One of the reasons I believe we don’t take the call of Christ more seriously in our lives is because we don’t see our sin the way God does. We don’t tend to see ourselves as deserving of hell if not for the blood of Jesus. We might say we deserve hell, but do we honestly believe it? As A.W. Tozer wrote, “from the way we love, praise, and pamper ourselves it is plain enough that we do not consider ourselves worthy of damnation!”
There’s a disconnect between what we say we believe and how we live. Instead of living as if we were humbly and eternally grateful for the salvation of Christ, we instead live as if there’s always something more we “deserve”.
It’s nauseating how many commercials and advertisements contain words like “Get what you deserve” or “You deserve this!” Advertisers know they can easily access the psyche of the public by convincing them they need or deserve something; your friends and neighbors already have what they offer, so you should have it too. Disciples of Jesus should never fall for this. We know what we deserve. We deserve an eternity separated from God due to our rejection of Him and our distortion of His character. That’s what we deserve and if not for Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, it is what we would get.
One of the first steps we must take on the path of discipleship is to correctly see what we are without Jesus. We are miserable, broken, helpless, and hopeless. Jesus changes all that. He offers hope, healing, love, joy, and peace. He offers a far better way. But if not for Him we would be mired in despair. If not for Him, I would not blame anyone for trying to get whatever they can here on earth. We would need something to numb the pain and mask our lack of meaning in life. But we are not without Jesus.
Having received the amazing gift of redemption and purpose, it is our duty to further Christ’s mission and bring the Kingdom of Heaven down to earth. Our joy should be wrapped up in pursuing His glory, not our own. Our comfort doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Our happiness doesn’t even matter. We will have more happiness than we could have ever imagined when we are in the presence of our Savior. It is a small thing to sacrifice happiness for a handful of years in exchange for getting Jesus for eternity!
From your standpoint, what do you think you deserve? Do you think you deserve the American dream or to do at least as well as your neighbors? Do you seek comfort in things of this world to cushion your pain, discouragement, or depression? Whatever you think you deserve, it will never be enough. It will never satisfy the deepest longings of your heart. It’s because you deserve death. You deserve to be separated from God, and so do I. But thanks to Jesus, we don’t have to get what we deserve. We can have all we ever wanted and more. We can have the very thing for which we were created. We deserve death, but we can have life. We can have Jesus.