Our culture constantly promotes the concept of immediate gratification of needs. Along with an emphasis on self-pleasing, overindulgence, and “selfies”, we are inundated with advertising telling us, “You deserve a break today,” and, “It’s all about you”. As our world touts immediate gratification and self-pleasing, it also accents ‘instant’ everything. Walk the aisle of a grocery store and look at the products marked as ‘instant’. There are instant potatoes, instant pudding, instant oatmeal, and the list goes on. Restaurants have fast food drive through windows and express home delivery.
Easy payments, easy terms, easy access, and easy opening is the mantra the day. Our society hypes reward without effort. Everything is almost like free.
“Order now for a free home trial at no cost or obligation.”
“You get a prize every time.”
You are promised you can lose weight without exercise, eat whatever you want, and still miraculously shed unwanted pounds.
Easter season is upon us. It brings with it a serious concern. Has the lifestyle that surrounds us infiltrated our religious life? Are we pursuing a faith that requires little or no sacrifice from us? Do we expect a crown without a cross?
Luke 9:23-25 (NKJ) records these words: “Then He (Jesus) said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?”
Scripture advises, “We who are strong in faith should help the weak with their weaknesses, and not please only ourselves. Let each of us please our neighbors for their good, to help them be stronger in faith. Even Christ did not live to please himself” (Romans 15:1-3, NCV). John says, “And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst” (John 19:17-18).
If we desire to obtain the ‘Crown of Life’ and spend eternity with Jesus, we must take up His cross and follow Him.
THERE WILL BE NO CROWN WITHOUT A CROSS
~ Brother Roy