Monday, October 06, 2008
Clinging to the Cross
Using the cross as a crutch... Josh preached about that yesterday- and it is a temptation we have struggled with even before there was the cross. I wrote the other day about the vicious cycle the Israelites got stuck in, and that I also find myself repeating all too often. It must be human nature- but it certainly makes walking faithfully with God difficult!
Today's readings: Revelation 6, Nehemiah 8:13-9:37, Psalm101
"But they and our fathers acted proudly, hardened their necks, and did not heed Your commandments. They refused to obey, and they were not mindful of Your wonders that You did among them. But they hardened their necks and in their rebellion they appointed a leader to return to their bondage. But You are God, ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abundant in kindness, and did not forsake them. You did not forsake them...You also gave Your good Spirit to instruct them, and did not withhold Your manna from their mouth, and gave them water for their thirst. Forty years You sustained them...So they ate and were filled and grew fat, and delighted themselves in Your great goodness. Nevertheless they were disobedient and rebelled against You... Therefore You delivered them in to the hand of their enemies who oppressed them...and in the time of their trouble, when they cried to You, You heard from heaven; and according to Your abundant mercies, You gave them deliverers who saved them..." -Nehemiah 9:16-17, 19-21, 25-26, 27
This illustrates one instance of this vicious cycle, that I am sure you can relate to! But thankfully, God doesn't get tired of this stupid dance! We are bound in sin, He rescues us, we get proud and feel like we don't need Him, and then we find ourselves bound in sin again, and He rescues us... and so on and so forth. But I love what Josh said on Sunday- it doesn't have to be like this! We can be sanctified- we can allow the cross to touch every part of our lives and surrender everything to God- and then He gets control of our lives! He sets about purifying and refining us, He empowers us to live holy lives, and He begins to free us from that vicious cycle! Hallelujah!
I'd just like to repeat the key that Josh gave us yesterday, and the verses above indicate its truth. In that second sentence it said: they were not mindful of Your wonders. That is the key- stay mindful of God's wonders, stay mindful of the cross. He has saved you... why would you want to return to your stinking life of sin? He wants so much more for you! Choose a verse to memorize that will keep you mindful of the cross today. Write it down. Repeat it to yourself through out the day. Or if you don't think you can memorize a whole verse- maybe you can memorize the Jesus Prayer: "Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner." Pray that one sentence over and over- hundreds of times a day- allow it to sink into your subconscious- make it your mantra. And it will keep you returning to the cross for mercy every moment- which in reality, is how often we need it! Don't let pride keep you from coming to the cross minute by minute today!
Clinging to the cross today,