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Words of a Cynic

"Then He 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' " (Luke 9:23-24). In a recent conversation, the observation was made about the conduct of many: "Well, folks usually do what they want to do." One misses a worship assembly on Sunday morning for a golf game, another refuses to change the lifestyle and friends that leads to worldliness, or another chooses a career path that will obviously put serving the Lord in jeopardy, another takes a job that will occupy so much of his time that he has no time for family or the Lord, parents will choose activities for their children that will take time away from Bible study. Am I cynical? It is true: "Most people do what they want to do." Now let me add a couple thoughts that should frighten us! First, most people will do what they want to do and think they can still be the Lord's disciple. The above passage points to the contrary. Notice Jesus says,: "let him deny himself." Serving the Lord is not about what I want but about what Jesus wants!

Christianity is not a religion of convenience but conviction. It is not self-serving but about self-sacrifice! Here Jesus speaks of the conditions of discipleship - "if anyone desires to come after me." Thus, the conclusion: many who think they are the Lord's disciples are not!

Second, Jesus said: "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matthew 7:13-14). Only a few will find the narrow way and many will find the broad gate. Perhaps I'm not cynical after all. Even Jesus said "most folks will do what they want to do"! Only a few are willing to make the sacrifice to serve Him.

Finally, I want to end with a positive tone. The reality is that anyone who desires can change. We can make the personal choices that will prioritize their lives and make Jesus first. It is all up to you and me! It all depends upon our "want"!

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward