Friday, August 26, 2016

Passing Through The Cross



Matthew 7:13-14
You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell (destruction) is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

Luke 9:24-25
If you are trying to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?

I Corinthians 2:2
For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

Narrow paths that lead to life?
Narrow ways that few find?
A man says that all he is going to focus on is Jesus Christ and Him crucified?
What's up with all this?
Sounds like a very narrow view if you ask me. But then again, I don't get to call the shots on this one.
It is a narrow way to Jesus. Its entry point is the cross.
We can't move forward in life, or recovery without dying to our old selfish sin nature.
I can't tote that baggage through the cross. there isn't room for me and my past stuff. something has to be laid down, and Jesus says the best way to enter through Him is to die to self. In other words, we acknowledge our sin, confess it, hand it over to Him. We cannot pass through the cross without laying down our baggage of sin and defects of character. The way is just too narrow to take them with us. 

"But you don't understand! I've had that sin for a long time. Yes, it's heavy. Yes, it's cumbersome, but it has become that which defines who I am." 
No you don't understand, When you move toward Jesus, your sin defined who you WERE....not who you are. The you who lived in that state of sin is killed. That's what the cross does. It kills us. As Paul so aptly wrote, "My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me". 

Amazing to me is the idea that some carry around that they have no need for Jesus, and especially no need for the cross. Crosses and our society don't really mix in the minds of some. But if ever there was a time when society needed to be hauled up from the muck,mire, and spiritual darkness it is now. 

I spent the better part of my day and night texting with a person who is at the end of their rope. They have made such a mess out of their life, that they can't see any need to go on. Their desire is to end it all. The strange part in all of this is that they have been in recovery. They have been in church. They have been where the truth of God has been shared. But they never have fully given themselves to Jesus or to a program of recovery. What do you tell someone like that who continues to reject the truth in order to play a "Look at me, I'm religious game"? They need the finished work of Jesus that took place on the cross. I hurt for this individual, but I know that simply trying to rush in and rescue them is not the answer. I've done that before and the results have always been the same. They need more than shelter (which they currently have, but don't know for how much longer). They need more than a job (which they have never been able to hold down). They need an encounter with the Spirit of the Living God who will offer the ultimate gift. Peace....freedom from their past....and life here and now. The ability to navigate through whatever the day throws at them. Pray with me that such an encounter take place with this person, and that the enemy will not destroy them. They need the cross of Christ. I need the cross of Christ.

God on you...

mbb

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