My wife and I were out recently with another couple who brought up the topic of human trafficking. They were asking about the problem and where it was most prevalent. As I began to answer the questions and reveal some statistics, one of them brought the conversation to a quick close. She said whenever she see’s reports about trafficking on television, she just closes her eyes and turns away because it is too disgusting and horrible to even think about. For too many, this is the default response. Even among those who profess to be Christians, it is far easier to cover our eyes than to look at some of the horrors of this world.
Archives for March 2012
The election season is in full swing in America. You can’t turn on the radio or television without being bombarded by advertisements and news stories about the various candidates. Each person running for office is doing all they can to persuade you to vote for them over someone else. As people who desire to be followers of Jesus, we face these same choices every day. As we go throughout our lives, we are accosted by temptations that plead with us to vote for them. We must decide where we will place our trust: will it be in Jesus or on the pleasures of this world?
How do you define success? Is it the amount of money in your retirement account or perhaps the cash you have at your fingertips? Is it the car you drive or the house in which you live? Maybe you would define success by the job you hold, the company you keep or the possessions you own. The more altruistic might say their success is reflected in their family or friends. As Christians we might shake our head and acknowledge those to be ways the world defines success, but not ways in which we would ever describe it. Yet when I look at my life and that of fellow believers, I cannot help but wonder if we are any different at all; in what ways are we truly setting ourselves apart from those who do not choose to follow Christ?
I recently heard Francis Chan recounting his experience during a trip to China. Chan took his 15 year old daughter to a meeting of Christians to allow her to experience firsthand what it was like to worship Christ in a country where it is illegal to do so. He himself was to speak to the gathered believers about standing strong in the face of persecution. Rather than encountering a somber, sober group as he had expected, Chan found the assembly to more resemble a fellowship dinner as the people were joyful and happy to be in each other’s presence.
Jesus demonstrated in the most visible way that true love costs everything. Before His death, He prayed that if it were possible to accomplish the mission in any other way that it would be provided for Him (Matthew 26:38-39). In the end, there was only the way of the cross, with its painful betrayals, beatings and humiliations along the way. Love prevented Him from turning away from that brutal path of sacrifice. At any point along the way, Jesus could have said, “It’s not worth it” and been delivered from what He was going through (Matthew 26:52-54). Instead, Jesus perfectly demonstrated the cost of love. When we surrender our lives to Him, we declare our love for Him and pledge that His life will be our model in everything we do. With that in mind, how much is your love for Christ costing you?