And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him. (Luke 14:27–33—NKJV)

We spend our lives valuing things and counting costs. After all, there is a price for living on God’s good earth. Some prices we get to identify, others, like the bounties placed upon the heads of criminals in days gone by, are assigned by outside forces beyond our control. Just living one more year takes a toll on the body and the God-given privilege of living among men requires of us responsible actions not always convenient to us. Living within the borders of the United States is not without its cost as the phrase “What price Freedom?” illustrates.

Some costs we can easily identify and plan for. The cost of an education, the cost of transportation, or the cost to feed a family for a year has been pretty cut and dry, though costs are on the rise. As prices ramp up and possessions are increasingly more complex, people are developing new strategies for financial survival. One guy recently made a personal decision to simplify his life and he is encouraging others to do the same. He has determined to reduce his lifestyle and possessions to only those things that he can personally fix. He has counted the cost and this makes the best sense for him.

While the Bible is concerned with the simplicity of good stewardship in every believer’s life, it is fairly easily discerned that God is even more concerned about the costs of life that are very hard to quantify. Our Lord asks this question in Matthew 16:26: “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” This text challenges every disciple with these principles for life:

  • There is no price to pay to get a wasted life back.
  • There is no price a man can give to God in exchange for his life.
  • Nothing but our whole life replaces our obligation to God.

Your soul has no market price and there is no exchange for it. The soul is of infinite value but cheaply swapped out and sold. Many of your peers are more concerned with comfort than with character, until something pulls them up short. When a man gets caught dead-to-rights in his error, and if he confesses, he would admit that a clear conscience is priceless! This is true both on this earth and also before the Great Judge of all mankind.

Our Lord told a parable found in Luke 12:16–21 about a rich farmer who had a bountiful crop. He decided he would simply build bigger barns and live in ease, “And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.’” But God said to him, “Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?” Our Lord applies this story with these words, “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

Any Bible student knows the story of King Ahab, his horrible wife Jezebel, and his run-ins with God and His prophet Elijah. When God sent the message that his kingdom and his life were forfeit Elijah said to him, “I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do evil in the sight of the Lord” (1 Kings 21:20). Verse 25 says, “But there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do wickedness in the sight of the LORD, because Jezebel his wife stirred him up.” (A similar reference is found in 2 Kings 17:17 and check Romans 7:14.)

In order to properly value your life, remember 1 Corinthians 6:19–20: “You are not your own, you are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” God set the value upon your redeemed soul when He gave His only Son to die in your stead upon the cross. What can we give in exchange for our soul? Absolutely nothing! Especially since it is not yours anymore, having been born again. You have set about to build a “tower” out of your life. Count the cost of the materials and count the cost of the labor so that you do not fall short. Some say, “Every man has his price.” May that never be said of you for you are no longer for sale. Let no one have just cause to mock you or your Lord!

Do not devalue the work of God within you. Ask yourself if there is some lesser price at which you will allow yourself to be bought by something less virtuous than the blood of Christ. Can you be had at a bargain? Trust and obey.