Several years ago my friend invited me to a dinner and auction to support a local ministry. After the dinner the auction started. I was excited because there were some great items in it. When a 9 mm Smith and Wesson came up for auction, I raised my hand at the $250 mark. I kept bidding against the other person until it got to $500. My friend asked why I quit bidding as the auctioneer said, “Going once!” I explained that i had seen that gun in the store for $500. I tnought, “Why pay more?” He gave me a disappointed look as the auctioneer said, “Going twice.” Still looking at me, he raised his hand and said, “$700!” The auctioneer said, “Sold!” I realized in that moment that i wanted the benefit of the gun without paying the cost. I had missed the point of the auction,
In 2 Samuel 24, God was mad at David and caused a plague on the land. As the angel stood over Jerusalem to destroy its people, God sent the prophet Gad to tell David to build Him an offer and to make a sacrifice on it where the angel stood. David rushed to the threshing floor of Araunah and asked to buy the property. Araunah told him to take it for free since he was the king. David refused. In verse 24 he said, “No, I insist on buying it, for I will not present burnt offerings to the Lord my God that have cost me nothing” (NLT). David understood that in order to get the benefit of God’s blessing and a reversal of the curse, he needed to pay something.
In Matthew 16:24 Jesus said, “If you truly want to follow me, you should at once completely reject and disown your own life. And you must be willing to share my cross and experience it as your own, as you continually surrender to my ways” (TPT). There are a lot of people who want to follow Jesus, but aren’t willing to pay the cost. They want the benefit of what He offers, but don’t want to give up their life. There’s no other way to be a true disciple and follower of Christ without taking up your cross daily, sacrificing your old way of living and surrendering to His way of life. To follow Jesus is to give up your life and way of living the same way He did.