Taken and Shaken by the Cross

I used to be the christian you would never want to meet. In the 1990's I stood on corners, holding signs and tracts and boldly approached women heading into abortion clinics and begged with them not to kill their babies. I hollered across the parking lots at the clinic doors when the patrons would come out for their cigarette breaks while waiting for their turn to see the abortionist. I also used to go "soul winning" and tract passing, and tried friendship evangelism, and lifestyle evangelism. I took EE, and was a part of the group that would present the gospel at various evangelistic meetings. I knew the Romans Road and traveled it often. I can honestly say I thought a lot of what I did for God. I was proud to be a part of those activities, and I wore my concern for the lost on my sleeve like a badge of honor. Not any more.

Now, lest you think me a heretic or something, allow me to explain how God has taken and shaken that prideful woman and shown me a better way.

Galatians 1:6 says, "I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ."

I think too often in presenting the gospel, we forget the cross. We forget that the gospel is the cross and the cross is the gospel! We get a fair amount of people in our counseling center who think they are Christians, and call themselves Christians but are unconverted. They have never made that connection between Christ and the cross.

The cross of Jesus Christ is for the purpose of the gospel, and we Christians cannot ever forget we need that cross and that gospel every waking moment of our lives.

Once you have been touched by the gospel you are changed inward and it flows outward from the heart that has been changed. The inward application is you see yourself as God sees you- you are a sinner, unworthy of saving.  Christ who now has a position of honor and righteousness in the Kingdom of God has redeemed you.  When regenerated by grace through faith your perspective on people and on God and creation changes too. You begin to see the world through the lens of the Lord, through the Word and the Holy Spirit.

The outward application of those inward changes is an increased love and concern for the lost. In this new kind of love, I am a "sent one" in the sense that I am a part of that Great Commission of Matt. 28:19. I am sent to serve others in a missional sense. My life becomes a mission to serve those who do not see the gospel in light of the cross, nor the cross in light of the gospel. This includes all mankind.

I am to spend the rest of my life living the gospel! Preparing others for works of service, helping, healing and binding up the wounds of the afflicted, being a part of the world as Jesus was on a day-by-day basis.

These are huge thoughts and even larger actions. They demand selfless hearts and uncluttered lives. In the midst of daily tasks live the gospel, put it on display in your life for others to see.