A poverty-stricken mother will deprive herself of food to feed her children. A dedicated student will go without sleep to acquire knowledge. And a patriotic soldier will give up home and safety to defend his country. But who for no sensible reason would deprive himself of the most important thing in life? Yet that is precisely what a non-Christian is doing by ignoring his spiritual welfare. He is robbing himself of the joy that only Jesus can give.

C. S. Lewis abandoned his Christian upbringing in adolescence and for many years remained a sophisticated skeptic. Yet every so often an intense longing would grip him—a nostalgic desire for something he couldn’t explain. As he thought and studied, he came to realize that his yearning was really a symptom of a deep soul-need. Finally he surrendered to God and he was, as the title of his autobiography says, Surprised By Joy. Until that crucial point in his life, he had chosen to exclude himself from the kingdom of God. And had he died while still outside of that kingdom, he would have been eternally deprived of the joy of heaven.

Give your life to Christ. He’ll deprive you of nothing worth keeping, and He’ll fill you with His joy.