Then he told them what they could expect for themselves: “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat—I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? [Luke 9:23-24 (MSG]

daisyAlthough we do our best to maintain our cars by getting new tires, touching up the paint, repairing dented fenders, and changing the oil, eventually we want a new one. How would we respond to an ad that said we could turn in the old car (no matter how battered or worn) and get a brand new one, absolutely free? Of course, there’s some fine print at the bottom of the ad. We won’t hold title to the car; it will belong to the manufacturer. Moreover, if we accept the new car, we don’t get to pick the model or accessories and we have to let the manufacturer decide how fast we drive, where we go and how we get there, where to park, what neighborhoods we travel through, how bumpy the ride will be, and when we arrive at our final destination. In full disclosure, there’s even mention that, while the ride will be quite an adventure, we’ll probably end up with some scratches and dents along the way. Would we make the deal?

But wait! When we continue reading the fine print on that arrangement, we learn that the car’s final destination is the Kingdom of God? Would we make the deal then?

Ever wonder why there is a stairway to heaven and a highway to hell? Apparently, there’s more traffic going to hell! [A bit of anonymous humor from the Internet]

Take it from me: Unless a person is born from above, it’s not possible to see what I’m pointing to—to God’s kingdom.” [John 3:3 (MSG)]

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