The Cost

Luke 18:18-30 (NIV)

The Rich and the Kingdom of God

18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’”

21 “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said.

22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy.24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

26 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?”

27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

28 Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!”

29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”

Lyrics

VERSE 1

What will it take? (everything)

Who do I give to? (all the suffering)

Why do I hesitate? (truly I say follow Me)

 

Where will I go? (I will show you)

How will I know? (do you trust Me)

What do I lack? (give to the poor and never turn back)

 

CHORUS

Where is your treasure?

Where is your heart?

Have you weighed the cost before you even started?

Why do you hold on

To what will not last?

Release what you have and receive so much more in this age, and in the age to come

 

VERSE 2

Why is it hard? (because of your place)

What of my wealth? (are riches enough to stay)

It is impossible? (for you but not for God)

 

I’ve seen the others (yes they have followed)

Who can be saved? (truly I tell you)

If I so come (come follow Me and allow Me to show you the way)

 

CHORUS

Where is your treasure?

Where is your heart?

Have you weighed the cost before you even started?

Why do you hold on

To what will not last?

Release what you have and receive so much more in this age, and in the age to come

 

BRIDGE

Suppose you build a tower but don’t weigh the cost

Suppose you go to war but do not count the troops you’ve got

Suppose the salt you have has lost its flavor, is it good?

Walking with a cross is hard, but joy if understood

 

CHORUS [2X]

Where is your treasure?

Where is your heart?

Have you weighed the cost before you even started?

Why do you hold on

To what will not last?

Release what you have and receive so much more in this age, and in the age to come

(click on the arrows to explore both texts)

Image by Andrew Neel

Dive Deeper

 

This song is inspired by the passages Luke 18: 18-30 and Luke 14: 25-35.

          In this passage, Luke 18:18-30, the rich ruler asks Jesus what he needs to do to gain eternal life. Jesus realizes that he obeys the commandments, but Christ asks the ruler to give all of his wealth away before following Jesus in His ministry. Giving money away is not an 11th commandment, and it is not a requirement for following Jesus; but, in order to live as a disciple, one must fully commit and fully surrender to Christ. Jesus, who knows all things, knew that this man valued money more than living for Christ. This ruler likely found security in his wealth or delighted in the pleasure of being rich.

         

          Once someone finds fulfillment in something other than their Savior, it is much harder for him/her to surrender to God. But nothing is impossible with God! Thankfully, our God is a God who can change hearts and minds.  If we are willing, God can lead us to give 100% of ourselves to Him. Truly, God created us to submit ourselves to Him. God created us so that we can be completely satisfied with His goodness, not money, power, or fame. We will always be disappointed when we attempt to find security and fulfillment in wealth, popularity, or enjoyment because Christ is the only one who can ultimately fulfill us all.  

    

           We all have a missing piece in our hearts that is meant for Jesus.  Some of us try to search for meaning and happiness in this world and its pleasures, but at the end of the day, we were all created to be satisfied by Christ alone.

 

          Jesus describes what is required to be a disciple in the second passage, Luke 14: 25-37 (NIV).

          In this passage, Jesus tells His disciples that they need to give up everything that they have and dedicate their lives to following their Savior. Just as Jesus called for the rich ruler to give his wealth away to the poor, Jesus will ask each of us to completely surrender our lives at His feet. Not every believer will be called to give away all their wealth or their clothing or their property, but everyone who follows Christ will be asked to completely give themselves to Jesus.  

          To try and figure out what Jesus is asking of you, pray over the chorus of this song and ask God to reveal the parts of your life that you are still clinging to, unwilling to lay at His feet.

 

Where is your treasure?  Where is your heart?

Have you weighed the cost before you even started?

Why do you hold on to what will not last?

Release what you have and receive so much more in this age, and in the age to come.

 

          This chorus begs the question, what is the cost of salvation? What is required for us to receive eternal life? Is it giving away a percentage of our savings or donating our clothes to the poor? Is it working at a soup kitchen at Thanksgiving or volunteering at a nursing home on Christmas Day?  

          No.  None of these things will guarantee you a spot in heaven. While God calls us to be His hands and feet and to serve His people with love, our works and good deeds do not save us. 

 

Only Jesus can save us.

The cost for salvation is a perfect and sinless life sacrifice to rid our lives of the stain of sin.  And, this sacrifice needs to be approved by our Father in heaven.

 

          The beautiful truth is that we don’t need to pay this great price for our salvation.  In fact, we can’t pay this price because our lives are filled with sin and would not be the perfect sacrifice necessary to wipe sin clean. Thankfully, God sent His only son to die on the cross on our behalf so that we can live with our Father in perfect harmony forever. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus paid the price for our eternal benefit, and God approved of it all.

          Does this mean that we can go on living our lives as nothing happened? Surely if Jesus’ death and life can wipe sin away then it doesn’t matter how we act, right? Wrong. God calls us to follow Him and live in righteousness to honor the sacrifice of His son and to show the world who we belong to. Our renewed life of love and righteousness does not save us; it doesn’t pay for the cost of eternal life. However, living like Christ does honor Him and it does show His goodness to the world.  

 

          The better question to ask is, what is the cost of being a disciple of Jesus? The answer is everything.  In order to follow Him, we must give all of ourselves to our Savior. We must realize that we cannot gain a lasting salvation through our actions, but to live a life for Christ, we must completely surrender every ounce of ourselves every day. 

 

Questions for Reflection 

  1. The rich ruler in the first passage held on to money for security and for value.  What are you holding onto?  What do you still need to surrender to God? 

  2. How would you respond as the ruler in this passage?  Would you willingly give all that you value to the poor, or would you hold onto your “treasure” and walk away from God?

  3. What are ways that you can honor God with your life and serve Him fully?

Image by Andrea Leopardi

Hidden 

Features

Biblical Point of View:

Jesus and the crowds/rulers/disciples and other biblical characters

who have questions for Him regarding his faith and teachings

Musical Explanation:

  • This song is written in the form of a call and response. The first

         part of each line is the question and the second part of each line

         is the response. Each question is sung by a different vocalist to represent the different people asking the                    questions (Brooke, Mollie, Peter, Giovanna). On the contrary, each response is sung by the same vocalist                  (Adam).

  • The response is always from Jesus’ point of view and sung by vocalist Adam Bannister. The first round of questions in verse one is sung by vocalist Brooke Bannister from the perspective of the woman with two coins from the song Two Coins. In this section the woman with two coins is asking about how she is to give and expresses her thoughts as she does so. The second round of questions of questions in verse one is sung by vocalist, Mollie Landman Hunker, from the perspective of the widow at the town of Nain. Here she asks Christ what to do. While the last response of Christ in the last line of this verse is more about the cost of discipleship, the rest of the questions correlate to the widow in Arise

  • The second verse offers two new perspectives. The first round of questions in verse 2 is sung by vocalists, Peter Stauffer, from the perspective of the ruler told by Jesus to sell all he has and follow Him. This ruler is wealthy and has followed every other command but fails to give up his wealth. The second round of questions in verse 2 is sung by vocalist, Giovanna Johnson, where she portrays the character of Mary Magdalene. Though Mary Magdalene does not have her own song, she is known to follow Jesus on his journey with the disciples. Thus, the series of questions between her and Christ in this section are from the beginning of their time together. 

  • Though this song strongly correlates to the questions of these four biblical characters, it is not limited to their perspective. The questioning in this song is meant to depict broder strokes as well. For instance, the dialogue in this song could be from the perspective of a disciple, a random man/woman passed on the road, etc. The chorus of this song however, is sung from Jesus’ point of view and the disciples as they go around sharing the good news He came to bring. 

How to sing:

This song is to be sung with curiosity, like a person who has questions about faith and wonders what it means when someone says they have it. The Cost is to be sung with a sense of wonder as the mind is wandering, trying to understand the truths of the bible and what Jesus teaches. There is also an internal battle as one wrestles with what it means to follow after Jesus and to leave all behind in doing so. As you listen to/sing this song think of the portions of scripture you do not understand and envision yourself asking these questions to Jesus. As you listen to/sing this song, envision Jesus asking you to follow Him right now and leave everything you have and your past life behind. 

The Cost