Cross Focused

Well, it looks like I had some posting problems last week while I was away! One of last weeks posts was mysteriously cut off in mid sentence.  I'm sorry about that, these computers are still crazy business to me.  We had a great IABC conference in Fairview Heights, IL last week with our friends at Gateway Biblical Counseling  Center.

As the Director of our counseling center, I am faced with so many distractions each day! I hear other women make the same comments about the busyness of their own lives. 

In the midst of the busy lives we lead we have unrealistic expectations for ourselves regarding fending off temptations. We are subjected to all of the world’s temptations and offerings constantly through television, radio, magazines and the internet; and yet we think our 15 minutes with God in devotion form each morning is going to be enough to help us to fight against the onslaught of trash dumped on us all day long.

What fools we are.

If you find yourself struggling with worldliness, fleshly desires and temptations then do a little check up on your heart.

What is your first love? Who is your first love? What are you most passionate about in your daily life? Is it your music or books? Is it your children or your job? Your favorite sports team or activity? Is it your Christian service? Even good things when they replace our love for Him can become bad things.

Honestly, there can be only one main thing, and it has to be Jesus. When we push Him out in favor of even the best of human activities we are being diverted and derailed from our most important purpose- to glorify God, to understand and live the gospel of Jesus Christ.

You and I need the gospel, even as believers! We must never stray too far from that essential truth that we are sinners in need of the forgiveness we have through the Savior.

What glory there is for us in the cross of Christ! Do not be misled into thinking the cross is “has been” business for the Believer, for to do so will lead you down a path of restlessness, discontent, loss of joy and other things that send Christians running down the path of seeking the emotional/spiritual highs of the religious experience. That is a dead end street.

The best news I continue to hear is what a wretch I am. Paul understood it, he knew how sinful of a man he was and it made him appreciate the cross all the more.

For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. Romans 7:14-21 (NKJV) 

Paul knew and I am beginning to understand and I want you to know that it is because of the cross that we can know these things are true about us and rejoice! It is because of the cross that I am free. It is because of the cross that I understand and extend mercy. It is because of the cross that I want to change! It is because of the cross I know love. It is because of the cross that I have an overwhelming sense of God’s grace.

Keep the main thing, the main thing. Wipe away the clutter from your life and simplify to the extent that you are able to. The gospel brings the reality of who we are in Him to the forefront. Cling to truth and refuse to be waylaid by the craziness of this world. Ask the Lord to increase your desire for more of Him and Who He is to be made manifest in your life.

Keep the gospel the main thing, start today.