Daily Walk with the Holy Spirit

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Only through the Cross

"My sinful self my only shame
My glory all, the Cross."
- taken from the Faith of a Scholar - by David Swenson -

The earthly task that the Father assigned to Him is almost complete.

The encounter with death is the final test.

Will He go forward steadfast, courageously, and unflinchingly?

The Son of Man is about to be made the instrument of the glory of God.

The Son of Man is about to be glorified.

For only within the all embracing outreach of the One true sacrifice, can our imperfect sacrifices find acceptance with God.

At the center of all is the Cross, how Christ dies - no - rather that He is risen and ever lives to make intercession for us.

The Son of Man must be lifted upon the Cross of shame.

Through a symbol in which life and death, humiliation, exaltation, defeat and victory are all strangely entwined.

"And being in agony He prayed more earnestly; and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground." Luke 22:44

The Son of Man sweat great drops of blood.

Through the bloody drops falling to the ground, I can see the love that God has for those He gave to His Son.

His unspeakable desire to bring back us from sin, and to re establish order.

So, out of the travail of His soul, Jesus, lifts up His eyes to God and accepts His destiny...gladly and willingly.

"Father, glorify Thy name." John 12:28a

In that moment of time the whole world stood under judgement of the revelation of the glory of God.

The prince of this world stands condemned for his false standards of self declaration , self affirmation, self assertion, lust for power, and craving material things.

Everything was/is exposed to the burning light of God.

"And if I be lifted up from earth, will draw all men unto me." John 12:32

While darkness yet covered the earth, faint rays of light began to be seen.

The Cross was setup.

There seems to be an intolerable weight of the sin bearing weary world in the air.

A heaviness unexplainable.

We see the bent smitten head, the dull eyes, the parched and gasping mouth.

There is a sin pierced side, bloody gashes with skin torn away.

A body beaten, scarred and pierced.

There is no picture that can fully express the mystery of the atoning work of Christ.

The saving work of God drew blood from Christ, as it drew Christ from God.

Not only from God's side but from His heart.

The sacrifice of Jesus touched the very nature, the very essence of God.

All that was within Jesus was stirred up to bless and magnify God's holy name!

Nothing held back.

Nothing was spoiled by selfish motives.

Nothing of self was displayed!

"For their sakes, He cries I offer Myself in sacrifice that they maybe consecrated through the truth." John 12:9

He had honored his Father to the highest extreme, the uttermost.

Jesus had revealed the true heart of a human son.

There was no way to know or how to express more powerfully the overwhelming weight of the burden that our Lord and Savior, the Redeemer of mankind bore upon His heart.

The thief on a cross who was rightly there sees the ray of light.

A ray of glory, "Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy Kingdom." Luke 23:42

The centurion also saw that ray of light.

"And when the centurion which stood over against Him, saw that He so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God." Mark 15:39

The Cross was the symbol of the lowest shame, but now has become the symbol of highest glory.

The end result of the cross was a chain of bitter events culminating in the mocking, scourging, and nailing of our precious Lord and Savior.The Son of God bore our flesh, He bore the Cross, He bore our sins, making atonement for us.

The Cross has become a place of honor, glory, and blessing.

The Cross has become the instrument drawing men and women of every nation, tribe and tongue to the feet of a living Christ.

I don't know about you, but I stand in need of being pardoned by grace.

"Though He were a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered; And being made perfect, He become the Author of Eternal Salvation unto all them that obey Him." Hebrews 5:8-9

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Do you understand the Cross?

Is the Cross any longer understood?

Have you misunderstood the cross?

Does the Cross still call to the depths of your soul?

Is the symbolic power of the Cross still recognized today?

The cross is one of the greatest symbols of mankind.

Does the cross still stand at the center of the Christian religion?

Over time has the true meaning of the Cross slipped away.

The Cross was a horrible instrument of torture.

The Cross points to death, tells of defeat and produces disruption and discord.

So, if the cross suggest all that which is crude and ugly why has it been chosen?

Why has the Cross been guarded and retained though out the centuries?

This Symbol of the Cross can not be forgotten or ignored.

The Cross commands attention.

The Cross, the actual instrument of Christ's death.

The Cross a natural symbol of crossroads in one's life.

There are four crossroads that a persons life is lived through...
Forward towards the future...
Backwards towards the past...
Inward towards one's own feelings, wishes or dreams...
Outwardly against that which we fight, come to terms with or just flat out ignore.

Have you ever passed a cross along the roadside only to have a young person ask what is that.

No longer does it appear that the cross is regarded as an essential part of human life.

Come on a walk with me as we take a journey to a bombed out roofless cathedral, where the city outside has all been forgotten and there lay nothing but waste and ruin, and infinitely solemn.

Everything around is very strange, but beautiful in it's own way at the same time.

Under the desert sky their lies a familiar symbol, something that the early Christians might have used in their worship.

Moving slowly ahead, not talking, but being observant, trying to not disturb anything out of respect.

It was deeply moving, beautiful and such a strong feeling of that which we have ceased to give into, now being stirred.

As I walked on somewhere in the distance there I noticed this large black cross.

Getting closer I could see that it was made from charred wood.

There behind the charred wooden cross was a stone etched with two simple words...Father Forgive.

Somehow that was all and enough.

There I broke down and remembered what My Heavenly Father gave us through His Son who died upon that Cross at Calvary.

Right there in that ruined, roofless cathedral, nothing has ever been driven harder at self deceit that encased my heart.

When you look upon the cross, does it awaken your heart?

Is there an unquenchable stirring on the inside?

Are you one of the many that can gaze upon the cross and find no interpretative key?

Do you know of the man Christ Jesus who suffered on the cross at Calvary?

Have you heard about God's forgiveness through the blood that was shed at the cross?

Do you clash between the inward and the outward?

Do you tend to drift, to surrender to the backward ways, to spiral downward?

When you saw that charred black cross, and read those two words...Father Forgive.. did it illuminate something in your mind? your heart?

Do/Did you know that the Cross of Calvary is related to human existence?

Man's destiny is not to be externally with himself, his world, and his God.

But through the One whom was willing to be stretched upon the Cross.

Through the Cross comes hope, restoration, and reconciliation.

Jesus Christ himself is the One toward whom our gaze must be directed as we seek to understand the meaning of human life in the Light of the purpose of God.

"O Lord, Christ, Lamb of God, Lord of Lords, call us, who are called to be saints, along the way of Thy cross:
Draw us, who would draw nearer our King to the foot of Thy cross:
Cleanse us, who are not worthy of approach, with the pardon of Thy cross:
Instruct us, the ignorant and blind, in the school of Thy cross:
Arm us, for the battles of holiness by the might of Thy cross:
Bring us, in fellowship of Thy sufferings to the victory of Thy cross:
And seal us in the Kingdom of Thy glory among the servants of Thy cross, O crucified Lord; who with the Father and Holy Ghost livest and reignest one God almighty, eternal, world without end." Amen.
- taken from A Procession of Passion Prayers, by E. Milner-White -

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Standing up for God

Thought you might enjoy this interesting prayer given in Kansas at the opening session of their Senate.

It seems prayer still upsets some people..

When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:

Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance.

We know Your Word says, 'Woe to those who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we have done.

We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.

We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.

We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare...

We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable..

We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem....

We have abused power and called it politics.

We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition.

We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.

We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free.
Amen! - Minster Joe Wright - Central Christian Church -

Thank You for standing up for what you believe in.

So when was the last time you or I stood up for what we believe in?