Mar 11

Evaluation and Counting The Cost

My observation and humble evaluation of our current state of affairs as preachers is this: By and large, we have left our first love (if we ever had it) of preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the saving of souls; and have embraced the art and science of preaching for the mastery of it; the marketing of it, and even the monument of it.

Preaching to impress the saints instead of preaching to address sin, and arrest sinners, has become the sad indictment for preaching as a whole
today, with measured exception (especially in America).

To a degree it is understandable because of the atmospheric pressure of post modernism and other strong world views; seducing spirits (I Tim 4:1) and subtle but growing exposure of the Antichrist spirit in the earth. (I John 2:18-22, 4:3)

But by no means is this acceptable to our God, who sent His only Son (Heb 10:4-10) as our complete offering, and example; and our Christ whose very life should compel us today as it did Peter, Paul, James, John, and other early church preachers; to be SPENT for the Gospel’s sake as ministers of reconciliation! (II Cor 5:18-19, 10:15).

Indeed, now is the time for us as God’s Preachers to RE-COUNT THE COST of our calling. It cost God everything! It cost Jesus everything! It cost the early church preachers everything! What is it costing us? What have we paid? (Heb 12:3-4)

For the JOY that was set before Him, Jesus endured His cross. (Heb 12:2) Jesus’ Joy was seeing us ‘afar off’ as redeemed and reconciled!

Early church preachers endured their cross for the Promise of Heaven and their reward! Early church preachers saw JESUS (Stephen – Acts 7:54-58); and VISIONS (Saul – Acts 9:3-6); that sealed their faith and hope with JOY sufficient enough
for them to ‘gladly’ lay down their lives for His Name’s sake!

The time has come for US to re-visit our BURNING BUSH experience…or seek one if we haven’t had one! (Ex 3:2-3, II Cor 3:18) Now is OUR time to pickup His bloody cross and lift Him as high as we can (Mt16:24), trusting His promise to
draw all men unto Himself! (Jn 12:32). This is OUR MOMENT in history to Rise and Shine beneath the heated lamp of scrutiny, ever increasing ridicule, and coming persecution; to declare Jesus as the Way, Truth, and Life! (Jn 14:6)

Preachers, we are coming full circle now. Soon the line will be solidly drawn in the sand of this desert world; and the question asked will be WHO IS ON THE LORD’s SIDE? We must be ready to answer with persuading conviction, and be ready to face whatever consequences our answer may bring! Are you ready?

Counting our cost can only rightly be done in light of the price paid on Calvary’s Cross 2000 years ago. Jesus said, if we try to save our life we shall lose it; BUT if we truly give our life for the sake of the gospel, we shall find it! (Mt 16:25) It was true THEN. It is true NOW.

So, the next question to be answered by each of us; all of us who really honor the badge and mantle of ‘Preacher’ is this: DO WE HAVE A JOY SET BEFORE US? Do we have the Joy of our salvation? Do we have the Joy of the Lord as our strength? Do we have the Joy set before us of Souls being won, and hearing Jesus say “WELL DONE”? Do we have the Joy of Heaven in our view?

If so, we will NOT succumb to spirits of burnout, seduction, suicide, and self sabotage! Our hearts will not be turned from the Hope of His Calling! (Eph 1:1-23) The REAL Preacher in us will Rise Up and PREACH JESUS like never before! (Rom 1:15-17) WHY AM I SO CONFIDENT OF THIS?

Join me next time as I explore my answer to this question with the subject: ‘Because The Prize is Worth the Price!’

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