A Beautiful Cross
I Corinthians 1:18
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
We are standing at an interesting crossroads in this country. There has been a shift in the mindset of the majority of Americans. This mindset now includes an offense to the Cross of Christ. As Paul penned these words to the Corinthian people he was making them aware that some people will never understand the power of the Cross. I believe that there have been people in America that have failed to understand or access the saving power of the Cross. However the cross in the past has been viewed as a symbol of hope and goodwill by believer and non-believer alike. There is a new strain of venom being spewed forth from the mouth of hell in this hour that would curse the cross altogether. There are those factions that are provoked and animated by the spirit of the anti-Christ that preach that the Cross is nullified to this generation of people. They squeal and mockingly proclaim that the Cross is an ugly impotent thing. They could not be deeper in the deceit of the enemy of their soul. Spurgeon spoke so eloquently about the cross:
"Jesus has borne the death penalty on our behalf. Behold the wonder! There He hangs upon the cross! This is the greatest sight you will ever see. Son of God and Son of Man, there He hangs, bearing pains unutterable, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God. Oh, the glory of that sight! The innocent punished! The Holy One condemned! The Ever-blessed made a curse! The infinitely glorious put to a shameful death! The more I look at the sufferings of the Son of God, the more sure I am that they must meet my case. Why did He suffer, if not to turn aside the penalty from us? If, then, He turned it aside by His death, it is turned aside, and those who believe in Him need not fear it."
― Charles H. Spurgeon, All of Grace
We need a revival renewing of the faith in the Cross. It was not just two pieces wood it was THE work of salvation. It opened a door to Heaven for a world of torment. And yes, even those that hate the cross can not nullify its work. He even died for those who nailed him to the cursed tree. The Cross of Christ has completed a work and made salvation available even for those who would like to erase its existence.
When God Whispers
Seeking the will of God is a complex undertaking to say the least. Our very nature as humans causes us to look for tangible signs, answers and confirmation. Often The Lord will speak to us without pomp and circumstance. Often we will look for lightening and thunderings in the mountain.
At the same time God is trying to impress his will upon us by dropping a thought into our mind and spirit. There are times that we mistake the pageantry of the Old Testament for the intimacy of the New Testament. Let me clarify something, I do believe in the modern day miraculous. I have seen countless healing in church services, camp meetings and even hospital rooms. I don’t believe the miraculous died with the first century church, I believe it continues today. However God does not always throw a parade when he speaks to his people.
A perfect example of misperception of the people of God is displayed during the time of Jesus birth. The children of Israel were looking for a valiant king with a sword in one hand and a whip in the other. They were looking for a Messiah that would drive out the Roman occupation with force and restore their place of birthright. They could not accept that the whisper of a crying child lying in a feed trough would be the start of the greatest revolution in the history of humanity.
We cannot lay too much blame at the feet of God’s chosen people. They had no idea how that God was about to move in a new direction. He had always moved in the form of battle and deliverance of His people. The most common mistake we make as Christians is that we become comfortable with the avenue that God has previously moved in our lives. We quote portions of scripture such as, ” there is nothing new under the sun” as we try to justify in our minds that The Lord must move the same way every time. Although it is true that there is nothing new under the sun, or with the human condition, this is not a pair of theological hand cuffs that confines The Lord to moving in a certain way in our lives continually. I find it amazing that the disciples were engaged when Jesus turned the water into wine, walked on the water, and raised the dead. However as Jesus was whispering prayers of agony during one of the most crucial moments in the salvation of the humanity of man his disciples could not discern the importance of the moment. How many times have we missed His will? All because our ears were tuned and listening for the shout of the voice of triumph during a time we were deaf to a whisper of victory. There are times in life when The Lord will whisper to our spirit and silent tears of deliverance will fall from our eyes. Sometimes public affirmation of church service, will be absent but the deliverance that is experienced will be just as real as if it were the last night of a scheduled revival. God help us not to program ourselves to only listen for the shout of God, because often His whisper is far more powerful.
God Wants The Fragments
” And they did “ALL” eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full ”
Many people are familiar with this mighty miracle that Jesus performed, it has been titled “Feeding the Multitude” or “Feeding the Five Thousand”. No matter what title it is given we can all agree that it was a miracle of epic proportions. It solidified the thought process that Christ is able to feed all that are hungry. Today He is still feeding the hungry and providing nourishment to the spiritually hungry of this generation. Though times are tough, Jesus stands with hands full of the bread of life beckoning us “Come and Eat.” In a day when most people are starving for a relationship with God, the lover of our soul is seeking to give us the bread we so desperately need. It is very curious that twelve baskets of “fragments” were taken up after everyone had their fill.
The Bible will often speak to us metaphorically. Jesus made sure the fragments were not forgotten. This act speaks volumes to our hearts, and the hidden message almost supersedes the miracle that has just occurred. What message does this action convey? It tells us that God is interested in the fragments. We have fragmented lives, we have been cut by situations that we have lived through. Some situations were beyond our control and it is not our fault that we became broken and fragmented. Different things that we will face in life will seem to smash our spirit into a thousand pieces. A popular nursery rhyme states “all the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again.” However we serve the King of King’s and He is able to pick up the broken pieces of shattered lives. He is able to restore your life and purpose. Jesus seeks for fragmented people, because He wants to make you whole again. He is looking to restore you to be the vessel of honor that you were created to be. If you feel your hopes, dreams and purpose have been shattered into fragments, know that The Lord wants to make you whole again.
It has become apparent to me that this world is full of seekers. They are seeking a touch of spirituality, blessing and ultimately the breath of God. Seekers come from all venues and depth of relationship with The Lord. Some are proclaimed atheists, others are agnostic and others have started an initial relationship with Jesus. All of these categories have one thread that binds them all together. They are all seeking a deeper depth and a meaning to life in a world that does not make any sense. Emphatically they are all able to feel the anointing on a child of God’s life. They feel the desire to capture what the blood bought Saints of God possess. That is the operation of the spirit that everyone filled with the Holy Ghost experiences on a daily basis. We have had past leaders who have preached separation with passion and anointing. I for one believe in the biblical doctrine of separation. This is the separation from sin and sinful things that can be detrimental to a Christian’s walk with God.
However I do not believe in the separation from sinners. I can find no biblical text where a commandment is given to separate our lives from sinners. On the contrary we given the calling and identity of being “Fishers of Men”. It is impossible to “catch” wayward men if we refuse reach out to the preverbal lake where they reside. The only people that I can find who preached separation from the sinner was the Pharisee’s. I do not want to embrace them as mentors or role models. Yes I realize we have to use wisdom and be cautious that we do not find ourselves in a compromising position. As Jesus shared a meal with publicans and sinners, he drew darts from the religious firing squad of His day. I can’t help but think that Jesus nor the apostles were satisfied calling all unconverted as simply “sinners”. I think they had the vision to see what they really are, they are “Seekers”. They are seeking the answers that we have been blessed with. We know the way, truth and the life. The more seekers we love, the more will be delivered from the bondage of sin. Lord Bless!