At Face Value

Why does life look so wonderful and easy for everybody on social media sites like Facebook? Especially when it comes to Christians, we see nothing but smiles and perfect families in perfect pictures. Let me let you in on a little secret: Those pictures you see are nothing but a highlight reel.

Some people think that when you give your life over to Jesus, everything is going to be wonderful and easy and suddenly make sense. Sorry to say, but reality couldn’t be further from the truth.

Let’s face it, life on this earth wasn’t easy for Jesus himself. He was born in a stable and grew up a carpenter like His adopted daddy, and that was back in the days where they didn’t have a Ford F-150 to haul lumber. We don’t think of it, but Jesus had grow up to be physically tough to endure the kind of life He grew up with here.

Jesus didn’t lead a picture-worthy life. He was schooled mentally in the scriptures and He was schooled physically through good old fashioned back breaking hard work. Not something worthy of a king, let alone the King of Kings.

Then, in what we would call midlife, Jesus changed job roles in a manner of speaking. He started His preaching career. His time had finally come, but things just got harder for Him. No matter what He did, for some people it was never enough.

One measure of Jesus’ preaching success was how fast the religious leaders of the time wanted Him dead. Jesus didn’t care what the present times called good. Jesus was more interested in the state of peoples’ hearts than what their lives looked like to others.

At the end, Jesus finally endured the pain and suffering of the cross. At face value, it looked like death had won. Satan struck the final blow, but that wasn’t the end.

Jesus went to the cross so that we could have our sins taken away and be allowed into Heaven for all eternity. Jesus paid the cost for us. It’s called grace. It’s a free gift to us only because Jesus paid every penny of it through His blood. Quite the high cost indeed.

That was how our Lord went through life and we shouldn’t expect everything in this world to be kind and easy for us either. There will be easy times and there will be hard times. But please stay strong through it all. The cross wasn’t a loss for Jesus or for us, even though it looked like it on the outside. Truly, it was the greatest victory!

If you have been blessed not to have suffered in this world so far, I say to you, “stay tuned.” A servant is not greater than the master. Jesus went through trials and so will we. The key is that Jesus persevered and made it through those trials. He kept true to what is right no matter what the world said or thought.

What I’m asking you is to keep moving forward in love and holiness, and not just on the surface. Don’t just live well in the pictures.

Our goal and ultimate desire should be Heaven. Anything less than eternal life is eternal death. In the end, forever, you and I will be in Heaven or Hell, period. There’s no getting around that truth and we only have one shot to get it right.

This world drags people into mediocrity, and if you aren’t going forward in life, you’re going backward. Just as Saint Paul said, we are to keep pressing on, moving towards the prize of the high calling of God through Christ Jesus.

Keep fighting and stay true to God’s Word. Yes, it is going to be tough at times, but I promise that the destination is worth it. In fact, it’s absolutely Heavenly.

“For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.” – Revelation 7:17

That’s what awaits us. Not just a highlight photo reel that’s Facebook-worthy, but true peace, true love, and an eternal joy that could only come from the our Savior, Jesus Christ.

God’s blessings to you.

DH

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