What if you were born with a terminal disease? Wouldn’t you search to find the cure? What if, upon discovering the cure, you also learned that a regular regimen of the cure was essential to your continued health and growth? Wouldn’t it make sense to not only take the initial dose, but to continue with the regular regimen?
Some may find these questions wholly hypothetical, wholly hyperbolic, or both. But the fact is, from a spiritual standpoint, we are all born terminally ill. We are all born with a deadly spiritual disease. That disease is sin. Fortunately, there is a cure for this disease. That cure, as described in a new book entitled, The Cure: Prescription for Life, may be found in the words of Jesus Christ, and more specifically, in the first several verses of Jesus’ most famous dissertation of the Gospel – the Sermon on the Mount.
As author Steve Byrens quite accurately explains, the first few verses of the Sermon on the Mount, colloquially known as the Beatitudes, provide the healing dose that not only cures us of our terminal disease, but provides for our continued spiritual health. Mr. Byrens leads the reader through the Beatitudes by first encouraging us to stop denying our illness and admit that, apart from God, we are indeed spiritually dead (i.e., “poor in spirit”). It is only after we willingly admit that we are terminally ill that we can honestly seek a cure. Mr. Byrens then guides the reader through each of the remaining Beatitudes, describing how each further assists in battling this insidious disease known as sin.
Personally, I especially enjoyed reading the book’s final chapter, entitled, “Salt and Light.” Most sermons I’ve heard and most books I’ve read describe Matthew 5:13-14 from a personal perspective. That is, the “you” in “You are the salt of the earth . . . You are the light of the world” is individualized – personally challenging each of us to be salt and light. Mr. Byrens, however, institutionalizes the “you” in these verses, thereby laying out challenges for the whole church. These challenges include: a challenge for His church to understand its value; a challenge for His church to be a positive and powerful influence on the world; a challenge for His church to be relevant on and in our current culture. I found this perspective to be quite refreshing.
Overall, this book provides some great insights into the Beatitudes. It is an excellent resource for both new and long-time Christians. Mr. Byrens’ writing style is enjoyable. He includes several thought-provoking questions at the end of each chapter, and his personal anecdotes provide glimpses as to who he is (and was) as a man.
I highly recommend The Cure: Prescription for Life. No matter where you may be on the spectrum of spiritual maturity, it will provide you with the reminder that the cure for what truly ails you comes only through Jesus.