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Bible Ballistics: BBs #547  How Far Away Is Your Cross???

 

There’s an old hymn (The Old Rugged Cross, by George Bennard, Public Domain) that I love, which speaks of the cross on “a hill far away” in reference to location from us.  But I’d like to ask how ‘far away’ is your cross and mine?  Have we allowed ourselves to lose sight of the cross in our everyday living?  Or are we committed to following our Lord with the cross in sight.

Saying, The Son of man must suffer

many things,

and be rejected

of the elders

and chief priests

and scribes,

and be slain,

and be raised

the third day.

23 And he said to them all,

If any man will come after me,

let him deny

himself,

and take up

his cross

daily,

and follow me.

24 For whosoever will save his life

shall lose it:

but whosoever will lose his life

for my sake,

the same shall save it.

25 For what is a man advantaged,

if he gain the whole world,

and lose himself,

or be cast away?”  Luke 9:22;25

Jesus made it clear that He would die (for our sin), and that those who desired salvation must come to Him and yield their own life for the “life” of Jesus!  In fact, He goes on to say that in HIS cross is the only real salvation—we can’t keep our own lives, our own selves, for, as Paul made clear to the Romans, sin has a cost!

For all have sinned,

and come short

of the glory of God;”  Romans 3:23

And to come short of the glory of God, is to miss life—abundant life here and now, and eternal life with God, all through Jesus’ death on that ‘cross’!  His death bought our eternal life, and makes us free from the power of sin, by keeping close to that very ‘cross’ of Jesus!

But now being made free from sin,

and become servants to God,

ye have your fruit unto holiness,

and the end everlasting life.

23 For the wages of sin

is death;

but the gift of God

is eternal life

through Jesus Christ

 our Lord.” Romans 6:22-23

To have Jesus as “our Lord” is the picture of the crucified life—being willing to “take up his cross daily, and follow me”! It’s keeping the cross in sight with each and every step we take, following Jesus where ever He leads!  As a friend shared with me the other day, she had on a shirt that said, “It’s not about “me”—It’s about HIM”.  When someone questioned what the shirt meant (for they thought it was some smart-aleck reference to spouses or something else) she explained to them that it was a reference to living for Jesus, that my life isn’t just about “me” anymore, but it IS about JESUS!  Then she shared with me that she had memorized the verse to share the truth of that when she was asked.  I was so proud of her willingness to keep Jesus and the cross in sight.  And the verse she learned; you can learn too!

I am crucified with Christ:

nevertheless I live;

yet not I,

but Christ liveth in me:

and the life which I now live

in the flesh

I live by the faith

of the Son of God,

who loved me,

and gave himself for me.”   Galatians 2:20

So, my question for us today is, “Are we living the crucified life—with the cross clearly in view?”  Or have we drifted so far from that ‘cross’ and the One who gave Himself for us, that we seldom consider it? He loves us and to be in HIS presence is unequaled joy and peace.  I’ll simply leave you this morning with some words that Paul shared with the church at Philippi:

Be careful for nothing;

but in every thing

by prayer

and supplication

with thanksgiving

let your requests be made known

unto God.

7 And the peace of God,

which passeth all understanding,

shall keep your hearts

and minds

through Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brethren,

whatsoever things

are true,

whatsoever things

are honest,

whatsoever things

are just,

whatsoever things

are pure,

whatsoever things

are lovely,

whatsoever things

are of good report;

 if there be

any virtue,

and if there be

any praise,

think on these things.

9 Those things,

which ye have both learned,

and received,

and heard,

and seen in me,

do:

and the God of peace

shall be with you.”   Philippians 4:6-9

Amen and Amen!!!