Where Would We Be Without The Cross?

Grace For The Journey

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24July  Where would we be without the cross?  The sad truth sad truth is that those of us raised in the Church do not fully appreciate the message of the cross and the cost of it.  Perhaps this is because we to have lost or forgotten the effect of it in our lives.  The sad result of this is that the effects of the cross cannot be seen in us daily.  Or, perhaps we never fully grew in awe of it because we never fully let go of the effects of a fallen world.  It is amazing how a few verses can cause us to catch our breath and cause us to stand still in surrender.

The Bible says in Colossians 1:21, “Once you were alienated from God and you were enemies with Him in your minds, which was shown by your evil actions.”

This is who we were; and yet, not a one of us are never far from returning to it.

What Adam and Eve opened the door to

Has wrecked havoc on all of God’s creation,

And especially upon our minds.

As a result of our fallen state,

We tend to make ourselves the center of everything

And refuse to give glory to anyone else.

Even if we are forced to do it, it is usually because there is some benefit for us to do it.

This selfishness sets us up to be

In direct contradiction to the purpose

For which we were created,

Setting ourselves up us the enemy

Instead of the worshiper

Of the One who gave us life.

The rebellion that is conceived in our hearts and minds, plagues our hearts and is revealed in our actions.

We set ourselves up

As our own gods,

And we always will.

Other people only have worth as long as they have something to add to us and the moment we perceive they have nothing to offer, we cut them off.  Lying, cheating, stealing, killing, along with self-determination are all rationalized when we consider our needs to be the most important.  What a contrast this kind of living is to our Lord Jesus.  The Bible says in Philippians2:3-4, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.  Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, Who, being I the form of God did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bond-servant, and coming in the likeness of men … He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”  

Because of Christ’s obedience, death, and resurrection can be impacted and influenced by the cross …

Because Jesus changed everything for us.

No longer are we trapped,

Under the control of sin

Which had misshaped

Every aspect of what

We were created to be.

The Bible tells us in Philippians 2:11 and 22, “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” … “But now He has reconciled you by His physical body through death, to present you before God as a people who are holy, faultless, and without blame.”

Jesus did that.

While we were still enemies of God,

Jesus sacrificed Himself

So that we could be transferred

From darkness and death

Into the Kingdom of life and light.

We must get it through our heads . . .

There was no good in us,

We had nothing to offer, no value,

And yet He made a decision to love us.

In that love

He sent His Son

To rescue us

But we still have to decide

To accept it, love Him back, and obey.

Although oftentimes we still see no value in ourselves compared to His holiness, the fact is . . .

God now sees us

As holy, faultless and without blame,

Because of Jesus’ death on the cross.

Live the biggest good life you can muster, it has no value; only Jesus can save.  But there is something we have to do.  Only as we live in the power of the cross and resurrection will we fulfill our purpose.  The Bible says in Philippians 1:9-11, “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”:

We have to let God complete His work of our salvation in our lives every day.  It takes God’s power and grace to remain faithful to Jesus.  It requires a conscience effort to deny the desires of our flesh and to choose Jesus’ righteousness daily.  If we know who He is and who we are in Him, and remind ourselves every day, then our effort enables the Spirit to empower us to overcome the draw of sin.  We don’t even have to think about that very much, we just have to desire Jesus, and a growing intimacy with Him.  Love really does take care of the rest, because the action of love is obedience.

We are not perfect but we are being perfected.  In God’s eyes we are perfect.  When we mess up and sin, we confess it and by His grace it is gone.  We can grow in confidence, learning to love Him more deeply, knowing He is not looking to destroy us but to increase us.

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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