A few notes on the Cost story (see earlier post):
I should say that I think of the kingdom mentioned in the reference scripture is not actually heaven as in "life after death" in my mind. Romans 14:17 identifies the Kingdom of God as "righteousness, peace and joy", which in turn can only be Christ. In my eyes He is the only true righteousness, peace or joy therefore selling all to gain Him is well worth the price. I suppose I am crazy enough to believe that this place that is God's, "the Kingdom", is kind of like a 5th dimension, a realm co-existing along with the natural world we see. It is big enough to contain the universe and yet small enough to fit inside of us. A place we can step into in our spirits, like stepping through the wardrobe and into Narnia. It is a vast and unexplored land of Righteousness, Peace and Joy meant to be discovered by God's people and Christ is the key, the Way, if you will. Perhaps death may be something like stepping through the wardrobe into this dimension and never coming back. So this is the context I look at the Kingdom of heaven in.
I see the cost, not only as giving up our lives to Christ, but as the ongoing refinement of our souls that we allow so that we might have the opportunity to explore "the Kingdom" daily. Tasting, seeing and even touching Christ in the here and now.
How much will we give up of ourselves in exchange for this priviledge?
I also wanted to address the fact that in our Christian walk we have never fully counted the cost and we cannot because we don't know our own hearts....and we don't know Him very well either. He does require the hidden parts of us, the things we keep secret or the things we hold onto thinking He wouldn't be interested in them. I don't mean material things either (unless that is your issue) but things like the motives of our heart, our talents and abilities, or our intellect..... He desires those also, the things we consider " good" as well as "bad". He is after all, a jealous God and wants to be number one. :) Not that He rejects us in anyway for continuing to hold onto our "suitcases"...(how can we help it when we often don't realize). No matter,He always accepts us even with our mountains of baggage.
I only hoped to point out that when He gracioulsy makes us aware of the situation and the things we hold to are finally given up to Him... however great the struggle...the return is great indeed.
And one more thing...not addressed in the story at all....
Sometimes what He requires is not even anything that we have to give... so we must fall on Him and trust Him to provide the sacrifice.