Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Stay Near The Cross

Matthew 24:12 – And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.

THEME OF THE DAY: STAY NEAR THE CROSS.  We live in a dangerous world.  Yes, dangerous physically with the threats of terrorism, crime, and a host of other things of an evil nature looming to cause us harm.  We also live in a very dangerous spiritual world.  The god of this world, Satan, is unleashing horrific attacks on Christians as well as continuing his blinding of unbelievers to his reality and of their need of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:1-6).  And there is another aspect of spiritual danger facing Christians today. The words of Jesus in today’s scripture point to it.

As we survey our culture, we may describe it as one of increased godlessness, unbridled and brazen immorality, and sin so rampant, words may not adequately describe its horrific displays. And shame? There is no shame any longer. With this accelerated evil all around us, there is a potential impact on Christians which will be devastating. If not fought against, the impact of sin around and in us will do the worst thing that could ever happen to a believer; a cold heart indicating loss of first love for the Lord Jesus. Our Lord said, ‘And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.’  In a society under the judgment of God and letting loose sin like an avalanche, Christians can become desensitized.  And when believers become calloused and unmoved by sin, in the culture, church, and their personal lives, the heart grows cold and love for Christ noticeably absent.  This will show by neglect of the Bible, no consistent prayer alone and with other believers, indifference toward church, no burden for the lost, no desire for God’s glory to shine in the world, more time given over to worldliness than spiritual service, no pursuit of holiness, and chiefly, no burning, deepening desire to know the Lord Jesus. All of those, little by little, due to the influence of sin, will be ignored and neglected causing severe spiritual damage.

So, what can we do to prevent this chilling of the heart due to sin ever so close to us and ever present in us?  Two things. The first one is stay close to other Christians who hunger for holiness and Christ.  In the days we live, the church must become a place of spiritual safety and spiritual survival.  We need to spend a lot of time together to ensure we don’t lose the main thing in life – a fervent love for Christ.  His love is infectious and as the world continues to slide into more and more blatant ungodliness, Christians are going to need to spend more and more time in spiritual fellowship.  Try to go alone on this Christian journey, and the heart will be chilled by the influence of the world quicker than melting snow from an early March storm.

The next thing we can do to ensure we don’t drift into a loss of first love for Christ due to sin’s influence is stay close to the cross of Christ; real close, likely daily visit the place where two things happened – the greatest display of God’s love for sinners and the greatest display of God’s wrath against sin.  If we learn to meditate long and often on the cross where Christ died for our sin, we cannot get a cold heart.  It will always prove true.  Christians who have gone cold and indifferent to the things of God have not been visiting Golgotha or Mount Calvary.  Think in our own lives of those times when our love for the Lord began to wane.  Or talk to a Christian who has backslidden, if they will talk.  Ask ourselves and the fallen Christian this question, “Have you recently visited the place Jesus died?”  The answer will always be “No, I haven’t.”   Stay away from the cross and love fades.  Stay near the cross and love flames.  And by staying near the cross, we will not succumb to the heart-chilling sin all around us.

PRAYER: “Father, help me not become desensitized to the sin all around me and in me.”

QUOTE: “Love for Christ will wane and become cold without a steady spiritual stare on His cross of love.”