"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.