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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Pastor Chris gave us four nuggets to believe to help you finish your race: 1. Believe that whatever adversity comes your way, God has determined and prepared for you to be able to handle it!2. Believe that you are not the only person in your situation, others have been there before and they've...
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...
Jesus said, 'My cross is not merely my cross, it is my invitation for you to carry your cross as well.' (paraphrased) Mark 8:34 says, "And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, 'If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow...
Seventeen and a half years ago when God let me have the privilege of becoming the lead pastor at The Church at Severn Run, we had a real decision to make. The decision to make was to stay where we are and ignore the need of the world around us and pretend like somebody else will reach those...
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.
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.
Want a mid-week encouragement like this delivered to your email? It's easy to get your inspiration when you sign up for our weekly Life Lifters!
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
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
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
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?