The crown without the cross

It’s prevalent in our nation and runs rampant in our generation. It infects our philosophies and distorts our perspectives.

The Boss Effect.

You see, everyone wants to be the boss, the one making the high dollar and driving the nicest car. We all want the class, respect, and edge of a leader, but we don’t want the work it requires.

We want the ministry without the prayer. We want the success without the effort. We want the recognition without the reaping. We want our crowns without the cross.

In 2 Thessalonians 3:11, Paul tells the church “For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies.”

It’s easy to appear busy. We can put on a front of importance and power. But God sees beyond how we portray ourselves. He sees into the very depths of our souls, in the places that we would cringe if anyone else knew what lurked there. God doesn’t flinch or get surprised at the content of our hearts. As our Creator, He already knows what lies there. What we have hidden and covered, stashed and stored, He saw before the beginning of time.

He sees it all.

We can go to church or a mission project and act busy. We can pretend we love others. We can put a mask on everyday and act the part of a “Christian”. But no matter what we say, do, or think, God knows the true motivation in our hearts. And more often than not, brothers and sisters, it’s not as pure or good as we might have allowed ourselves to originally believe.

I’m not trying to condemn or sound harsh, but my heart in this particular devotion is for us to present our entire beings before the Lord. We don’t have to put on a show for Him. If we are frustrated with something, share it with Him. Yes, He already knows, but He longs to hear it from you. God wants us to speak with Him, to develop a relationship with Him. And relationships require communication.

It is too easy to fall into the trap of wanting the reward without the reaping. We want the benefits of a strong relationship with God, but we don’t want to put in the time. Oh, we can all use the excuse that we’re too busy, but we are investing our time in something. It’s just not God.

 

We like to avoid the things that make us uncomfortable, or that require us to die to ourselves in some way. Shortcuts and dishonesty may get you the position you want, but I can guarantee it won’t make you happy. It won’t be enough to fulfill your or mature you. It’s in the valleys that we learn how to climb. It’s in the deep waters that we learn how to swim. It’s in the darkness that we learn to seek the Light. We need the cross.

We need the humility and sacrifice and obedience of the cross. The cross is our crown. Jesus’ redemptive work on Calvary has crowned us as sons and daughters, co-heirs with the Lion of Judah, the Lamb that was slain.

Difficult times are not the enemy. Learn to stop fighting issues and start following I AM.

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