Life is a Struggle

Costa by Tatar-Inform

Costa by Tatar-Inform

Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45c

Exodus 3:1-15

Romans 12: 9-21

Matthew 16:21-28

 

Costa Cruises is a good line in Europe, but Costa Concordia met with disaster January 13, 2012.  Thirty-two people died in the human caused accident.

We can blame the captain, the crew, the owners, and anyone else we can think of, but the truth is, we live in a world where people are injured and killed on a daily basis.  We Americans are sometimes living in a fantasy world where an American is not killed in a car wreck every 16 minutes, or one is not injured in a wreck every 8 seconds, or one is not killed by a gun every 46 minutes, or an American does not die of cancer every 39 seconds, or someone else does not get cancer every 1.9 seconds, or even where someone in the world does not die of starvation every 3.6 seconds.

Face it, we live in a world where we have to struggle.  Christians do not get a free pass.  Bad things happen to good people.  Here is a video of a man who has to struggle, but who faces it the right way.

http://www.oprah.com/own-steepyoursoul/Steep-your-Soul-Meet-Chris-Video

When God finally called Moses at age 80, he called him to a great struggle, one that took another 40 years of his life.  Jesus told his disciples the even he would be killed soon and that it was necessary for the salvation of the world.  He further said, If anyone wants to follow in my footsteps he must give up all right to himself, take up his cross and follow me. For the man who wants to save his life will lose it; but the man who loses his life for my sake will find itPhillips

What did Jesus mean to take up a cross?  For Jesus it was literal, as it was for a few of the disciples.  For most of us it means to give up control of our lives.  The only way to freedom is to become a slave.  Instead of spending our time and money on ourselves, we need to spend more of it with God following in the footsteps of Jesus.

Winston Churchill said it very well in another context:   I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined this government: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.”  May 13, 1940, First Speech as Prime Minister to House of Commons.  If you want to hear the whole speech, here is the address.  The good part begins at 3:25 into the speech.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TlkN-dcDCk

That is what Jesus offers us in the battle against evil.

 

Be righteous and do good.

Mike Lawrence

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