Counting the Cost

"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it" (Matthew 16:25).

Sometimes learning a new skill and information requires a painstaking effort. Such was the case when my five-year-old son saw the new phonics chart hanging on the schoolroom wall. Looking at all the phonics rules he had to learn and memorize, my son looked at me with wide eyes and said, "Mommy, there are too many. Can't we skip some and just do the first ones?"

"No, honey," I replied. "Each one is important in helping you become a better reader. Just think, after you learn them all, you'll be able to read really hard books."

Looking at me skeptically, he answered, "Can I just learn to read easy books, Mom?"

Whether you're learning to become a better reader or a follower of Jesus Christ, you must count the cost and recognize the sacrifices involved. In Matthew 26:6-13, Jesus rebuked His disciples for their indignation toward a woman's sacrificial act of love. Instead, Jesus commended her for bringing a vial of very costly perfume and pouring it on His head, even though the poor would have benefited from its value. Giving such an expensive gift probably cost this woman everything, but what a perfect picture for us! There is a great cost involved in becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ.

What has it cost you to homeschool your children? Are you thinking now that the price is too high? Like the honor given to the woman for her costly gift (Matthew 26:13) or the reward promised for being Christ's disciple (Luke 18:29-30), God will honor your faithful homeschooling sacrifices of time, energy, and money. Will you hold fast to what God has shown you to be true? "So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:33).

Lord, convict me of my need to give back all that I am to You. Guide me as I homeschool today and remind me that this sacrifice is nothing compared to Yours when You died on the cross for me. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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Comments(14 comments)

MELODY E 03/27/2009 07:39:30

This is a very similar conversation I had with my son last year. This year he's reading. He grabs a book and reads while he eats breakfast now. Yesterday I asked him how it felt to be able to read. His answer, "pretty good." (with a big smile on his face). He enjoys challenging himself too.

WENDY G 03/27/2009 08:16:13

I am so grateful for DailyFocus. Over the past several months, each one comes with such a timely message. My husband has been layed off since the beginning of the year. Each time it crosses my mind to throw in the towel and go back to work, God reminds me that our family has choosen His path. It would be easy to go back to work like the world says to do, but God is our provider, not man. It seems the cost is too high at times, but God reminds me to keep my hand to the plow.

DENISE L 03/27/2009 09:04:20

I would like to share that the daily focus has but so encouraging and has truly helped me in my homeschooling with my son. I am new at homeschooling and initially became so ovewrwhelemed that I began to have panick attacks and started taking anit depressants. I did not see the big picture and felt inadequate, God began to deal with me, as I had to look in the mirror of my soul and realize that I had not truseted God completely nor did I completely surrender to him and depended on my own abilities. I am also in school and while taking my exam at the public library God brought my attention to a gentleman who was in one of the private rooms, he appeared to be a tutor, I walked over to him and asked him if he was a tutor he mentioned that he was homeschooling his daughter, so I shared that I just started and asked him what curriculum he used, he then told me about Alpha and Omega. I went online an order the curriculum. I am no longer having panic attacks, no longer taking medication, I am have surrendered all to God and pray for his daily strenght and guidance. Homeschooling has allowed my son and I to have a closer relation, he is more confident and focused. I thank God for the Daily focus I read them daily as they encourage me. May God Bless you.

TERRI M 03/27/2011 14:35:15

Please, dear moms, get your spelling and grammer right before submitting your stories!! I'm speaking the turth in love, ladies.

JULIE A 03/27/2011 16:52:59

Terri M. You're kidding right?? 'turth' 'grammer'?? hilarious!!!

CHERYL L 03/28/2011 14:48:16

I wonder if some of us mothers are not speaking English as our first language. Even if this is not the case with dear Denise, we are not grading a submitted report--this is an informal commentary.

Please, let us not judge someone who has shared so openly her testimony of what God has done in her life regarding homeschooling. I only hope we do not miss Denise's point--that she was feeling inadequate (as we all are inadequate in some manner) and that God has been, and is, working in her life to grow her and encourage her where she needs it as a homeschooling mother.

I would suggest that we overlook each other's imperfections as we need the same done for us.

Thank you, Denise, for your sharing. Please continue to be brave and tell others about what God is doing in your life. We need to be encouraged also by hearing stories of how God has been victorious in others' lives.

Cheryl Lehman

DANA N 03/27/2012 04:29:09

"Let us love one another as Christ has loved us!" I know I have not crossed all the "t's" nor dotted all the "i's" on the page of my life! Metaphorically speaking, I have slaughtered the language! God has not called the "perfect" to be his people; nor has He called the "perfect" to home educate! Just as He has called every person to come to him for salvation, he has given every parent the responsibility of raising his or her child and teaching children everything that pertains to life and godliness! Some of us spell better than others! Praise the Lord for their gift! Some of us encourage better than others! Praise God and thank Him for the encouragers! Whatever gifts we have--and we all have something to bring-- we can use those gifts to educate our children and see them come to know and respect God! This devotional is about counting costs! There are things you sacrifice in home schooling, but there is so much to gain! The Bible says, "What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" If we send our kids out into the world because we feel inadequate as teachers, and they fall in with the wrong crowd and lose their soul and possibly their life in the process, what have we really accomplished? Our town just buried one of our children this week, out partying and drinking on a school night and hit a tree! So I'll take a mom or dad any day who misspells a word or two and is trying over a self-righteous individual who has been "forgiven much" and deserves an "F" on the composition called life! Thanks be to God who uses an eraser instead of a permanent marker to grade our "papers!"

INDIRA T 03/27/2012 05:14:23

This devotional is so timely. Just when I felt like throwing in the towel on this homeschool adventure. . .when I think that homeschooling two is hard, how do I add in the third child? Just when I believe the battles with my middle child over her character issues would be best managed by her being in a school.

It is hard to continually pour oneself out -- to lose one's life -- for another (or three others). I forget it cannot be in my own strength, because mine own is not enough. . . it will never be enough.

I praise God for how he orchestrates our lives that we do come across others to help and encourage and remind us of the path He hass set us on and that even in our struggles and stumbles we are better on His path that on our own.

INA C 03/27/2012 05:36:34

I really have appreciated these devotionals and the comments from all of you. Denise, thank you for your story of God's faithfulness today. I needed to be reminded of how God has used homeschooling to grow the relationship I have with my children. He has grown and strengthened those relationships in so many ways. If this were ever the only blessing that came from our homeschooling experience, it would be enough! I am grateful that God reminded me of this through your story. God bless your journey!!

KATHY S 03/27/2012 06:25:58


My heart goes out ot you, I am so glad though that God healed you of your panic attacks and helped you with your curriculum.

I have had panic attacks for 20+ years. They are horrible. I don't understand it. I guess I shouldn't question, rather pray just as you did.

What an inspirational story you gave us today! Thank you & God Bless !

On another note,

I personally am an excellent speller, but when I type, it comes out backwards, missepelled, ECT.

To the Author;

Thank you for the wonderful reminder of all that Christ did for us.

I saw that " The Passsion of Christ" was on the other day, I couldn';t bring myself to put it on. I have seen it before,but, I just couldn't bear to watch Jesus sufferings again. I know it's a movie and an actor, it just seems so real.

Thank you Jesus, for all you did and do for us everyday !

JANISE P 03/27/2012 06:45:40

Here is just another \"god-instance\". Thank you, Jesus, for sending me the information that I needed to hear just when I needed it most!

I am dismayed when I read one christian judging another. To those of us who choose to feel superior, righteous and judgmental: may God bless you and I will continue to pray that Jesus continue to reveal Himself to you. I love all of you just the way you are. We were NEVER meant to be alone in this world, but sent here to learn how to LOVE.

TERESA S 03/27/2012 12:31:30

I know I normally write very well, but when I type i make occassional mistakes. This is an informal media so I do not spend time checking my spelling.

PAMELA REITENBACH 03/27/2013 11:59:48

I agree. This needs to be a place of encouraging. God bless you, Denise.

We have a daughter we adopted when our other children were teenagers. I homeschool her and we are hitting a roadblock in her learning math and being able to read fluently. She is almost 10. I went to an educational consultant and it was recommended that I do some specific reading and math programs to help remediate her in these areas. As this will make more intense and time-consuming teaching, even though I am committed to doing it, I've been feeling a little sorry for myself that I can't do 'normal' homeschooling. Thank you for this reminder. The Lord knew what I needed to hear. I will have to sacrifice extra time for school, but when it is done as unto the Lord and with the right heart attitude, the eternal rewards will outweigh anything this world has to offer. It is so easy to have our focus on earthly pleasures and off of God's calling in our lives. "Only one life will soon be past. Only what's done for Christ will last."

Rachelle D. 03/27/2013 12:49:00

To anyone struggling with panic attacks. I would like to encourage you to watch you diet as it could be the culprit. I began having them shortly after my dad died. However, I somehow noticed that they were triggered by caffeine. And giving all glory to God, for me no caffeine equals no panic attacks. I later found out that other women in my family also can not handle caffeine. I hope this can help someone out there. God bless!

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