Jesus said to his disciples,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life?
Or what can one give in exchange for his life?
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory,
and then he will repay each according to his conduct.
Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here
who will not taste death
until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”
Today people who study marketing would say that Jesus was not a good marketer, right? Just imagine the pep talk… “Ok, men, if you want to follow me you must deny yourself and take up your cross. You are going to have to lose your life in order to save it.” To our world today these words sound crazy. Why would someone willingly deny himself and take up the cross? It sounds like suicide. Poor marketing…
Yet, when it is done out of love, every sacrifice is worth it. Why would you sacrifice for Christ? I would venture to say that you are willing to give up certain things in this life for the eternal rewards of heaven, right? I know that if I didn’t believe in heaven, I sure would not be a priest today. If there was nothing after this life, I would be out there trying to experience ever possible pleasure and good time there was.
However, I do believe in Jesus’ promise of heaven. And Jesus asks the question, “What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?”
What is your ideal? What are you chasing after in this life? Where do you spend your time? Your money? Your free time? Your thoughts? This is what is most important to you.
And if your ideal is not Jesus and a life focused on getting to heaven, Jesus invites us to make a change today. We have this life for a relatively short time, but what we do here determines how we will spend the rest of eternity. And the irony is following Jesus in this life and carrying a cross does not preclude a life of joy. I know many people who are carrying a very heavy cross, but they do it with grace and joy. Jesus walks this journey with us.
For what are you searching?
Have a blessed day!