We are a society of “have it your way.” We can have it sugar-free, fat-free, caffeine-free or any way we want it. We believe that it is our right to have things the way we want them when we want them. Even Jesus has become something that meets our needs when we want him but is kept far enough out of the way when inconvenient to our lifestyle. We go to church when we want to go. We support the church so that it will be there when we need it for weddings or funerals or maybe as part of our Easter or Christmas activities. We send our children to Sunday School so that we don’t have to get too religious with them. In a society of options, Jesus and His church have become only another not so important option in our lives. Even pastors, so as not to rock the boat, turn a blind eye to this Christ-free society.
Unfortunately, there is one small problem with this optional attitude toward God. God does not see it as an option. The commandments about having no other gods and remembering the Sabbath and keeping it holy are still in the scriptures (Exodus 20:1-11.) The choice of serving God and not mammon (wealth, pleasure, personal desires) is still a requirement (Matthew 6:24.) Raising up a child in God’s ways is still a mandatory part of Christian parenting (Ephesians 6:4.) Christ’s words about only those who keep his commandments are those who love him are still there in the Gospel of John (John 14:21-29.) The condemnation of the lukewarm church of Laodicea is still to be found in Revelation (Revelation 3:14-19.)
The season of Lent reminds us that the Lord who gave his life for us is not an optional, but an essential part of our lives. With Jesus, there is no in between. We either serve him fully or we reject him fully. Worship, stewardship, prayer, scripture study and full participation in the Christian community are not optional for the followers of Christ. When it comes to following Christ, there is no “have it your way.” There is only Christ’s way.
P.S. The cost of discipleship is never cheap.
Visit NALC Newsletter to read the North Texas/Oklahoma Mission District Newsletter for March.