Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Crux of the Matter

And he said to them all, "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me."  Luke 9:23 (KJV)

Deny myself? Say what?   Deny myself that second cup of coffee? Turn off the tv instead of watching that show on cable that's a little racy but so good? Push away from the table instead of taking a second or third helping?  Sounds a little unpleasant, doesn't it? 

That's the physical, but what about spiritual?  Stay after church services and put away the tables and chairs used for a fellowship? But I want to get home! Let someone else do it. Invite my neighbor to church? Oh, they wouldn't want to go anyway, so why bother? Besides, they might start looking at me funny and not be as friendly. And whose business is it if I watch those cable shows with the high rating? There's a good storyline and great acting! Who's gonna know, anyway?  And you just stay right out of my computer usage. It's no one's business but mine what I look at.  God knows my heart/intentions and you're not supposed to judge, Jesus said so.

 And what about the last part of that verse, about taking up a cross daily and following Jesus? Take up your cross? That doesn't sound like very much fun. Following Jesus, sure, if it doesn't cost me anything.

That's the crux of the matter, really. We don't want anything to inconvenience us. It's not that we only  think about Jesus on Sunday, we think about Him during the week, too, and sometimes even pray. And read the Bible.  That should count for something, don't you think?

It's time to ask hard questions, and nothing but commitment--true commitment--to Christ counts for something. There's a saying, 'The road to Hell is paved with good intentions'.  That is so true. Jesus Himself said that the way to destruction was broad and the path to salvation narrow. To me, this says that the herd mentality so prevalent in the world today is wrong.  What herd mentality? Why, the one that says there are many ways to God, because just believing that Jesus is the only way is so discriminatory and intolerant; the mentality that one should look at God through the lens of one's own sexuality, rather than the other way around (think about it), and many more examples abound.

Hive minds are good for bees, not so much for humans. God gave us free will--we're free to believe or not believe whatever we want. But there are consequences for this free will, and some of them are terrible.

Following Jesus isn't easy. You have to count the cost.

 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, "If any  man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosover will save his life shall lose it; and whosover will lose his life for My sake shall find it.   Matthew 16:24,25

 I don't want to be a fan of Jesus; I want to be His follower.

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