Count the Cost: For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?

Give your heart to God every day!

If You Believe In Jesus You Will Have Eternal Life!

If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.'” Luke 14:26-30 NASB.
Are you able to finish the course that is set before you? Hebrews 12:1. You will be able to finish the course that is set before you, if you count the true cost, and the true value of the surpassing riches that God wants to provide you. “And raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:6-7 NASB.  
Count the cost of loving, obeying and serving Jesus. Whenever you see the true value of serving Jesus with all the love, joy, peace, faith and all the other gifts that He wants to give you, and agree willingly to serve Him, then this will be what your soul wants, and you will get it. The value of what you get infinitely exceeds the cost that you will pay. But He who loves his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers or sisters, and even their own life more than Jesus, cannot be His disciple. When you calculate the true cost and value of giving your heart completely to God and serving Him, you will see that even though you may have to suffer much from friends, family and others, and may even make the ultimate sacrifice, that it will all be worth it in the end, for the rich bounty of love, joy and peace that you will reap for yourself and others whom you have helped, now and for all eternity in Heaven! God will call you His good and faithful servant, if you prove to be faithful to Him. So count the cost!
What kind of a price can you put on having peace, wonderful peace, and having this great love and joy that God wants to give you? Is there anything in this life that can equal it or compare with it in any way?No. God’s gifts that He wants to give you are priceless and beyond compare. All the riches of this world cannot compare to one moment of pure peace, love and joy that He will give you! And this peace, love and joy will continue throughout eternity, without end! Oh, the riches and bounty of God for us poor mortals!
Jesus also said,So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. Luke 14:33 NASB. If you give all of your possessions willingly and freely to Jesus, He will bless you and keep you. He may not ask you to sell or give away all that you have to the poor right away, like the rich young ruler thought He had asked him to do (Luke 18:22), but He will ask you to be a wise steward of your time, goods, means and talents, which you should willingly use to bless others as they have need. Matthew 25:14-30. The poor include not only the poor in this world’s goods, but those who are poor in the knowledge of salvation. Our heart should care about our poor brothers and sisters throughout this world that do not know Jesus yet, or those who don’t know Him all the way yet, that need to get to know Him better. Jesus knows you have needs and will take care of you! He is not necessarily asking you to sacrifice all that you have now, but to be willing to help others, as the need arises, from your store of resources. He is asking you to love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 22:39), because love is the fulfillment of the law.Romans 13:10. But whatever you do to help others, the cost is insignificant compared with the infinitely better riches and reward of love, happiness, and joy that you will accrue throughout eternity! Whatever sacrifice you make for God is definitely worth it, if you count the cost and the return on your investment that you will get forever in Heaven! Don’t think about what you will lose, think about what you will gain! When you have God’s love in your heart, you will find that the things of this earth have lost their hold on your heart, and you will willingly give to help others, even sacrificially. And you will be happy to do it!
If anyone does not love his neighbor as themselves, they cannot be Jesus’ disciple, because He said,A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 NASB. And: “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. John 15:12-14 KJV. So if you want to be Jesus’ friend, you must do whatsoever He commanded you, which is to love one another, as He loves you. Therefore anyone who does not love his or her neighbor as themselves, cannot be Jesus’ disciple.
But if you find God’s Spirit stirring your heart with love and joy, and see the true value of serving Him, you will willingly yield your heart to Him! And then you will see that there is no sacrifice too great for your God, whom you love, for all the peace, love, faith, hope, and joy that He gives you, and from all the love and joy you get as you see someone else made happy when they give their heart to Him, and become as happy as you are! Enter into the joy of your Lord, enter into the kingdom of Heaven prepared for those who love Him! Matthew 25:21. Amen.

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Give your heart to God every day! Why not? He loves you! If you promise to love and serve Him, by His power, and ask Him to bless you in witnessing to others of His love, He will be happy with you! Even though we are cautioned by Jesus not to vow, because we cannot turn one hair of our head white or black, He is talking about any promises that we make in our own strength. “Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Matthew 5:36 NASB. See also Ecclesiastes 5:4-5, and Deuteronomy 23:21. The key here is that we cannot keep an oath that we made ‘by our head,’ or by ourselves. But we can vow by the mighty power of God! “For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself,” Hebrews 6:13 NASB. See also Galatians 6:14, and 2 Corinthians 10:1.
Jesus also taught this vital truth that we should pray for God’s will, which implies it’s by His power, since He is God. Praying 'for God’s will to be done' is similar to when you make a vow to God, by His power, for things that are His will. Jesus taught this when He said, “Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come.Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’” Matthew 6:9-10 NASB. A prayer like this is a vow to let God’s will be done in your life by His power, as it is in Heaven, because when you pray like Jesus did in ‘the Lord’s Prayer’, as it is known, you are praying for God’s will to be done in your life. Now the Apostle Peter says, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 KJV. So if you pray for your own salvation, it is always God’s will! If your heart wants to make a vow to God to give your heart to Him completely by His power, this is always His will! He is unwilling that any should perish. This is the only way any of us can be saved, by His will and power. So it is clear, that you can give your heart to God, and ask Him to keep this vow by His mighty, unfailing power! If you pray according to God’s will, you are guaranteed that He will listen to your prayer and grant it to you. He is unwilling that any should perish! If you were never under any circumstances to make a vow to God, then Moses need not have said, “If a man makes a vow to the LORD, or takes an oath to bind himself with a binding obligation, he shall not violate his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.” Numbers 30:2 NASB, because Moses would have said, ‘do not make any vows, for they are all sin.’ But this is not the case!
Jesus is cautioning His people to not be quick to make a vow to God, because none of us have the ability to keep our vows! Only God can offer that kind of a rock-solid assurance, because only God cannot fail. We cannot fail, if we put our trust in God to help us keep our promise to be His peculiar treasure! Notice that in the original covenant between God and His people at Sinai, that He made a vow to His people that if they would obey His voice, that they would be His own peculiar treasure above all people, for all the earth is His. Exodus 19:5. Notice that God made no reference here to His people making a promise to Him, even though they did in Exodus 19:8, but the promise is in God’s power to save alone. He will help His people obey them, if they would only listen to Him and want to obey Him in all things, and keep their heart clean by confession. So when we make a vow to God by His power, we are really vowing what was already promised to us in Exodus 19:5, which is really God’s vow to make us His people!Some may say this vow by God was just for the Israelites, but Paul says, “And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:29 KJV. So this promise in Exodus 19:5 is for Christians too!
When you make a vow like this to God, you must make sure that you don’t have any unconfessed sins in your heart, or the Lord will not hear your prayer!If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:” Psalm 66:18 KJV. If you are willingly turning away from hearing or wanting to do any of His commandments, God will not hear your prayers, for then they will be an abomination to Him, until you ask Him for forgiveness and repent. “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.” Proverbs 28:9 KJV. You cannot have this deep love for God and desire to serve Him all the way, if your heart is stained with iniquity that has not been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb. But ‘if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 KJV. So there is no reason for anyone to have any stain of sin in their heart, for God has promised to forgive us all of our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, if we would just confess them.
So you know now that it is God’s will for you to give your heart to Him! It’s what He’s been waiting for! But if you love Jesus and His Father, you can’t help but want make a vow to them. You have nothing to lose if you break your vow to Him, because you are lost without Him, and can do nothing without Him. But if God’s love is making you happy, why not commit your life to God all the way now? You can only promise your heart to God by His power, because none of us have this power within ourselves to keep our word. But God has the power to help you keep His word, so if you promise your heart to God by His power, you cannot ultimately fail, as long as you keep promising your heart to God by His power every day! His power will be in you a well of water springing up unto eternal life! John 4:14.
Why not promise your heart to God every day, by His power? Nothing can make your soul happier than doing this. If God’s love is in your heart, it will be your greatest desire to serve Him, and you won’t be able to help yourself! You will then be flooded with love, joy and peace!

Amen!


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By John Foll, Written between 10/12/2016 to 10/13/2016.
© Copyright 2016 John Foll

Do you worry for your future? Are you weary from worrying whether you are good enough to be saved or not? Are you fearful? Maybe you are worried because of your past mistakes. But fear not! “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 KJV. These are the conditions for salvation and eternal life!  No matter how bad you are, or what you have done, eternal life with its love, joy, and happiness are within your reach! If you will just realize that Jesus and His Father love you and want to save you, and believe in their love, this promised eternal life will be yours! Is your eternal happiness and eternal life really that simple? Yes! But that sounds too easy, how can it be true? Surely there must be something else you must do besides believe in Jesus to be saved, isn’t there? But there is no mistake in this scripture, for it was told by Jesus Himself! He explicitly stated that the Father loves you and wants to save you, and that if you will just believe in Him, then salvation is yours! Let’s not make salvation any more complicated than this! Your salvation really is just this simple and easy to understand: whoever believes in Jesus the Son of God, will have eternal life!

But what does it mean to believe in Jesus? Here is where many make a mistake or are in error. Some think that they believe in Jesus, when they haven’t yielded their heart completely to Him. Brother Paul tells us that of the three: faith, hope and love, ‘that the greatest of these is love.’ 1 Corinthians 13:13. Paul also tells us: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17 KJV. Now the Apostle John says about God that “We love Him, because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 KJV. So our faith comes when we hear and learn that God loves us. John also says, “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:15-16 KJV. So here we see the link between faith or belief in Jesus, God’s only begotten Son and God’s love. The belief that John 3:16 is talking about is the belief that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that those who believe in His Son and Him, should not perish but have everlasting life! There can be no belief in Jesus, where there is no love for Him and what His Father did for us. Therefore to believe in Jesus is to love Him, because love is greater than belief or faith, and because God so loved the world. God’s love for us is the first cause. Thus you cannot love Him, until you realize that He first loved you. When a child learns that its parents love them, then the child also learns to trust them, and believe in them. So faith is born when one learns that Jesus and the Father loves them, and can be trusted to take care of them, and looks out for their good.

To believe in Jesus, is to love Him and His Father with all of your heart, and all of your mind, and all of your soul, and give yourself to them because you love them. Matthew 22:37. It is impossible to fully believe in Jesus, until you love Him, and have yielded yourself to Him. God’s love for you takes care of the rest of your salvation! If you love and believe in Jesus, you will naturally believe in His sacrifice for your sins, and His desire to save and help you, and that God will send you just the help you need. And you will naturally confess your sins, and believe that God has forgiven you. 1 John 1:9. Then you will have great peace with God, and be filled with great joy when you believe in Jesus. Jesus said, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:16-18 NASB. Here Jesus promises all of His disciples, which will be you if you love Him, that He will ask the Father and the Father will give you another Helper, who will abide with you forever, if you want Him to! Jesus also said, that He will not leave you as an orphan, but He will come to you! Jesus also said, ‘And Lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the age.’ Matthew 28:20. But how do you know that the promise Jesus made to His disciples here applies to you? You are Jesus’ disciple if you love Him, which you show if you want to keep His commandments, which are to love one another. John 13:34. Jesus said, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word.’ John 14:23 NASB. If you want to keep Jesus’ word, then you are His Disciple! You are His disciple if you do what He says. Jesus said, “And why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?” Luke 6:46 NASB. Thus if you do what Jesus’ says, He is your Lord, and you are His disciple. See also John 13:34; 14:21; 15:10. Notice that all of this traces back to love for Jesus and His Father. You could have none of this if God did not first love you! But what has this to do with believing in Jesus? It has everything to do with it! Because if you do not believe in Jesus, that means that you do not love Him, and probably do not really know how much He loves you, for if you believed that He loved you, this would awaken love in your heart, and would make all of the difference to you. If you do not believe in Jesus, that means that you don’t really believe that He loves you, or you don’t want the salvation He is offering you. So believing in Jesus is based on knowing His love personally.

So how are we saved? We are saved when we see how much we are in need of help, then learn that Jesus loves us; this awakens faith in our heart! This takes away despair and gives us hope for a better life that He has promised us. Therefore, if you will just learn how much Jesus and His Father love you, this will give you all the faith you need, so that you can believe in Jesus, the Son of God, and thus have eternal life!

But you may say that all of what we have said here is more than just believing in Jesus. But all of the things that the soul needs, develops from believing in Jesus, when the soul learns that He loves them and died to save them. Therefore the one who truly believes in Jesus has eternal life, because everything else that they need will be supplied by God, if they will just believe! And what is believing in Jesus? Again, it is learning that He loves you! Everything you need is supplied, if you will just learn how much Jesus and the Father love you! The soul that is lost, has never truly learned that Jesus or the Father loved them, or didn’t care, it is not because of their sins or mistakes, which can all be forgiven, if the soul will only believe in Jesus! The soul is lost because of unbelief in Jesus and the Father’s love for them, or because it doesn’t want this love or salvation. But how could anyone turn their back on such love? We believe that most people who turn their back on God, never really learned or wanted to learn how much He loves them, thus they didn’t believe!

Therefore John 3:16 is a promise that all who believe in Jesus will be saved, because the Father will forgive their sins, and send them the Holy Spirit, who will help them to be saved, and not leave them as orphans! And Jesus also promised that He would be with His people, until the end of the age! Matthew 28:20. Thus it is really true, that all who truly believe in Jesus will be saved! Do you believe in Jesus the Son of God? Do you believe that He and His Father greatly love you? Then salvation is yours! Go forth with peace, love and joy! May ‘the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.’ 2 Corinthians 13:14 NASB.

Bible Texts For Reflection:
John 3:1-21; John 14:15, John 14:23-24; John 13:35; John 13:34-35; Luke 6:46; 1 John 4:19; 1 Corinthians 13:13; John 14:21; John 15:8-11.

White Raiment Evangelism Purpose:

It is our desire to help as many people as possible learn how to be happy, and have the assurance of their salvation. There is no reason for people to not be happy, have guilt, or not have the assurance of their salvation, if they want it, and are willing to learn what God wants from them and desire to please Him. It is our desire that everyone who wants it, would find ‘the Pearl of Great price’, and that they would have a well of water springing up in them, unto eternal life!

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