2 Samuel 24:24 And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy [it] of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.

Luke 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have [sufficient] to finish [it]?

Luke 21:1-4 And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.

My time with you this morning will be brief, but beneficial, Lord willing. Ready? While salvation is a free gift from God, not of works, following Jesus Christ is costly. Life is no longer about self, but Jesus. The essence of discipleship is sacrifice. David refused to take the land offered to him for free. He would not offer anything to The Lord that did not cost him something. The poor widow did not give much in terms of earthly value, but in the eyes of God, she gave more than all the others because it cost her to give what she did. Both David and the widow “felt the pinch” of being a disciple. Being a disciple of Jesus is not a job or a matter of the hours on the clock. Giving unto The Lord is not a matter of the calculator, checking that it does not affect my personal comfort. It appears to me that much of contemporary Christianity and ministry is more like a religious emporium where marketing strategies and fancy websites and sound bites are being used by ministries to build “their church” rather than promote The Lord and glorify Him. True giving and service unto The Lord is always measured by the amount of selfless sacrifice that is made. There is a lot of service and ministry that takes place that leaves a trail of breadcrumbs to the person who is doing the serving, or writing the check, or preaching the sermon, instead of exalting The Lord Jesus Who alone is worthy. Discipleship is costly. Discipleship is about glorifying Jesus. A disciple of Jesus will never use their Master to promote the self. A disciple of Jesus lives and breathes for an Audience of One.

“Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto Thy Name give glory, for Thy mercy, and for Thy truth’s sake.” (Psalm 115:1)