If you think for just a moment, you've probably seen a lot of people say, do, and advocate terrible things while shamelessly displaying crosses. Those who act in such a way show contempt for the cross of the very one who can save them.
Wearing a cross is a nice gesture, but there's a more important way. Listen to the words of Jesus as He instructs His disciples:
"...he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me" (Matthew 10:38, NASB)
"If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me" (Luke 9:23, NASB)
"Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:27, NASB)
Unlike wearing a cross, bearing a cross requires a few things. Unpopular things like submission, trust, obedience, acceptance of His grace on His terms, self-denial, and taking unpopular stances.
The rewards are sure great, though.
I know that some who read this will understand exactly what I'm talking about, while others won't. My hope and prayer is that those in the latter group will decide to pick up their own crosses and follow after Jesus, "for the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." (1 Corinthians 1:18, NASB)
If you Google two simple words--"face lift"--you are greeted with a return of over 12 million hits.
Surgeries, minimally invasive procedures, face lift alternatives, non-surgical eye lifts, before- and after-photos. Each involves cost and they all promise the same basic results. We'll make you look younger, healthier, happier, more alive, more alert, more attractive, more successful, richer, smarter...
These things must work, right? I am sure the proof is in the pudding. You know, pudding like Phyllis Diller, Nancy Pelosi, Jocelyn Wildenstein, Michael Jackson, Joan Rivers, and Cher.
“I had to do something about my looks; I mean, a peeping Tom once threw up on my windowsill.” (Phyllis Diller)
You'll need to Google these people if you want images. I have my standards!
Please don't get me too wrong here. I know there are times when cosmetic surgeries are beneficial for reasons that extend beyond the vain desire to have fuller this or smaller that.
If you are looking for a free face lift, I have an idea, but this process is completely invasive and life altering. The good thing about it is that it's free. Somebody has already paid the price for you. All you have to do is receive this gift of a free face lift on his terms.
Many of you who are reading this already know where I am going with it. Good on you, but why do you still sport a long face?
You no doubt have heard that "A joyful heart makes a cheerful face" (Proverbs 15:13, NASB), right?
I admit that I fall prey to the horse face too. However, I know that the gloominess and discontent comes to me only when I look away from the cross and thus forget the treasures that I have, both in this life and the one to come.
There's a better way.
Let's "[fix] our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith." (Hebrews 12:2, NASB)
Let's live in joy and gratefully accept our free face lift!
Perhaps you can identify with this story, perhaps not. In any case, it is worth considering. Think about it, and then GO HOME!
My client called me the night before he committed suicide.
Several days prior his business offices had been raided by investigators, and while he shared few details, he was desperately concerned about what would happen to him, his employees, and his company. The next morning, alone in a home he rarely visited, he shot himself.