Here’s the good news:
Jesus is alive and has made the way of the kingdom crystal-clear.
Here’s the bad news:
We have been sold a lie that the good news Jesus told was about believing certain things about him so that we may avoid hell and enter heaven.
In fact, that would be far, far too easy. And what Jesus told us was not easy at all. His message was so deeply offensive to our deepest desires that it takes a personal crucifixion for us to enter the kingdom of God.
I must die to my need for personal comfort and satisfaction.
I must die to my cravings for the good life.
I must die to my cries of injustice towards those who offend me, or who indirectly make life difficult for me.
I must die to the envy I feel towards those who are better looking, or who enjoy richer relationships, who are married and have families and good homes.
I must die to feeling insecure.
I must die to the need for others to feel sorry for me.
This cross I bear, that I must die to all conceit, ego, pride, and every shameful way.
Yet his promise is clear:
“My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Life without all the above is a life without the struggle of survival. It is a life of utter dependence upon the goodness of God.
It is Psalm 23 lived out completely, for “The Lord is my shephard, I shall not want”.
The Good Shephard came, died, and rose again, with the promise of a new life. He would create in me a life that is free from every burden. To enjoy this life, I am to “die daily” to everything that represents the old life lived in desperation and despair.
Today Lord I cry to you. Lift my burdens and ignite the fire of your life in me. I take up my cross, yet without torment, for you already bore that for me. Release me from shame, and lift my spirit high, so that I might walk in your shoes, and be a worthy servant of a Great King.