This past week we talked in our message about Jesus call to count the cost of following Him. So often we think of the challenges of following Jesus, and forget that Jesus is partnered with a promise in John 10:10: I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Part of counting the cost is not just counting what challenges might exist to following Jesus, but maybe more importantly, the cost of not experiencing the abundant life that Jesus offers to those who follow Him.
I shared a story Sunday about my climb up Mt. Arbel near the Sea of Galilee in Israel. From the base it looked like a simple hike up gravel trails on switchbacks…until it wasn’t. Part of the way into our climb the trail shifted to what you see above, quite literally hanging on for your life 100s of feet up as you navigated the narrow path up the mountain. Did I mention I am afraid of heights? The reason that matters is if I knew what laid ahead on the hike I would have never tried. I would have stayed on the bus afraid of what laid ahead, I would have never tried, because the cost would have been too much. Instead I completed a hike I would have never imagined, and when I arrived at the top, it was breathtaking, something that I will always remember from my trip to Israel. Looking back I can’t imagine missing out on that, because of my fear of heights and the unknown.
As Christians the same possibility sits before us. Jesus offers an abundant life, a life he describes in Matthew 7 as one that few people ever experience. Part of counting the cost of following Jesus is considering, what will I miss out on if I don’t radically follow God? If I don’t serve, if I don’t love, if I am not obedient to His call? The promise of life that Jesus offers is extravagant, and life-changing. Am I willing to miss out on that so that I can keep my life more controlled, safer, more comfortable? Or is the cost of following well worth it, knowing what Jesus offers to us in the abundant life?