The Death of God

Posted by Hannah Martin on

All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.    We have left God’s paths to follow our own.Yet the Lord laid on him    the sins of us all.(Isaiah 53:6)  We all have the choice to hold the hammer, to pick up a nail and drive it...

What The Cross Means to a Believer

Posted by Dan Borchers on

The Cross--an instrument of cruel death--was used by God to bring life to all. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) Jesus fulfills those words at the cross. There, he paid the...

The Death of God

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All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
    We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him
    the sins of us all.


(Isaiah 53:6) 


We all have the choice to hold the hammer, to pick up a nail and drive it into the hand of the son of God. Every time we choose our way, our sinful desires, our selfish wants, we drive a nail in the hand of the Savior. Every time we say “no” to God and his will for our lives we are the voice in the crowd yelling “crucify him!”

If we are honest with ourselves, we would admit that there is something in us that is offended by Jesus. God’s will always will offend our human nature.

But God chose to sacrifice his son on the cross to allow Jesus to be IN US.

Isaiah 53:10 “Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.

“God made him who had no sin to BE sin FOR us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

When we come face to face with the will of God and the sacrifice of his son, we can choose to respond in one of two ways…

Reject his will and purpose for our lives. OR accept that his will and sacrifice is where we find our lives.

Until we are gladly yielding our will to Jesus; we’re actively opposing God’s work in the world.

Are you letting God’s will be louder than yours?

Are you living Jesus GLADLY or  killing off his work in the world?

It’s time for us, his church to BE his work in the world.  

 


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Posted by Hannah Martin with

If You Want Christ's Life, You Get Christ's Death

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1 Corinthians 1:18 says, "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." 

It's like Jim Elliot said, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."

To us who believe in Jesus, this message is life -it is the power of God! It's the way we live forward and the truth is that the centerpiece, the whole meaning of Jesus' life, is in a cross and a resurrection --a dying and a living!   

The centerpiece to Jesus' whole message is the invitation to a cross so that you may experience your invitation to a resurrection. A whole new life that is impossible apart from the power of God --the dead don't come to life apart from the power God!

"For even the son of man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many." -Mark 10:45

If you want Christ's life, you get Christ's death -you can't have one without the other! The death of Christ has got to be not just something that you and I admire merely from a distance, but that we enter into in a very real and personal way on another level! 

Part of what we suffer is the loss of living self centered and self serving and of looking out for our own interests. We trust that Jesus has our back and that He will serve our interests. Jesus has served your interest in the cross and in the resurrection that he's offering you.

You will be blessed forever and your life on earth will be radically different and better than you imagined! The difference is all in the dying! 

Some of it can be seen, much of it can't, but in the end Jesus will reveal what was true and what was not. What was a fraud and what was authentic. What was a genuine struggle and what was an illusion. And so we die to a dying world that we might live to a new Kingdom that has come!

In Matthew 16:26 Jesus said, "What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the son of man is going to come in His Father's glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what he has done."

This life is not all there is --it is quickly passing. The Jesus who came as the bookend of one part of human history is going to come again as the second bookend in human history...and to gain an eternal life, we have to give up a world! 

What part of your world are you struggling to give up? What part of your world is fighting to stay alive and be in charge? I think we would all agree that Jesus' willingness to die made all the difference in the world, but do you understand --so will yours? -Dr. Drew Shofner

Entering The New Means Leaving The Old

 

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Jesus came to lead us out of a dead and dying world into an everlasting Kingdom! The bridge to this new world is the cross and the simple reality is that entering the new means leaving the old! We're called to give up our own "world building" and the portrait of how we think life should be --we can't live in two worlds! 

To gain a life that is eternal, you have to give up a world. You have to give up the world you imagined and the broken world that you desire. There are two portraits of a broken world. One is the view that you really don't see as a broken world. It's the idea that if I could only have...then I'd really be happy and you think that getting enough of it is going to satisfy you. This is the lie of hell that says you can actually be happy in a dying world. This is the side where you don't even know that the ship is sinking. 

The other side is where you know the ship is sinking. You know that the world is broken. The question is, will you give it up? 

It's realizing that there's nothing there. It's kind of like that experience in getting what you want and then realizing you didn't want what you got! This is a place of laying down the old that is broken and trading it for a new world! It's walking through the illusion that this world can satisfy and realizing that it can't and that I have to lay it down.

The bridge to the new world is the cross. Entering the new means leaving the old and if we won't reject the old, it's because we've rejected the cross. There are far too few of us who are living lives that are cross carrying. And there are far too many of us who are trying to live with one foot in both worlds --and it doesn't work!

1 Corinthians 1:18 says, "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." 

Guys, the difference is dying! The difference between the life you're looking for and the life of dissatisfaction that you may have is dying to yourself! The difference between getting over your procrastination and accomplishing the things you know God has called you to is dying to yourself! The difference between a life of fear and self hatred is dying to the fear and self hatred! 

The difference is dying and I want to call you today to joyfully trade a world --for a life!

Trade this world and all of its ideas of it satisfying you for the eternal life that Jesus can give. Let Jesus Christ be your life builder. Let Him be your world giver. It's going to be hard, it's going to be incredibly hard! It's going to go soul deep, but this is the call of the Christian life because the centerpiece of Jesus' life is a cross and a resurrection!

Everyone wants a resurrection without a crucifixion but where there is no cross, there is no Jesus! -Dr. Drew Shofner

All Things Work Together For Good

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1 Corinthians 1:18 says, "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." This message that love could be love in the pain. That love could be love in the struggle. That love has to die and hurt -is the story of the cross for Jesus.

We know that God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son (John 3:16). We know that love was crucified and suffered on the cross. But the message of the cross that we love, is that it's not just Jesus who must suffer and still love -it's us!

There is nothing wrong with you that you're experiencing what you're experiencing, because a God who is good has a purpose in the pain that He allows! This is the promise of scripture that "In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." -Romans 8:28

I'm just telling you, this completely reinterprets the pain of our lives when we begin to understand that God loves the work of His hammer. He trusts the heat of His forge. He knows the power of His hand to shape something that in the end is good and strong and right and true! 

We are small and wrong for resenting this process, and so when God seems gone, remember the word 'seems.' Champions for Christ don't quit on God even when the reasons seem good. In the good of God, the pain He brings serves a purpose He loves! -Dr. Drew Shofner

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You cannot see, without faith, all the possibilities of God!

you cannot see without faith

Just as your physical eye cannot see all the spectrums of light, you cannot see, without faith, all the possibilities of God! So why settle just for what you can see? Why not live for so much more? 

 
The mystery is that there is more to life than what we can see. There are more spectrums to life than the visible eye can see. I still find that hard to believe, I know that it is true, but what it speaks to, is a reality behind what I can see and even what I feel! It really doesn't matter if I feel like ultraviolet light is real or not, it is! 

In the same way, God is here today, though you may not be able to see Him, He is speaking to you in parables to show you a kingdom you cannot see that must become more real to you than a world you can see. For some of you, to personalize this, in your own life all you can see is that you're stuck. The feeling may be that my life will never be more than this. Well, that may be what you can see but it is not what God sees!

In Matthew 16:25, Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?"
 
So Jesus is saying 'if you want to save your life, you lose it. Because only by losing your life, for me, will you ever find your created purpose! Will you ever find what you're longing for...will you ever be who you were made to be...will you ever love like you are longing to love and be loved! Only in me will you find that and to find me you have to give up this!' (Paraphrased)

The truth is, we'd have to be blind not to see the worth of heaven over the world around us! The broken world. A 9-11 world. A world of so much injustice. A world of holocaust. A world of racism. A world of people using one another. A world of theft and lying. A world of using every advantage of power and beauty against other people to lift ourselves up! 

Can we not see how radically cancerous our world apart from God is?
 
If you and I want to make our home in this world, we're free to do that. Jesus offers more, but against that more, there is a power working to keep you stuck in your world. To keep you broken down and to keep you less than. To keep you unhappy, to keep you rooted in your pain, to keep you in every way oppressed and in jail (spiritually speaking). 
 
2 Corinthians 4:4 says, "The God of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ who is the image of God." There is a Kingdom that has come, but that Kingdom is opposed by a God of this age, Satan.

The kingdom of the world and the Kingdom of Heaven are two different economies and what has to be exchanged is the heart and the attachment. 

And so, God wants to give you a Kingdom worth more than the world but there is a worth decision that has to be made. Some of you think that you are worthless, and the truth is there could be no greater lie! God says you're worth more than His own life and so He sacrifices Himself upon the cross, is buried, and on the third day rises again because love will not die! 
 
You are of infinite worth to the Father! You don't have to live your life angry. You don't have to live your life lusting. You don't have to live your life using drugs or people. You don't have to live your life searching for recognition and respect at work because none of that will last forever! 

And so "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field...(Matthew 13:44)" Not everyone is going to see it, and some who do see it will say, "That's not worth much and certainty not worth me giving up everything that I want and everything I've been living for up to this point. No thanks God, that really isn't my treasure, my treasure is elsewhere." And many will see the offer of this Kingdom as something that is just not real. 
 
Some other people will hear this message of Jesus and part of them will say yes to it, but part of them will say "I want the world as well. I want the car but I don't want to give up anything of value to pay for it." And that doesn't work, but I just want to share with you this one simple thing above all else, and that is that the Kingdom only comes to those who let the world go! Why settle, in your life, for just what you can see when the God of parables is seeing so much more and trying to show you so much more? -Dr. Drew Shofner

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