Buy Cheap, Buy Twice

I have a certain reputation in some quarters for being tight with money. I prefer to describe it as being a good steward of what little money the Good Lord has entrusted to me. I have, until recently, bought the cheapest bread in the shop, at 55 pence a loaf. This is still rather a lot I say; I can remember paying twenty-odd pence. A few weeks ago, to my horror, the cheap bread had all sold out. I considered doing without, but reluctantly realised I needed some and looked for the next cheapest, which was Kingsmill at 96 pence. That's right! Nearly a whole pound! 
 
The bread was good enough, as I might expect paying so eye-watering a price. What I had not reckoned with, however, was its freshness. The loaf lasted me a fortnight. The previous loaves had ended up on the bird table when they turned hard after a few days. Not Kingsmill! It remained soft and pleasant, fourteen days after its purchase. I'm now converted. I'm a Kingsmill man. The bread costs me more upfront, but its long term benefits more than repay the initial investment. 
 
In the fourteenth of John, we read:
 
Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it 29 lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’? 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

Jesus invites you to weigh up the cost of following Him. You can have the cheap, short-term pleasures of this world, or enjoy the everlasting benefits of paradise in the next. Life with Christ can be hard; He invites us to wear His yoke, though as Matthew Henry noted, it is lined with velvet. You will be ridiculed by friends and family. You'll make a stand for values that are at odds with the prevailing wind. You'll abstain from drunkenness, promiscuity, pride and greed. But in return, you'll inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, the joys of which cannot be described by mortal tongue. If you buy cheap, you lose everything.