Skip to main content

Cuz....

Because - what does this word really mean? There were times as a parent when my kids were just asking me all those 'why' questions and all I wanted to do was respond with a resounding, "Because"! You know what came next don't you - "Because why, mommy"!!! "Because I said so" was not always the right answer, but I heard it come out of my mouth on occasion! "Because God says so" is a different story, though. He 'says stuff' that makes things come to life - even the words that seem to 'limit' us mean so much because they keep us safely in a place where life can flourish. Because of the Cross...these words speak volumes. Have you ever stopped long enough to really take an inventory of the many things the Cross of Christ has changed in your life? When you do, you will find the list starts out with really "big" stuff - when you think a little longer, you will find the list begins to encompass some of the things we probably take for granted each day. The blessings truly are countless!

I am going to boast about nothing but the Cross of our Master, Jesus Christ. Because of that Cross, I have been crucified in relation to the world, set free from the stifling atmosphere of pleasing others and fitting into the little patterns that they dictate. Can't you see the central issue in all this? It is not what you and I do—submit to circumcision, reject circumcision. It is what God is doing, and he is creating something totally new, a free life! (Galatians 6:14-15)

When we "boast" about something, we are "bragging about or lifting up" the object of our affection. We are directing our attention and effort toward the object we boast the most about. If the boasting we do is about ourselves, we might get a clear indication of the lack of impact of the Cross on areas of our lives where we likely need its impact the most! The thing we are 'lifting up' the most is ourselves and where pride gets top billing a fall is sure to come! God wants to bring about a revelation of the actual and total freedom of the Cross of Christ within our lives. By the Cross, we have been set free from the "stifling" atmosphere of pleasing others and fitting into the little patterns they dictate. The atmosphere created by our focus is critical. If you have ever walked into an outbuilding in the heat of the Arizona sun, like my 'workshop' in the backyard, you have probably experienced the "stifling" effect of "pent up" heat and dry air. It almost takes your breath away. Life isn't meant to be stifled, but it is meant to be lived under the shadow of the cross.

Guess what? Living by the rules / patterns which others "dictate" in our lives is like breathing in the stagnant, dust-filled, wickedly hot air of the shed! In much the same way as we'd come into the outbuilding, we "enter into" the bondage of the "smallness" of the confinement these rules / patterns produce within us. We may enter a little timidly, but once inside, we begin to be overcome by the "smallness" of the walls as we experience the "stifling effect" of the requirements of being conformed to that which pleases others. Freedom is for enjoying, not for making us more burdened down under weights we cannot possibly carry! As much as we'd like to, we cannot make ourselves "right" in the eyes of everyone who wants to influence our lives. In fact, we become quite frustrated in even trying. The greatest experience of freedom is in "submission" to the work of the Cross - nothing else.

God is at work in us - creating something totally (not partially) new! What he declares "free" we should never allow to enter again into the "stifling" bondage of the littleness of man's expectations, standards, or rules. Indeed, we should make every effort to avoid the "outbuildings" others want to confine us within! The list of the impact of the Cross in our lives can be as large as we allow it to be - how? The list of freedoms we enjoy increases each time we say "no" to the urgency others place on things or patterns which will only keep us, or bring us again into bondage. May God's list of freedoms you enjoy be ever-increasing in your life and those lists of bondage places grow smaller and smaller BECAUSE of the Cross! Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce …

Noticed by grace

Stop and notice life around you from time to time - you might just be surprised by what you observe!
Sometimes we miss the "little things" in life. I guess I am as guilty of "glossing over" stuff as the next person. I wonder how much I really miss out on because I never stop long enough, listen close enough, or draw close enough to really "catch" what is happening? There are times when life passes us by at break-neck speed, or perhaps we are passing it by at that insane speed! Slow down, listen a little, get in touch with things and people around you. Notice stuff - it might just blow your mind!

I spelled out your character in detail to the men and women you gave me. They were yours in the first place; then you gave them to me, and they have now done what you said. They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that everything you gave me is firsthand from you, for the message you gave me, I gave them; and they took it, and were convinced that I came fro…

Steel in your convictions

Steel in your convictions - what does this mean?  Winston Churchill once said, "Without courage, all other virtues lose their meaning."  C.S. Lewis echoed his words when he penned, "Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point."


It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special. When the Message we preached came to you, it wasn't just words. Something happened in you. The Holy Spirit put steel in your convictions.  (I Thessalonians 1:3-5 The Message)


God's hand is on us for something special.  We serve a God who is not only supernatural, he actually influences us to move beyond the natural into the abundance of all he is!  It is this very encouragement which gives us transforming power to live with courage in times of uncertainty.


When God begins to pour into our lives, he is "pouring" the right stuff.  This is what Paul was referring…