Gold, silver, precious stones, that is costly.
When David came to the threshing floor of Ornan which was to be the site of that great temple, that House of God upon which was to be constructed, that which was not for man but for God, he wanted to possess that threshing floor and he offered Ornan the full price of it...
But Ornan said: "No, I will give it to you freely, without price", and sought to persuade David to accept it as a gift.
But David said: "Nay; but I will verily buy it of thee at a price; neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God which cost me nothing" (1 Chron. 21:24).
Remember that the gates of the city are of pearl, the street of the city is of pure transparent glass, the foundation of the city wall, costly stones; and all that speaks of suffering.
The pearl speaks of suffering, the gold speaks of the fire, the costly stones speak of a good deal of shaping and forming, battering and hammering.
Costly, are these things.
Are you paying the price?
Are you willing, with the apostle, to "fill up that which is behind (lacking) of the afflictions of Christ"?
Are you building the eternal testimony to His grace by accepting a share in His suffering?
Or are you building upon that very precious foundation of Christ crucified, something that is the line of least resistance, that which costs very little, is an easier way?
If two ways are open is the eye first to see the easier way?
Oh, the fellowship of His sufferings - the costly way.
Well, what is cheap will go up in smoke.
What is not worthy of Christ will pass forever.
But that which has been built in suffering, built in heartbreak, built in the fire, will abide forever.
The City is produced out of the sufferings of Christ wrought in His saints.
The costly, or the costless?
~T. Austin Sparks~