No Crown Without The Cross

Do you imagine that this mother was asking for her boys: a crown without the cross? A throne without the altar of sacrifice? The glory without the suffering that leads to it? As we meditate on the Word of God today, we may be reminded of all that we wish for our children today, and how badly we want them to have it all without the ‘hard knocks’ that we plundered through when we were growing up. Do you suppose that God approves of that plan?

DATE POSTED Sunday, 2022-03-13
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 20:20-22
TRANSLATION: Amplified Bible (AMP)

BIBLE TEXT: 20 Then [Salome] the mother of Zebedee’s children [James and John] came up to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down [in respect], asked a favor of Him. 21 And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She answered Him, “Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit [in positions of honor and authority] one on Your right and one on Your left.” 22 But Jesus replied, “You do not realize what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup [of suffering] that I am about to drink?”…

APPLICATION: I have heard so many parents say that they have sacrificed so much, so that their children might be blessed with a life that’s not bogged down by poverty, lack of proper schooling, and lack of opportunity. On the flip side, I hear many adults pass comments about our young people and how spoiled they are; how they hate hard work; how they act like the world owes them everything. Considering the comments from all the adults, I wonder if all that parents did for their kids led to the results that employers are seeing today? In the working field, I witnessed some who started at the bottom of the ladder and worked themselves up through every position in the company. But I also witnessed some employees who were friends of the owner, or they had lots of educational degrees, so they were placed right at the top, since they are so smart. I’m sure that it is easy to see the advantages in both these scenarios. It is easy for the longtime worker to supervise, because from experience they know ever job task that they are supervising. So they could help their workers through problems, and they could best monitor expectations because they did the same job at one point. For the new, ‘smart’ person coming in, they may have learned the professional way of managing their staff, as long as they don’t ask for help. When Salome went before Jesus demanding top positions for her boys, I’m sure she could give witness to how good, loyal, smart and committed they had been up to that point, but I believe that Jesus wanted her, and us, to know that unless we know and participate in every phase of ministry; been through the ups and downs of living in glass houses; prepared to be punished in the public square and hung on a cross for doing good, then we may not be ready for the crown that the Master will place on our head. I’ve been witness to pastors and church leaders who have faced the unloving, revengeful and wrongful acts of those they served – kind’a like the cross that Jesus carried and hung on. Yet those leaders kept on serving, and didn’t sit back in a sense of achievement, or felt deserving of a crown of glory for their work and sacrifice. Friends, I believe that Jesus loves us so much that He stands ready to take us into His care and to celebrate before the Father when one merely accepts Him as Lord. But I also believe that in much the same way that some soldier of the cross may have helped us see the light of Jesus, He may be glorifying God as He sees us do all we can, with all that He has blessed us with, while we remain here on earth. While I believe we should keep our eyes fixed on eternity, and our crown, I also believe that Jesus might say to us like He may have felt with James and John – be about your Master’s work while you are on the field and see the need. Encourage the unbelievers, so that you may bring one, or two, or three or more with you when God calls you home to glory! Where do you stand on this dear friends?

BLESSING(S) NOTED: The fields are white, but the workers are few. Don’t look for the glory while there is still work to be done. A reward awaits us that is ‘out of this world’!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for preparing us for heaven! Thank You for directing us to the unsaved who need Jesus. Please prepare us to always be on mission, for as long as You leave us here on earth. May we never be satisfied in seeing people live, or die, without knowing full well where their destiny will take them. Help us to not miss opportunities to share Christ with everyone we meet, for the more we accomplish for the kingdom while here on earth, the more we will feel deserving of the crown that awaits. Please help us to be stedfast about our Father’s work, all for Your glory, honor and praise! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Author: Ed Algreen

One of God's kids expressing his understanding of God's Word and sharing how it is affecting his life! May those who read it be blessed, encouraged, and drawn closer to the Lord!

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