23 Then he said to the crowd, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow me. 24 If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life. 25 And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose or forfeit your own soul in the process?
In our prosperous, secular, pluralistic, and privatized society - it becomes easy to follow a lifestyle of having it all and having it now. I find it hard to get birthday and christmas presents because people have all they could want, including me (and I am no way close to being rich). You want it, you go get it. Most presents would be luxuries that are very expensive. This has a degenerative effect on faith and life. It especially destroys our children,
It is not to say that people do not suffer. In the war in Iraq, in Asia right now, in our city centers - there is much suffering and hurt. But the average american does not sacrifice time or talents to others. I realize this is a balance and we are not saved by these good works and sacrifice. But have we swung the balance too far to selfishness and ease? Are not some of our problems related to greed?
The only hope for relevance and reality is to lose life for Christ's sake. Follow His ambition- find in Him the balance of life.
Lord, forgive me, I am sinful in these areas- I have been way too selfish- help me see the need of ministering to others- help me be tough enough to sacrifice for You and trust You to take care of me.