Words from the Heart for Friday July 29th, 2016
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
Matthew 16:24 (KJV)
Are you tempted to follow Jesus for comfort’s sake? Following Jesus leads to a cross before there is a crown. Are you willing for your life to be shaped by the priorities of the cross – even if it means your desires and dreams must be reshaped by Jesus’ desires for you?
A Costa Rican family is leaving Toronto after three years in Canada because immigration officials say their son’s Down syndrome is too much of a burden on taxpayers. Even though they are leaving the country, they’re still fighting what they call medieval and barbaric legislation because they say it may help other families. Felipe Montoya and Alejandra Garcia-Prieto have been trying to get permanent residency in Canada since they first moved to Toronto three years ago with their two teenage children so Montoya could teach environmental studies at York University. But immigration officials have refused to green light their applicancy because their 13-year-old son, Nico, has Down syndrome. The Immigration and Citizenship Act states “a foreign national is inadmissible on health grounds if their health condition might reasonably be expected to cause excessive demand on health or social services.”
Our human nature isn’t happy when we are denied something. Children throw hissy-fits and adults get angry. We want what we want and we want it right now. That’s how the world works. But as usual the kingdom of God turns all of this on its head. Matthew 16:24 teaches us this “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.’” One of the major themes of the Bible is that life isn’t all about us. The world doesn’t revolve around us. We have always thought that it did. For centuries people believed that the entire universe spun around the earth. Surely we must the centre of it all. But we are not. Earth isn’t the centre of the universe and I’m not the centre of the earth. Once we get past that thinking, God can begin to do a work in us. The Bible often speaks about laying down our lives before the Lord. The principles of the Kingdom of God teach us that when we die we live, when we lose, we win, when we deny ourselves and take up the cross, we gain everything and begin to walk in freedom. It takes time to grow spiritually to understand this. We want what we want. We must reach the place where we want what God wants in Christ. And what He mostly wants is your heart, presented humbly to Him.
These have been words from the heart.