Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Consider the cost

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: 2 Chronicles 16, 17, 18; Psalm 85 (NIV)

2 Chronicles 18:3-4 (NIV)
3 Ahab king of Israel asked Jehoshaphat king of Judah, “Will you go with me against Ramoth Gilead?” Jehoshaphat replied, “I am as you are, and my people as your people; we will join you in the war.” 4 But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the Lord.”

Psalm 85:6-7 (NIV)
6 Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? 7 Show us your unfailing love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.

Good morning!

Have you ever signed up for something you were not certain about? I ask myself that question every single time I buy a new car. Have I made a good choice? Will this vehicle meet my family’s need for transportation? Is it a good value for the money? Do I really, really need it? Am I willing to pay the price?

There are many things in life that we sign up for without examining the cost. For instance, how many couples get married without seriously considering their mutual commitment to serve and love each other for the rest of their life? Becoming a parent is something that changes you forever. Do we really think about how this new little human will shape the course of our future? If we gave serious thought to the investment of time, attention and money it takes to feed, clothe, and educate a child today, it’s a wonder so many babies are being born! I imagine if we took a serious look at marriage and child-rearing, many of us may remain single and childless. It’s a scary thing – opening our hearts to the life of another human being, knowing we will never be the same again for taking a risk on love.

The commitments we make in life will affect us “for better or worse.” There was no doubt of Jehoshaphat’s love for the Lord. Yet, he chose an arranged marriage for his son with the daughter of Ahab. This yoked their people together in a military alliance that was sure to bring God’s wrath upon them. When Ahab asked Jehoshaphat to fight with him in battle, he prayed for guidance, then chose to ignore God’s answer. Have you ever sought the Lord for direction in your life and when the answer wasn’t what you wanted to hear, chose to ignore Him and do your own thing anyway?

Thank God for His mercy and grace. He knows our hearts and He sees the motivation behind everything we say and do. He loves us even when we make half-hearted commitments and jump with reckless abandon without considering the cost. When you asked Jesus to become Lord of your life, did you really mean it? Would you be willing to obey Him if He asked you to speak up on His behalf? Would you choose to care more about the people who do not yet know Him, than you care about your own personal comfort and security? Have you truly considered the cost of membership in the body of Christ?

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Pray for: courage to make a thorough examination of your commitment to Jesus Christ today. He gave it all up for you. How much of your life are you really willing to give back to Him? Are you willing to risk your love and life for the Lord?
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