Matthew 26:39 – And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. (KJV)
How many have ever heard someone say, "It's boring"? This seems to be a common expression, especially among youth. A popular detective on television was fond of saying, "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime." (Robert Blake in Baretta)
Many things in life are that way. Everything worthwhile has some type of a price tag. Being a martial artist, I train with people who have punches that a non-practitioner would consider super-human. Michael Jordan did not just wake up one morning to be one of the greatest basketball players ever to play the game. Nor was the martial artist born with a punch capable of going through several inches of concrete. The dues had to be paid. Michael Jordan, I am sure, spent long hours on the court shooting the same shot over and over. A friend of mine holds a national title in foul shooting. He shoots several hundred foul shots each day. The martial artist over a period of years has thrown hundreds of thousands if not millions of punches.
Many kids start in the martial arts and say, "Show me how to do a jumping spin-around back kick." However they will never learn to hit with power unless they spend the boring time of throwing punch after punch after punch. What they will learn instead is a fancy technique that has no power and just makes their opponent angry. The same is true of the classroom. Education many times is tough, tedious work for which there is no substitute. We cannot avoid the price tag.
If Jesus had had the kind of attitude that avoided the price, none of us could have been saved. He drank of his cup of pain and went to the cross for us. Only his grace, and not our works, can save us. Jesus knew a price had to be paid. He did not take the easy way. Neither should we.
Prayer: Father, may we follow Jesus' example and not shirk from our duty. May we all come to the realization that we are saved solely by his grace. We are not perfect people. By your perfect standard we could not even consider ourselves good people. We are, however, forgiven people, and this, and only this, will get us into heaven. Amen.
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