The power of the cross

Oswald Chambers had a few great statements yesterday (in the November 26 devotional) that I thought were worth examining a bit here and bringing to light some application for this world. Let me be clear first though that I do not believe Oswald Chambers needs to be “amplified” at all (especially by me), but the additional thoughts are just what the Lord was speaking to me as I was reading, and so I thought I would share them with you.

“If you want to know the power of God (that is, the resurrection life of Jesus) in your human flesh, you must dwell on the tragedy of God. Break away from your personal concern over your own spiritual condition, and with a completely open spirit consider the tragedy of God.”

Friends, where is our examination of the tragedy of the cross? I have said it for years and I am convinced that we simply do not focus enough on the cross and what it means. Take a look at this world and you’ll see why. Everything is about “me”, even in the church we have folks showing up asking “how will the Lord bless me …” and personally I am sick of it. The cross of Calvary is beyond our understanding, but as a challenge we should be focused more on it to try to understand the mind of our Lord and why He would sacrifice His Son on it, for us. We must be willing to attempt to grasp the cross, to attempt the grasp the sacrifice — and in doing so I believe our lives will be changed forever … but it must be a life-long journey to comprehend Calvary.

“We have to focus on the great point of spiritual power— the Cross. If we stay in contact with that center of power, its energy is released in our lives.”

Wow. The cross is our power. It is what brings to our realization that it is not about us, but it is about what happened on the cross for our sakes. Can you imagine if we were to really plug into the cross how different our lives would be? Could we imagine the change that would happen in our lives if we actually stopped trying to do things ourselves and yet allowed what God has given us to be manifested and to move through us? Let me be clear and unapologetic in saying that we can do nothing without God’s authority and power; and I really feel that more pulpits need to have this proclaimed from them. It is not a human thing to bring people into the Kingdom of God, it is a Holy Spirit thing and as soon as we stop thinking we are something to behold, I believe that the cross will begin to have REAL power in our lives.

“The feebleness of the church is being criticized today, and the criticism is justified. One reason for the feebleness is that there has not been this focus on the true center of spiritual power. We have not dwelt enough on the tragedy of Calvary or on the meaning of redemption.”

Finally, this just hits it home for me. The church has no power today friends. We have lost the focus that it is about the cross, and in my opinion the cross needs to stop being a decoration on a wall. When will we wake up and see that the work is of God, and we are only vessels who have the honor of participating? I think this starts when we begin to try to comprehend the cross, even though we will never fully understand it. This ought to stir in us the need to continue searching for the understanding, and in this search make us hungry for the mind of God.

So, where is your priority? What do you focus on today? Is it the mystery and the wonder of the cross or is it on something on television or even here on the internet? It’s time church to stop being feeble and pay attention to what God has done for you; and not spend all our time trying to do things in “our name”. This nation, our city, our town, even our homes will NEVER change until we begin to focus on the power and the authority of the cross.

Wake up church … wake up.

A blood donation

We had a great day today at the church, most especially working to prepare for Harvest Fest next weekend as well as giving blood to the American Red Cross. We also had a great lunch (Mexican … mmmmmmm) afterward with some new friends at the church and we are grateful for the invite from Bobby and Leigha to join them.

Curiously enough (and not by intention) while I was donating blood I noticed I was wearing a t-shirt that said, “Just one drop of Jesus’ blood washed away my sin”. Pretty cool God moment, eh? And so, as I way laying there donating blood I really had to think about the sacrifice that was made on the cross for me, about the blood that was given so that I could live, long before anyone in my family was even thought of being born. Wow. It is indescribable how much that sacrifice means to me, and how much my life would be totally different had Jesus never came into my life. Two verses came to mind today which are:

Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Hebrews 9:22 says, “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”

With these two verses in mind, I wanted to say thank you Lord Jesus for loving me enough to give of yourself willingly so that I may be FREE today. I am free because of Christ, and nothing else. I confess that I owe my life, my marriage, my children, and everything I have to that marvelous sacrifice on the cross … and I am without words tonight considering that truth.

Thank you, Jesus. Good night my friends.