Monday, August 17, 2015

God has been challenging my heart and mind and how it affects my life a lot lately. As a mom and wife, I see the importance of drawing near to God. If I don't, I am not a pleasant person to be around. I am a very self centered person, driven by what others think and how that makes me feel. Kinda discouraging ya know? But I long to be a person that my little one wants to learn from. I long to be a person that my husband can confine in. So I try. And I try. And I try. But then that gets exhausting or I consume myself in the things of this world for temporary pleasure. And all the while, God still remains faithful in working in my heart. This only works through what Jesus did on the cross.
I have been looking up the word phrase "the cross" in the Bible as my quiet time.

Here are some of the verses I have found:

1 Corinthians 1:17
 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.

Paul preaches the Gospel through what Christ did on the cross. He did not preach from his own strength by his own words because otherwise he would be saying that the cross was useless.
       How many times do I add my works or the good things I do to what Jesus did on the cross for  
       me? I am saying that what He did was not good enough for me which I know that is not true.

1 Corinthians 1:18 NKJV
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Do I believe that the cross brings power? Acknowledging what the power of the cross is a step in the right direction.

Galatians 5:11 NKJV
And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. 

In 1 Corinthians 1:18, the cross is foolishness to those who are not saved. It is foolishness because it offends. As my pastor on Sunday stated, why would anyone want to believe in something that makes you admit that you are wrong and worthless. That is what the cross does. It makes us evaluate our lives and see that we are nothing without Christ and what He did on the cross. If you read before this verse, the Jews were saying that they had to be circumcised in order to be apart of Christ. In believing that, they were rejecting the full power of the cross. It was hard for them to let go of their works and surrender to the cross. They believed something they had to do made themselves apart of Christ. It is called pride to think one is able to still follow the law. That is why Paul asked why does he suffer still if he preached circumcision was part of the cross. He would not be suffering if he agreed with them. In his weakness of suffering, he held onto the offensiveness of the cross that he was nothing without it.
       Am I offended by the cross or do I humbly accepted that I cannot keep the law and rest fully in
       the cross?

Galatians 6:12-15 NLT
Those who are trying to force you to be circumcised want to look good to others. They don’t want to be persecuted for teaching that the cross of Christ alone can save. 13 And even those who advocate circumcision don’t keep the whole law themselves. They only want you to be circumcised so they can boast about it and claim you as their disciples.
14 As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross,[c] my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died. 15 It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation.

I liked how the NLT version made it more easier to understand. When we do good works in our own strength, it is self motivated. We want to look good especially when we encourage others to do the same. But like Paul when we boast in the cross, we loose interest in what others think and do it for God alone. The cross makes us a new creation. As Christians we need to boast in the cross to be the new creation that we are.
       Do I hold onto the things and opinions of this world or boast in what Christ has done through


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