Jesus, Betrayed and Crucified
Nothing compares to the toxic effect of taking Jesus and his death for granted.
If you have ever flown into Ireland, north or south, one thing will strike you. From the air, Ireland is remarkably green. What the tourist board is not so quick to point out is the rather obvious cause of this: It rains all the time. I could sum up almost 45 years spent in Ireland with one word: Damp. Or perhaps better, three words: Cold and damp. And then in the providence of God, we were uprooted and taken to Queensland, Australia, where the tourist slogan is, "Beautiful one day, perfect the next." Every day I get out of bed and thank God for the sunshine and say, "Where have you been all my life." Sometimes friends ask, "How do you cope with the heat?" I just say, "I love it." I've got 45 years of thankfulness stored up to draw on. It will be a long time before I ever take the weather in Brisbane for granted.
But taking people for granted, well, that's a different matter. Taking people for granted is easy to do. Most of us can pull it off without even thinking about it. But it's never a good idea. In marriage it causes hurt and tension. In families it causes damage and long term fallout. In the workplace it's one sure way of insuring a high staff turnover. In church it contributes to bitterness and burnout, making people feel used. Taking each other for granted is not a good thing. It's a recipe for simmering resentment.
But the consequences of taking each other for granted are nothing compared to the toxic effect in our relationship with God of taking the Lord Jesus Christ for granted. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it is all too possible that many of us are taking the Lord Jesus Christ for granted right here and right now. I know that at some level you and I are passionate about understanding and teaching ...