“Then Jesus called the crowd to him, along with his followers. He said, ‘If people want to follow me, they must give up the things they want. They must be willing even to give up their lives to follow me. Those who want to save their lives will give up true life. But those who give up their lives for me and for the Good News will have true life.’ “(Mark 8:34-35)
The crowd stands there, jeering and deriding us to conform and find acceptance. Jesus looks through the blood and sweat that is stinging his eyes and calls us to be followers of the cross. One says follow me and I will give you pleasure. God says I will give you everlasting life. The crowd offers immediate satisfaction. Jesus promises suffering. Live it up and be happy cries the crowd. Endure the pain of commitment and LIVE our Lord pleads.
GospeLines Prayer:“Thank You, Father, for giving me the choice of eternal life. If my life is to be one of suffering in order to find true happiness, I would rather die a thousand deaths than to miss one moment with you in eternity!” Amen and amen.
Someone is certain to raise a righteous eyebrow when I ask this question, "How much is enough?" So much of our time (and too much of our preaching) is spent dreaming of more, wishing that we were richer than we are, scheming of ways to make one more dollar. We forget that wealth is not attached to money. Hear the words of a wise man on this subject:
SAYINGS OF AZUR
"Two things I ask of you, O Lord;
do not refuse me before I die:
Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread,
Otherwise, I may have too
much and disown you
and say, 'Who is the Lord?'
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God."
GospeLines Prayer:Father, help me to know when I have had enough, in my leisure and in my labor, in my spending and in my wanting. I want to learn how to say "Yes, but...," and when to say "No!" Give me the maturity to realize that more is not always better for me. Amen and amen.