The Price and Reward of the Cross

Our children need to learn that doing what is right is not always the easy choice. In fact, when Jesus called his disciples to “come and follow me,” he was inviting them into a life that would be difficult. In the same breath, he told them to deny themselves and “take up your cross.” On the surface, Jesus seems to be calling us to a very unattractive and undesirable life. But in reality, it is a call to the most attractive and desirable life a person could ever live. We need to teach our kids by our words and example that following the crowd when the crowd is going in the wrong direction exacts a price. That price, according to Scripture, is lostness and the suffering of eternal death. The flip side is that following in the footsteps of Christ also exacts a price. That price, according to Scripture, may be some suffering and alienation from others in this life. But that temporal suffering is minor when compared to the thrill of entering into the joy of the Lord as a reward for our faithfulness.