but understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. for people will be…treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, [2 timothy 3:1-4]

if you told me i had the choice to go see the st. louis cardinals play in the world series or go see the chicago cubs in the world series there would be no hesitation in my answer. i would choose to watch the cardinals every single time. i love the cardinals. i don’t love the cubs. my loyalty is definitely not divided in this case. but ask me to sacrifice my pleasure for the glory of God and good of others? i’d be lying if i said that was just as easy of a choice.

“no one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other…” [matthew 6:24]

it’s surprisingly easy to see how being lovers of pleasure will bring difficulty. it essentially means you are out for your own gain, even at the expense of others. if your own pleasure is your greatest love, your top priority, then everything else is just something that can get in the way.

but lovers of God seek to bring peace where there is no peace. they seek to comfort the hurting. to defend the oppressed. to serve those in need. at their own expense they will follow God to where he calls. for the glory of God and the good of others.

so the evaluation is this…what personal pleasure has my heart? what do i value in such a way that i would not voluntarily lay it down? what area of God’s calling on my life am i walking away from because it will cost me personal gratification?

let today be the day that you lay those things at the foot of the cross, in the presence of God, and walk away from them. ask God to remove the divide in your loyalty. as a christian, the sacrifice of Jesus life is what defines your identity. walk fully in that, as one who has been called, sanctified, and redeemed.

~ keith kozlowski